In this case, the answer to the question is an extremely rare single malt in a limited edition decanter: The Macallan 57 Lalique “Finest Cut”. Containing an exceptionally rare 57-year-old single malt whisky from the famed Speyside distillery founded in 1824, the Finest Cut crystal decanter is valued at $15,000 and is available by special order. The precious bottling comes on the heels of the recent record-breaking £11,750 ($19,000) sale of one of The Macallan’s 50th-anniversary bottles at an auction in Scotland.
The Finest Cut is inspired by the fraction of the new make spirit which is filled into casks for maturation. At The Macallan, this fraction is a mere 16%; the best of the best, it’s delivered at a very slow rate of distillation to maximise flavour and produce a distinctively rich, fruity, viscous character. Designed exclusively for The Macallan by the legendary French crystal house Lalique, The Finest Cut decanters are individually numbered and produced in a very limited quantity – only 72 of the 400 launched worldwide will be available in the U.S.
“In homage to the beauty of Lalique’s Finest Cut decanter, we chose a particularly rare 57 years old Macallan single malt whisky,” says David Cox, Director of Fine & Rare Whiskies for The Macallan. “It is the second oldest The Macallan whisky ever released, only surpassed in age by the legendary 1926, a 60 year old bottled in 1986.” The 57 follows in the footsteps of its two predecessors in the Six Pillars series, a 50-year-old Macallan celebrating the exceptional oak casks and a 55-year-old inspired by the distillery’s insistence on natural colour, both coveted collector’s items.
The 57-year-old has been vatted together from six casks made from two different species of oak; the first, a 1950 American oak sherry butt, and the second, a vatting of Macallan from first fill Spanish oak sherry butts originally filled in 1949, 1951 and 1952. The result is a sumptuous single malt, showing off the classic dried fruits, spice and hints of peat redolent of The Macallan house style of the early 1950’s. The age statement of 57 years old is determined by the youngest cask which was filled in 1952.
The decanter features the ‘stilligoutte’ of a perfume bottle, the long piece of pure crystal flowing down to a point from the base of the bottle stopper. A portion of the stopper has been left completely clear and not “satinee,” running from the top down to the point. This clear portion represents the 16% “finest cut”. Crafted at Lalique’s crystal making facility in Wingen-sur-Moder, Alsace, each piece was worked on by up to 15 craftsmen.