A man’s home is his castle, incomplete without a wet bar stocked with all the potables necessary to satiate a king and his court. And king among spirits is single-malt Scotch whisky, the top-shelf showpiece by which a man’s bar is judged. It’s a work of craftsmanship and art that frequently commands a price that far exceeds the sum of its malt.
Keep that in mind before you scoff at the $2,750 per bottle asking price of The Macallan’s soon-to-be-released very-limited-production run of single-cask single malts dubbed the Masters of Photography: Annie Leibovitz Edition. There will be 1,000 bottles total available of four different single-cask Macallan vintage Scotches, each adorned with an Annie Leibovitz photograph on the label and accompanied by a print signed by the photographer.
The star subject of the famed Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair portraitist’s series is Scottish actor Kevin McKidd. You’ll know him from the delightful cult sci-fi/horror flick “Dog Soldiers,” and the well-sexed HBO series “Rome.” Your lady friends will recognize him from “Grey’s Anatomy.” Previous installments of The Macallan photography series have featured Scottish Polaroid specialist Rankin ($1,300 per bottle) and Scottish nude photographer Albert Watson ($1,000 to $16,000 each). To have a chance at purchasing one of the Leibovitz rarities (justify the price by chalking it up to supporting a starving artist), you’ll have to preregister at themastersofphotography.com.
“The Gallery” comes from Sherry Butt cask No. 12,251. Made in 1989, it’s perfumed with burnished oak accented with orange and dates. The fruit and raisin flavors border on sweet, but the finish stays dry.
“The Bar” was made in 1991 and resided in Sherry Oak Puncheon cask No. 7,023 until it was bottled. Nutmeg and clove come to mind on the nose, with oaky cinnamon rounding out the smooth finish.
By far the lightest of the four special-edition Macallans, “The Skyline” was made in 1996 and aged in American Oak cask No. 10,019. The nose offers fresh-cut wood, lemon and vanilla aromas, with mouthcoating oak, cinnamon and toffee on the palate.
“The Library” is the most exclusive of the foursome, with just 145 bottles made from Sherry Oak Hoghead cask No. 14,007. Made in 1995, it offers aromas of raisin, citrus and oak with toasted, dried fruits on the palate.