The Macallan Fine & Rare Collection is the world’s most expensive whiskey series and includes the world’s most expensive single malt—the 1926 bottling—which auctions for a million-plus dollars each time it finds its way into Sotheby’s white-gloved paws. So whenever the Speyside whiskey maker unveils a new Fine & Rare whiskey, the rich and famous line up for a bidding war. Enter the newest edition: The Macallan Fine & Rare 1997.
Coming in at a comparatively accessible $14,000, The Macallan Fine & Rare 1997 features basically all of the same facets as the bottles that came before it in the series. It’s from an exceptional year; it’s aged exclusively in Sherry barrels from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain; and only a few hundred bottles will ever be available. In this case, just 538 bottles will hit shelves. Thanks to its scarcity, the Fine & Rare 1997’s current price point isn’t likely to last—such bottles skyrocket on the secondary market years later.
The Macallan Fine & Rare 1997 celebrates one of Hollywood’s finest years. From classics like Titanic and L.A. Confidential to Jackie Brown and Men in Black—not to mention Con Air, Good Will Hunting, and Air Force One—1997 went down in movie history as a year to be remembered. To commemorate the annum, The Macallan hired Tim Walker to photograph Fine & Rare 1997, who used the neon lights of his hometown cinema as inspiration for promotional images.
A resplendent red walnut in color, the whiskey offers a rich, fruity aroma of dark cherries, Medjool dates, and raisins alongside warm cinnamon, sticky toffee pudding, and aged oak. The sweet palate tastes of vanilla, apple, and nutmeg and gives way to rich oak and notes of aniseed and clove. The finish is long and luxurious, adding more oak, spice, and sweetness.
Keeping with the tradition of the Fine & Rare collection, age, strength, and volume are handwritten on each bottle. The label also includes the cask number, distillation year, and bottling year. The Macallan presents each bottle in a European oak box, which contains information on how to record a Vintage Macallan Fine & Rare bottle in The Macallan Vintage Bottle Register, kept in the spiritual home of the brand, the Easter Elchies House, located on The Macallan Estate in Scotland.