The Macallan’s ‘A Night On Earth In Scotland’ Whisky Celebrates Hogmanay

By Gary Carter / October 15, 2021

The Macallan recently unveiled “A Night On Earth In Scotland,” a single malt whisky that tells the tale of Scotland’s Hogmanay festivities and looks to capture the joy of celebrating the change of year.

The first in a new limited edition gifting series, A Night On Earth In Scotland is a collaboration with Japanese-French illustrator Erica Dorn, who previously created designs for some of the world’s leading luxury brands and whose artwork has been featured in director Wes Anderson’s films.

Presented as part of multi-layered packaging, Dorn’s abstract illustrations are said to be inspired by the historic fire rituals dominant in New Year celebrations around the world.

The Macallan A Night On Earth In Scotland

The Macallan A Night On Earth In Scotland (image via The Macallan)

The artwork on the packaging also reveals some of the distinctive customs of Scotland’s Hogmanay, including the tradition of first footing, when it’s considered good luck for a dark-haired visitor to be the first person to enter a home after midnight, bearing symbolic gifts – whisky, coal and Scottish shortbread – that aim to bring comfort and happiness in the year ahead.

“Fire plays a significant role in New Year celebrations around the world. Around its warmth we gather our families, friends, and loved ones to share past memories and future hopes,” Dorn said in a prepared statement. “Through its purifying qualities we release the past to clear the way for the future. In its dancing light we find solace from cold winter nights, as we have done since the dawn of time.”

Though the fire rituals may differ from culture to culture, Dorn said fire is universal in its ability to unite and bring people home.

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“The colors for this presentation box were selected with a particular journey in mind: first, red for merriment, vitality, good fortune and joy; blue to remind us of a winter evening in Scotland, in all its peace and stillness; and finally, amber – in tribute to the sweet aroma of soft butter and freshly baked shortbread, which were an inspiration for Sarah Burgess in the creation of this whisky,” she explained.

Other design elements focus on the flavors found within the whisky crafted by The Macallan Lead Whisky Maker Sarah Burgess, who drew on family memories of Hogmanay to create a this expression.

“Crafting A Night On Earth In Scotland has been an extremely personal experience for me, which took me back to growing up in our family home in Speyside, just across the river from The Macallan Estate,” Burgess said. “The whisky’s vanilla sweetness references the rich Scottish shortbread traditionally gifted and eaten at Hogmanay, while notes of dried orange and spice recall the flavors and aromas that filled our house through the festive season. Encapsulating the hopes and dreams of Hogmanay celebrations past, present and future, it also conveys the unwavering human desire to spend special times with loved ones.”

This single malt was created from a selection of The Macallan’s sherry-seasoned American and European oak casks, along with American ex-bourbon barrels. A Night On Earth In Scotland is available globally for a suggested retail price of $90.

Official tasting notes are below.

  • Aroma: Vanilla, butter rich, baked apple, baking biscuits, plum and almond.
  • Taste: Soft, velvety sweetness reminiscent of shortbread with that rich mouth coating, vanilla sweetness, with lightly toasted marshmallow, dried oranges, fig and cinnamon.
  • Finish: Medium finish with sweet butterscotch and freshly baked biscuits.
  • ABV: 40%