Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

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Alan Eden
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Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#1 Post by Alan Eden » October 16th, 2018, 10:49 pm

Why do people pay so much for older Macallan 18's ? they do not age or change in the bottle so i dont get why one from 20 years ago is suddenly worth $2000 or more ?

Do people think the recent bottles are just poorer quality because if anything i think they are better
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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#2 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » October 18th, 2018, 5:24 pm

I'm sorry no one has answered you. This is a straight forward and yet complicated question. The simple answer is yes, people think the recent bottles are poorer quality. But it would be a mistake to say the popularity of Macallan is all about what's in the glass. Collectability matters, and Macallan is banking on it. Some of those "over 15 year" bottles, the beginning of the 18 year series (evolved and became 18 year around 1966, I think), are not $2K but $10K or more for the 1945 (good luck finding it!). Many people, myself included, believe the quality of what was made a few decades ago was higher - and many of us have done blind tastings which support that belief. If you like the current releases, though, that's great for you!

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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#3 Post by M.Kaplan » October 18th, 2018, 6:15 pm

The Macallan 18 was year in and year out a great great whisky until 1979, when the former powers that be decided to cherrypick the best casks to make Gran Riserva. 1979 Gran Riserva is great. 1979 18yo is piss, as is every Macallan 18 since. Those bottled since the sale in 1999 are undrinkable effluent.

All too frequent story of ownership juicing (in this case, literally) cash flow to achieve a better sales price at the expense of leaving nothing good in the warehouse to bottle thereafter. A bloody crying shame.
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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#4 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » October 18th, 2018, 6:21 pm

Well, if I'd held on to those cases of Macallan 18 from the late 90's/early 2000's that I used as my house scotch since it was $40 a bottle, what would they be worth?

They were 73-74-75-76-77 vintages.

When they sold in 1999, and the shakeup through about 2001 in the retail chain, they were dumping old inventory and this was before prices jumped. I'm sure the quality of these bottlings is better than current offerings for $350.
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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#5 Post by Alan Eden » October 18th, 2018, 7:44 pm

The first one i ever tried was the 1968, it was great but i dont think it was $3,000 great. I remember it was 80 gbp a bottle the 25 was 130 the 30 was 200, how things change
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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#6 Post by Craig G » October 18th, 2018, 7:52 pm

M.Kaplan wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 6:15 pm
The Macallan 18 was year in and year out a great great whisky until 1979, when the former powers that be decided to cherrypick the best casks to make Gran Riserva. 1979 Gran Riserva is great. 1979 18yo is piss, as is every Macallan 18 since. Those bottled since the sale in 1999 are undrinkable effluent.

All too frequent story of ownership juicing (in this case, literally) cash flow to achieve a better sales price at the expense of leaving nothing good in the warehouse to bottle thereafter. A bloody crying shame.
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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#7 Post by M.Kaplan » October 18th, 2018, 8:01 pm

The good old days weren’t good, just old. Very, very few things were better then than now. Whisky is one of those very, very few things.
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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#8 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » October 19th, 2018, 4:09 am

M.Kaplan wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 6:15 pm
The Macallan 18 was year in and year out a great great whisky until 1979, when the former powers that be decided to cherrypick the best casks to make Gran Riserva. 1979 Gran Riserva is great. 1979 18yo is piss, as is every Macallan 18 since. Those bottled since the sale in 1999 are undrinkable effluent.

All too frequent story of ownership juicing (in this case, literally) cash flow to achieve a better sales price at the expense of leaving nothing good in the warehouse to bottle thereafter. A bloody crying shame.
Exactly. Thanks for the unfiltered version. :)

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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#9 Post by M.Kaplan » October 20th, 2018, 4:17 pm

I take the malfeasance of distillery owners and managers very seriously. And personally. My beloved Ardbeg is now a name attached to a disgusting effluvium in a fancy box with a stupid name. Springbank is slowly clawing back from mediocrity. The Macallan is likely lost for the foreseeable future, maybe forever. Port Ellen is a parking lot. When a winery goes down or stops making good wine, there are plenty of others. Not so with Scotch whisky distilleries. When one goes down, it is an irrevocable, painful loss.

To answer the OP: If The Macallan was making good whisky, the price of its old whisky in the same range wouldn’t be so f*cking expensive. It doesn’t, so the old bottles are.
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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#10 Post by Craig G » October 20th, 2018, 5:58 pm

M.Kaplan wrote:
October 20th, 2018, 4:17 pm
To answer the OP: If The Macallan was making good whisky, the price of its old whisky in the same range wouldn’t be so f*cking expensive. It doesn’t, so the old bottles are.
In fact it’s so bad they can only sell it for $250.
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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#11 Post by M.Kaplan » October 20th, 2018, 6:58 pm

$200. It is the Martell Cordon Bleu of malt whisky.

Hopeless Opus sells for what, $350?
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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#12 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » October 21st, 2018, 4:59 am

M.Kaplan wrote:
October 20th, 2018, 4:17 pm
I take the malfeasance of distillery owners and managers very seriously. And personally. My beloved Ardbeg is now a name attached to a disgusting effluvium in a fancy box with a stupid name. Springbank is slowly clawing back from mediocrity. The Macallan is likely lost for the foreseeable future, maybe forever. Port Ellen is a parking lot. When a winery goes down or stops making good wine, there are plenty of others. Not so with Scotch whisky distilleries. When one goes down, it is an irrevocable, painful loss.

To answer the OP: If The Macallan was making good whisky, the price of its old whisky in the same range wouldn’t be so f*cking expensive. It doesn’t, so the old bottles are.
You know I agree with you, my friend, and was not criticizing your response, only wishing I'd said it myself. It is a tragedy. The new distillery at Macallan, from first hand accounts of people I trust (it was not finished when I was there last year), is a vulgar monstrosity, all glitz and smoke and mirrors, and not welcoming in any way - just exactly in keeping with what they are doing to the whisky. It's all about show and packaging, and even that part ends up being tasteless. The losses, those you mention and others, will likely never be rectified.

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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#13 Post by Patrick T » February 8th, 2019, 6:58 pm

For all the weeping and gnashing of teeth, I had The Macallan Rare Cask a few years back. It was spectacular. Now, $299/bottle spectacular? I dunno. But the bartender giving you a nip for free? Quite spectacular indeed.
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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#14 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » February 8th, 2019, 7:05 pm

I’m fond of it, I got a bottle as a wedding present and have been enjoying it.

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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#15 Post by M.Kaplan » February 9th, 2019, 6:50 pm

$300 for a NAS Macallan? No thanks.
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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#16 Post by Mark Maddox » February 10th, 2019, 5:54 am

Not really a scotch guy but curious as to the distilleries that have not gone the way of Macallan and are still making a good product?

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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#17 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » February 10th, 2019, 5:55 am

A lot of Kilchoman's whiskies are NAS.

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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#18 Post by Brian Tuite » February 10th, 2019, 7:01 am

It’s Millennials, they’re ruining Whiskey!
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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#19 Post by ybarselah » February 10th, 2019, 8:11 am

M.Kaplan wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 8:01 pm
The good old days weren’t good, just old. Very, very few things were better then than now. Whisky is one of those very, very few things.
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Re: Why do old Macallan 18's sell for so much ?

#20 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » February 10th, 2019, 2:38 pm

Mark Maddox wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 5:54 am
Not really a scotch guy but curious as to the distilleries that have not gone the way of Macallan and are still making a good product?

There is a lot of good information here:

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=133291

And here:

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=115453

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