Macallan have only been bottling their own product since 1980, prior to which they licensed their branding to independent bottlers. The most prominent of these was Campbell, Hope & King, a brewer by trade but with a stake in the blending and bottling business through their premises in Elgin. They bottled near-annual vintage releases of the “over 15 years old,” as well as an 8 and 12 year old age-statement. These were predominantly produced for the booming Italian market for single malts in the 1960s, but are now located all over the world as absolute staple pieces in every serious whisky collection.
Macallan 1960 Campbell Hope and King Rinaldi Import 26 2/3 Fl Oz
It may be hard to imagine today, but for much of the 20th century, Macallan was primarily a constituent malt in blends. It was not until the 1980s downturn in the market that the distillery decided to focus on its single malt brand. Fortuitously, this coincided with the crest of a wave of enthusiasm for the high quality releases that the distillery had licensed to Campbell, Hope & King and Gordon & MacPhail in the 1960s and 1970s. These remain some of the most collectible on the market. While global single malt sales volume is still lead by Speyside neighbours, Glenfiddich and Glenlivet, Macallan is easily the most sought after. So much so in fact, that they had to open a brand new distillery in 2018, a subterranean architectural masterpiece within the Easter Elchies estate, boasting 36 copper pot stills.
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