The Macallan Unveils 81-Year-Old Whisky Masterpiece ‘The Reach’ With A Grand Entrance Into Africa

Published 3 months ago
The Reach 8 PS
The Reach unveiled in Lagos.

In the vibrant city of Lagos, Nigeria, on a memorable Friday evening of February 23, 2024, whisky enthusiasts and connoisseurs gathered to witness a historic moment in the world of fine spirits. The Macallan, the iconic single malt whisky brand, unveiled a masterpiece that transcends time and embodies the very essence of its 200-year legacy. Named The Reach, this extraordinary expression of The Macallan brand celebrates not only the brand’s unparalleled craftsmanship but also pays homage to the resilience and dedication that have defined its journey since its inception in 1824.

The Macallan The Reach.

The Reach: A Testament to Timeless Craftsmanship

Crafted in 1940, The Reach stands as a beacon of ingenuity and character, encapsulating the unwavering commitment to excellence that has been the hallmark of The Macallan throughout its storied history. As one of the oldest expressions of The Macallan, The Reach is a testament to the enduring spirit of the brand, crafted with meticulous care and attention to detail.

Advertisement

At 81 years old, The Reach holds the distinction of being the oldest whisky ever released by The Macallan. Crafted from a single sherry seasoned oak cask, this rare single malt whisky exudes a deep, auburn hue that hints at its astonishing depth and complexity. Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan, describes its flavour profile as a symphony of “dark chocolate, sweet cinnamon, and aromatic peat, leading on to treacle toffee, crystallized ginger, and charred pineapple, before giving way to an intensely rich, sweet and smoky finish.”

L-R: Brand Manager, Edrington Portfolio, Nigeria, Hammed Adebiyi; Creative Photographer and Publisher, Style Mania, Kelechi Amadi-Obi; and The Macallan Brand Educator and Ambassador, Lagos, Daniel Atteh during The Reach’s unveiling in Africa for the first time.

Jodie Marriott, The Macallan Brand Education Manager for the Middle East, Africa, and India (MEAI), provided insight into the creation process of The Reach, explaining that it was first laid to rest in the 1940s in a Sherry seasoned oak cask and matured for 81 years.

“First laid to rest in the 1940s in a Sherry seasoned oak cask and maturing for 81 years, The Macallan The Reach is a reflection of The Macallan’s legacy and our values that still hold true to this day. A deep auburn colour, a gentle smoothness and the nose bring rich dark chocolate, orange, plum, leather and a rich sweet smokiness, a nod to this spirit’s history.

Advertisement

“On the palate, treacle toffee, crystallized ginger and charred pineapple.

“It is hard to put this whisky into words, this whisky is an ambassador of an era of people, a place and a celebration of crafting the finest Single Malt,” says Marriott.

A Sculptural Tribute to Heritage and Legacy

The unveiling of The Reach was accompanied by the debut of a strikingly beautiful sculpture, meticulously crafted by sculptor, Saskia Robinson. The sculpture features three hands, each representing a pivotal figure in The Macallan’s history: the distillery workers of 1940 who crafted the spirit into existence; Allan Shiach, one-time Chairman whose grandfather oversaw the consignment of this remarkable spirit to its cask; and Kirsteen Campbell, the current Master Whisky Maker who carefully selected the cask used to create The Reach. The bronze hands, with their intricate detail and lifelike appearance, serve as a visual representation of the brand’s rich heritage and the passage of time.

Advertisement

L-R: Trade Marketing Manager – The Edrington Portfolio (NBC), Tsolaye Everett-Eleoramo; CEO, Arzeh Enterprises, Chadi Estaphan; Legal Director, Coca-Cola Hellenic, Abiodun Peters and Premium Spirit & HoReCa Director, Coca-Cola Hellenic, Ioannis Simos, during the unveiling of The Reach, The Macallan’s oldest whisky ever, in Lagos.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the sculpture, Saskia Robinson explained, “A key concept of The Reach single malt is ‘legacy,’ and it is a theme at the heart of what I hoped to evoke sculpturally, expressing this both visually and thematically. I wanted to bring to life the rich heritage of the whisky, and the sense of the passing of time and the intergenerational passing of knowledge, from the beginning of the process of creating it in 1940, to its maturation, to today and on a human level.”

The attention to detail extends beyond the sculpture to the exquisite glass decanter that houses The Reach. Designed with subtle indentations that match the fingerprints of the bronze hands, the decanter is a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship that defines every aspect of The Macallan’s creations. It is complemented by a beautiful cabinet crafted from wood sourced from a fallen elm tree believed to have been on The Macallan Estate in 1940, further enhancing the connection to the whisky’s heritage.

Guests cheering to The Macallan’s significant milestone in Africa.

The Essence of The Macallan Experience

Advertisement

Adeyinka Adepetun, The Macallan Brand Educator and Ambassador for Abuja, highlighted the timeless experience that The Macallan aims to deliver with The Reach. He stated, “From the 1940s when this peerless spirit was first laid to rest in its cask to Kirsteen Campbell of the present day, our master whisky maker at The Macallan who was in charge of deciding when to release this incomparable spirit from its 81-year slumber. We want our guests to come on a journey through time with us and feel part of The Macallan’s Legacy and community.”

For The Macallan Brand Educator and Ambassador for Lagos, Daniel Atteh, two of the core aspects of The Macallan are its craftsmanship and legacy, which aligns with The Macallan’s legacy in Nigeria and Africa.

Maintaining The Macallan’s Brand Image in Africa

Hammed Adebiyi, Brand Manager of the Edrington Portfolio in Nigeria, explained The Macallan’s commitment to excellence within the continent. He stated, “The Macallan since 1824 is a brand that always aims to bring incomparable experiences to our consumers and will continue to pursue excellence within the continent.”

Advertisement

Excitement for the Future

Adebiyi expressed his excitement for the launch of The Reach, stating, “The introduction of The Reach represents a monumental highlight for whisky aficionados in Nigeria. This expression of The Macallan embodies the pinnacle of craftsmanship.”

Indeed, The Reach is more than just a whisky; it is a testament to The Macallan’s enduring legacy of excellence and innovation. With its unparalleled craftsmanship, exquisite flavour profile, and rich heritage, The Reach represents the culmination of over two centuries of dedication to the art of whisky making. As The Macallan continues to push the boundaries of excellence, it reaffirms its commitment to delivering extraordinary whisky experiences that captivate the senses and inspire the imagination.

L-R: The Macallan Brand Educator and Ambassador, Lagos, Daniel Atteh; Brand Manager, Edrington Portfolio, Nigeria, Hammed Adebiyi and The Macallan Brand Ambassador, Abuja, Adeyinka Adepetun during the unveiling of The Reach, The Macallan’s oldest whisky, in Africa on Friday, February 23, 2024.

Advertisement

The Macallan: A Legacy of Excellence and Innovation

The legacy of The Macallan, the esteemed single-malt whisky distillery, spans over two centuries, tracing back to the visionary Alexander Reid. In 1824, Reid’s pioneering spirit led him to craft the inaugural batch of whisky within the quaint confines of his Speyside distillery, igniting what would become a remarkable journey in the world of Scotch whisky.

At the heart of The Macallan’s ethos lies an unwavering commitment to unparalleled quality and meticulous craftsmanship. Each sip of The Macallan whisky bears the unmistakable imprint of exceptional oak casks, seasoned with the finest sherry wine, a testament to the brand’s dedication to natural hues and mastery of flavour. Nestled amidst the picturesque Scottish landscape, The Macallan Distillery, conceived by globally acclaimed architects, stands as a testament to architectural brilliance, drawing inspiration from the ancient hills that embrace it within the sprawling 485-acre Estate.

From its humble beginnings to its present-day eminence, The Macallan’s story is a testament to the dedication, ingenuity, and relentless pursuit of perfection. Founded by Alexander Reid, a visionary barley farmer and educator, The Macallan distillery took root at Easter Elchies House in Speyside, Scotland. The very name “Macallan,” rooted in Gaelic, pays homage to its surroundings, signifying “a fertile land,” while also honouring the legacy of St. Fillan, the revered monk who propagated Christianity across Scotland.

Over the years, The Macallan has evolved into an emblem of luxury and sophistication, earning global acclaim for its uncompromising standards and innovative approach. In a significant milestone, The Macallan joined the Edrington Group’s prestigious portfolio in 1999, marking a pivotal juncture in its storied history.

Under Edrington’s stewardship, The Macallan blazed new trails in the whisky industry, pioneering bespoke cask creation and introducing the revolutionary Sherry Oak maturation process. Innovations like the Fine & Rare Collection and the groundbreaking Fine Oak series epitomised The Macallan’s unwavering pursuit of excellence and luxury. Embracing a bold departure from traditional age statements, The Macallan introduced the 1824 Series, placing emphasis on colour, character, and flavour — a move that underscored its commitment to innovation and distinction.

L-R: The Macallan Brand Educator and Ambassador, Lagos, Daniel Atteh; Assistant Brand Manager, Edrington Portfolio, Nigeria, Idorenyin Emmanson; The Macallan Brand Education Manager – MEAI, Jodie Marriott; Brand Manager, Edrington Portfolio, Nigeria, Hammed Adebiyi and The Macallan Brand Ambassador, Abuja, Adeyinka Adepetun during the unveiling of The Reach in Lagos.

The ascent of The Macallan to global preeminence can be attributed to its relentless pursuit of quality and innovation. From its coveted vintage expressions to its avant-garde collaborations with artisans and designers, The Macallan continues to redefine the boundaries of the whisky landscape.

In recent years, The Macallan unveiled its cutting-edge Distillery and visitor centre, a triumph of sustainable design conceived by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Rooted in tradition yet embracing the future, this architectural marvel pays homage to The Macallan’s heritage while charting a course toward a sustainable future.

The illustrious saga of The Macallan embodies a journey from humble origins to global eminence — a testament to its enduring values of quality, innovation, and excellence. For nearly two centuries, The Macallan has remained at the pinnacle of the whisky world, a beacon of distinction and refinement, and a testament to the timeless allure of Scotch whisky craftsmanship.

DISCLAIMER: Brand Voice is a paid program. Articles appearing in this section have been commercially supported.