The Macallan Introduces Fine & Rare 1989

by Phillip Galyean

The Macallan has released an extraordinary new single malt whisky into its Fine & Rare Collection with the launch of The 1989 Edition. Matured in a single sherry seasoned European oak butt cask for 32 years, The Macallan Fine & Rare 1989 marks the latest addition to the largest assembly of vintage-dated, single malt whiskies in the world. Filled on December 12th, 1989, and bottled in January 2022, this exceptional single cask whisky is presented at its natural cask strength.

Launched in 2002, The Macallan Fine & Rare Collection comprises 59 individual releases spanning eight decades, from the earliest expression distilled in 1926, a whisky of legendary status, to the 1993, exemplifying the richness of The Macallan’s legacy.

Scarce and finite, these bottlings are the creations of skilled generations of craftspeople and make up a family of remarkable individuals. They embody a whisky history of The Macallan, offering insights into the distinctive aroma and flavor characteristics of the single malt over time and revealing The Macallan’s dedication to uncompromised excellence and incomparable craftsmanship and creativity for nearly 200 years.

The distinctive natural rich mahogany color of The Macallan Fine & Rare 1989 is a result of time spent in the sherry seasoned European oak butt cask. It imparts aromas of dark cherries, sweet treacle toffee, cocoa powder, and gingerbread. Amaretti biscuits, caramelized pineapple, demerara sugar, rich treacle tart, candied fruits, plum jam, and a hint of dark chocolate develop on the palate and the finish is multi-layered, long and complex.

This exquisite single malt was distilled at the time when the first of 24 satellites that would make up the global positioning system was put into orbit, revolutionizing navigation on land and sea. Cold fusion was achieved at Utah University by Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, while ‘Sue’, the best-preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found, was discovered in South Dakota by Sue Hendrickson. It is also the year the iconic ‘Seinfeld’ TV series premiered in the USA.

For the launch of the 1989 Edition, The Macallan has worked with one of the world’s leading fashion photographers,Tim Walker to capture unique photography telling the story of the new release. The exceptionally rare whisky takes center stage in evocative images depicting the Solar System to pay tribute to the year the single malt was distilled.

The brand also previously worked with the photographer to create a set of captivating images to depict the spirit of the 20th century. A Fine & Rare bottle from each of the eight decades was photographed with subtle complementary objects that reflect the era, culminating in a picture of the full collection on the banks of the River Spey. A portrait of David Cox, a former director of The Macallan and the architect of the historic collection, completed the incredible photography set.

Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan, said: “The Macallan Fine & Rare Collection is inspired by our whisky-making legacy. It is the finest and rarest range of single malt whiskies in the world and reveals the mastery of wood and spirit for which The Macallan has been renowned since 1824. These 59 unique vintages are products of nature’s gentle process, undisturbed for decades in sherry seasoned oak casks. They all speak of an unbroken provenance that has rooted The Macallan to its home at Easter Elchies for nearly two centuries and have been nurtured by nature on our beautiful 485-acre Estate, following time honored maturation to achieve perfection. Each release is completely individual but unmistakably Macallan. Fine & Rare 1989 will join its distinguished predecessors and it is a privilege to play a part in crafting this incomparable collection.”

The Macallan Fine & Rare 1989 features the cask number, year of distillation and year of bottling printed on the label, while the age, strength and volume are all handwritten in keeping with the tradition that began when the collection was born. Each bottle is encased in an FSC certified European oak presentation box which also contains information on how to record a Vintage Macallan Fine & Rare bottle in The Macallan Vintage Bottle Register in Easter Elchies House, the spiritual home of the brand located on The Macallan Estate.

As part of The Macallan’s ongoing sustainability journey, which includes a commitment to responsible sourcing and packaging, production of the distinctive wooden Fine & Rare box has been repatriated to the UK, which will greatly reduce transit carbon emissions. The Fine & Rare 1989 box has been produced in England by Moran’s Wood Components, a family run manufacturing business dedicated to craftsmanship and social and environmental responsibility.

A limited number of bottles will be available in selected bars and restaurants, and premium retailers exclusively in the USA from September 2022. For each 750ml decanter, The Macallan Fine & Rare 1989 has an SRP of $18,500 and an SRP of $17,300 for 700ml bottles.

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