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.
This is a premium Macallan from the distillery's earliest foray into bottling their own single malts. It is part of a series of vintage releases, all with handwritten labels that includes a 1938, 1950, 1957 and a rare 1973 produced exclusively for the 10th anniversary of the Opimian Society in Canada. They were all bottled between 1980 and 1983.