The Macallan M Puts the Spirit Back in the Bottle


It may be true that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but no one ever said anything about a whisky by its bottle. That’s why distillers and blenders invest so much into designing the packaging of their coveted spirits. This latest release from Macallan, however, takes things a step further. Called M, this limited-edition single malt scotch whisky has notes of dried fruits, spices and citrus, benefiting from maturation in Spanish sherry oak casks at which Macallan has proven particularly adept. The spirit has a deep rosewood color and is bottled with no age statement — which some connoisseurs insist gives the master distiller more latitude in blending a whisky — at 44.7 percent alcohol by volume.

We don’t doubt that the Macallan M is a superior whisky, but in this case it’s the bottle that counts more. The distillery partnered with designer Fabien Baron and crystal-makers Lalique to create a unique decanter specifically for this malt.

“The coming together of three such masters has resulted in a truly beautiful creation, which specifically showcases the vital influence of The Macallan’s exceptional sherry seasoned oak casks and the craft of the Whisky Maker,” said David Cox, Macallan’s director of fine and rare spirits. “The natural color of M is stunning. A single malt of the most exquisite complexity and character, M will set a new standard in the world of decanters to become the iconic representation of The Macallan.”

Fabien Baron, founder and creative director of Baron & Baron, designed a six-faceted crystal decanter in homage to the six elements that make Macallan what it is: The Spiritual Home (in reference to Macallan’s 390-acre Speyside estate), the Curiously Small Stills that are unique to the distillery, The Finest Cut (the exceptional 16 percent of new-make spirit that is selected for maturation), the Exceptional Oak Casks which Macallan sources and maintains on-site, the Natural Color that results from the maturation process and the Peerless Spirit that is so highly regarded among aficionados.

The exquisitely hand-crafted decanter is made of the highest grade crystal in a frosted finish by Lalique, which has 150 years of experience in crafting crystal and has worked with Macallan for nearly a decade now.

“We have been delighted to have worked with our friends and long-time partners, The Macallan – with whom we have collaborated since 2004 – to realize this exquisite piece. The decanter styling is utterly unique in the world of decanters, and our masters of crystal have relished applying their most complex skills to this project to bring it to life.” 

Only 1,750 examples of The Macallan M will be offered, each retailing for £3000 (about $4,892).