Macallan Whisky Announces New River Spey-Inspired Bottle

A new release from whisky royalty The Macallan is always worth celebrating, and its latest line of spirits looks to be some of its most special yet. Located on an estate of rolling hills in the Scottish highland's Speyside region, The Macallan has been distilling whisky since 1824. While the company releases plenty of limited edition bottles and lines for collectors apart from its core products, its latest collection has been inspired by someplace extra special: the actual land that the distillery sits on. Called the Home Collection, each release celebrates the history of the brand and the beauty of the 485-acre estate. The first whisky for the collection, called The Distillery, honored the physical distillery itself. The second release, River Spey, is inspired by the local river that wanders through The Macallan's property.

According to a press release from the company, since the founding of the estate, "The Macallan has been a proud custodian of its 1.5-mile stretch of the River Spey, nurturing and protecting its waters and the wildlife around it." The new River Spey whisky, a single malt, is meant to capture the natural spirit of the land the distiller was born on and still occupies. The River Spey flows for 107 miles through Scotland until it empties into the North Sea, and the region around it is known to produce some of the best whisky in the country. This includes not just The Macallan but other collector favorites like Glenfiddich and The Glenlivet.

Inspired by the distillery's natural surroundings

The barrels for the River Spey are a combination of European oak sherry seasoned casks, American oak sherry seasoned casks, and refill casks that The Macallan says, "Embodies the dedication to incomparable craftsmanship and creativity, which The Macallan is renowned for." River Spey's aroma has notes of raisin, cinnamon, apple, pear, sweet oak, treacle sponge, and vanilla, while it tastes of sultana, rich butterscotch, toasted oak, chocolate, nutmeg, and anise, with a finish of toasted oak and spice.

The whisky (which comes with three limited edition giclée prints from artist Michelle Lucking) will be available online via a ballot starting February 20. Releases outside of Europe won't become available until a little later in the month, and members of The Macallan Society will receive first access to the presale. The new bottle will retail for $487 when purchased directly through Macallan. To gain access to a ballot, you must join the Macallan Society online. It will also become available through The Macallan Global Travel Retail Boutiques starting in March 2024.

The release of River Spey features packaging with a watercolor painting of the river from pastel realist artist Michelle Lucking. Using natural-pigmented pastels, the artist shows that the natural colors of The Macallan whisky and those found around the River Spey share the colors umber, russet, and gold. Via the press release, Lucking says "Water, for me, is a constant source of inspiration. I love exploring it, painting it," so working on River Spey with The Macallan, "just felt to me like a really brilliant fit."