Macallan Gran Reserva 1979 18 Years Old

Macallan Gran Reserva 1979 18 Years Old

$7,250 AUD

40% ABV


The first and most sought after bottling in the series of four 'Gran Reserva' landmark releases that ran from 1979 until 1982. It was distilled in 1979, then matured in a selection of the finest Oloroso Sherry casks to illustrate the extreme end of ‘sherried’ whisky, then bottled in 1997. It's an absolute classic Macallan investment grade whisky. Scoring 91 points on Serge Valentin's, this is one of the blue ribbon Macallan releases of the last twenty years. Excellent neck fill with original wooden box.

Tasting Notes

Colour: dark mahogany.

Nose: yes, this is extremely different from any other Macallan. Starts on heady notes of mulled wine, cloves, big juniper berries, spearmint and coffee toffee and gets then more classically sherried, with the dark chocolate upfront and then notes of soy sauce, balsamico and barbecued beef. Also cigar box, thuja wood and very ripe blackberries. What’s quite incredible is that the whole is still quite fresh and lively, and certainly not sluggish. I like it.

Mouth: thick, oily, rich, not weak at all despite the 40%, and more of a classic now. Heavy notes of rum-soaked raisins, figs, old rancio (huge!) and orange and herbs liqueur (like that famous Dantziger Goldwasser). Gets then spicier, mainly on cloves and pepper, with very funny hints of mescal as well. Excellent, really.

Finish: long, coating, rich but clean and pure, with a faint saltiness as the signature and an aftertaste on blackberry jelly. Excellent sherried Macallan, certainly not on the same planet as its bros from 1980 and later. SGP:742 (wazzat?) - 91 points.  (Whisky Fun – Serge Valentin).

This product is located in Australia.


Macallan Distillery

This is the ne plus ultra in Speyside malt whiskies and has set a standard to which many aspire but few succeed.

Sadly, when Alfred Barnard visited the distillery in 1886 he was so unimpressed by it that he dismissed it in seven lines of what was a very heavy tome. Or perhaps he was simply shown the door in the mistaken belief that he was just another carpetbagger from the South! 

This was in sharp contrast to the warmth of the welcome I received when I retraced Barnard’s footsteps 100 years later to be the guest of two of Scotland’s whisky legends – Willie Phillips as managing director and Sandy Curle, the distiller-in- chief at Macallan since 1972. 

Despite Barnard’s neglect, Macallan has a rich history and much of it is recorded in some detail. It is also reflected in how the company has projected itself, not least by representing some of their excellent products against a suitable historic backdrop. Legitimate from 1824 onwards but almost certainly with a darker earlier history, Macallan is a wonderful fusion of tradition and modernity. The latter is reflected in the decision to build a completely new distillery, which went into production in 2017.  We all wait with baited breath to see if it will be a match for its forerunner and it will be a long wait given Macallan’s policy on maturation. However, there is plenty of maturing stock to ensure that interest in, and devotion to the Macallan make does not waiver in the meantime.