According to John Hansell writing in Malt Advocate, Frank Newlands took a sample of the "original" 1874 Macallan and then attempted to replicate it. Hansell (who was at the launch of the replicant, as a guest of Macallan *BEFORE* the takeover by Highland) added:
"Everyone agreed it was a splendid whisky, and an impressive achievement by Frank Newlands. It is magnificently presented in a specially commissioned bottle, the same as the one used in 1874, with a driven cork (a stopper cork is provided, so you don't have to drink the bottle at a sitting!) and a label of similar design to the original."
Yet Robert Rensch of Remy Amerique, Brand manager for The Macallan in US, told www.beveragebusiness.com/art-arch.mmbrad02.html (*AFTER* the takeover)
"[David]Robertson took a small sample of the whisky, nosed it and made all sorts of taste profile notes... then... tried to recreate that exact same style of whisky. It was released in its original 1874 vintage packaging..."
So - the whole story gets even odder. There is some doubt over the identities (nay, the very existence!) of some of the bottlers of the "original" vintage Macallans.
And now it seems that there's even confusion over who was responsible for creating at least one of the replicants!
You couldn't make this up.
But there's more.
(involving Turkey, Italian dealers, clandestine meetings in lounge bar of Elgin's Mansefield Hotel, and the cream of Scotch whisky journalism!)
Watch this space, as they say in all the best gossip columns....