Only 320 sets of this unique whisky-photo collection are available in the United States.
Situated on a ridge above the banks of the River Spey, the Easter Elchies House has been the spiritual home of The Macallan for over three centuries. In 1820, Alexander Reid began renting the home from Sir Lewis Grant of Grant. Reid was a farmer, and soon after sowing the fields surrounding the home with barley, he established the first licensed distillery on the estate, which he named Macallan after an ancient church that had been destroyed by fire during the 15th century. In the winter — when there was little activity on the farm — Reid would ferment and distill his excess grains into whisky, which was often drunk straight from the still or sold to travelers passing through the town.
Today, the Macallan Estate encompasses 370 acres, 95 of which are devoted to the production of the Macallan Estate's Minstrel barley (a single acre produces about 2.5 tons of barley each year, enough to yield 1,800 bottles of The Macallan). In addition, the distillery contracts with farmers to purchase barley that is low in nitrogen and high in starch, resulting in a rich and oily whisky.
After the barley is harvested in late August and early September, it is malted before being mashed in one of The Macallan's two mash tuns, a process that takes between four and eight hours. Then, the barley is fermented with a specially cultured yeast before being distilled twice through The Macallan's copper-pot stills. The copper comprising the stills acts as a catalyst, and enhances the formation of sweet esters while minimizing impurities such as sulphur. In addition, the curiously small stills — some of "the smallest stills within the Scotch whisky industry," according to production manager Alexander Tweedie — produce a whisky with a heavy, oily flavor.
The Macallan Masters of Photography: Elliot Erwitt Edition is the fourth iteration of the award-winning series that marries together two great art forms: whisky making and photography. The series is comprised of 58 unique images taken by Erwitt that capture the essence of Scottish life. After the images were taken, a cask of whisky was paired with each of them (meaning 58 casks were paired in total) by The Macallan's whisky maker to reflect the character of the photograph. In the United States, only ten different whisky-photo sets will be available. Each set includes a signed 11"x 14" print and 375ml of the paired whisky in an antiqued flask, nested in a hollow of Erwitt's enclosed book. The timeless quality of Erwitt's work mirrors The Macallan's history of excellence, while the wit and charm of his images warms you like a dram of the world's best single malt.
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