But what of the scotch itself, inside all that bespoke packaging? Distilled in the 1940s, during WWII, it's a bit of a single malt miracle. For one thing, the average evaporation rate of whisky in the cask in Scotland's climate is about 2% per year. This portion of aging whisky lost to evaporation is known, with poetic flourish, as "the angels' share." It's a charming name, but a little bit of 4th grade math would lead one to assume that at about the 50 year mark, the angels should have stolen 100% of the scotch. Somehow, however, The Macallan 72 Years Old managed to evade the angels for almost a quarter of a century longer.
Second, there wasn't much scotch being made at all in the 1940s, due to wartime rationing. The barley out of which the distillers made their whisky was requisitioned to feed people, as was the coal used in the grain-drying process. For the whisky made during this time, Macallan actually reverted to using peat to dry their grain, which at that time they hadn't used for years. Finally, factories of all kinds, distilleries included, had been converted to manufacturing crude oil and other supplies for the war effort.
In recent decades, The Macallan has become one of the most collectible whiskies in the world, with a skyrocketing return on investment bottles. In 2020, a young man in Somerset, England sold the 28 bottles of The Macallan that his father had given him - one per year on his birthday - and bought....a house. In 2019, a bottle of The Macallan Fine and Rare 60 Year Old sold at auction for $1.9 million, the highest price ever paid for a single bottle of whisky. And, of course, the bigger the investment, the bigger the return. So for those lucky enough to add a bottle of The Macallan 72 Years Old, the original 600 bottles of which retailed for $65,000 each, to their collection, the ceiling for future value growth is quite high.
Friday, June 11th