by | 29/01/2020

The Macallan Distillery needs no introduction. They are the poster boys for marketers and whisky lovers alike having successfully positioned themselves as a luxury brand for a product that is made in the same way, with the same ingredients as every other single malt whisky in Scotland.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the power of branding on whisky here.

Nothing epitomises what Macallan have achieved as a brand quite as well as CBTD NO.15 and NO.16

REF NO.15 is an 18-year old whisky, distilled by Macallan in 1989. If it had been bottled at 43% in an official distillery bottle it would retail in excess of £1,600. Instead CBTD NO.15 was bottled from a private cask at 56%, by Sandy MacFarlane, and last sold at auction for just £300, giving it a retail of around £825. That’s a 49% mark-up based on who it was bottled by.

CBTD NO.16 was also distilled by Macallan in 1989 and was bottled without an age statement at 40%. At auction you can get a Macallan 1989 Whisky Galore bottle for around £150, giving a retail price of around £375.

Having no age statement probably plays a big part in the sizeable price difference of the Whisky Galore bottling compared to the Sandy MacFarlane and official distillery bottles. However, when you consider that a 10 year old Macallan from the 1990s sells at auction for around £250-£350 you can see what a difference the Macallan brand is making to their bottles.

If you don’t have a spare couple of hundred to spend on independently bottled Macallan, or fancy trying them before you add something special to your drink cabinet, CBTD have you covered. These drams are available to buy from our store on the 4th March for £25 each.

Calling all amateur reviewers

These are interesting bottles but there are little to no tasting notes reviews of them out there. We can’t find any on Whisky Base or Whisky Fun for either the Sandy MacFarlane or Whisky Galore bottles – are you an amateur taster? Share your thoughts and send us the link we’d be happy to share them with the community.


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