The Macallan says that it expects to have the results of scientific analysis at any time, following a year-long wait that has left collectors frustrated and suspicious.
Critics have viewed The Macallan’s delays as stalling tactics following a feature by Dave Broom in Whisky Magazine, which at the start of 2003 identified a growing trade in faked antique whisky.
Since then The Macallan has declined to comment on the issue pending analysis of some of its antique collection by Britain’s top laboratory.
But a growing number of Macallan enthusiasts have questioned the time the tests have taken.
Commenting on the delays, David Cox, director, fine and rare whiskies at Macallan said: “The laboratory in Oxford is considered the best at this type of analysis, and they are inundated with samples and requests from any number of different parties. This process has been made longer for us because we wanted to ensure that the applied methodology would give us a good steer on the approximate age of the whisky age (is it ‘old’ or ‘modern’), even if it will not be accurate enough to give us the actual year or even decade.
“For that reason we submitted samples of our Macallan whiskies of known age, as control samples, to validate the methodology. These samples joined the queue for analysis at the laboratory and were duly analysed; on the basis of the findings, which gave us the degree of comfort we were looking for, we then selected a cross section of 19th century bottlings and have since submitted these for analysis.
“We are committed to this whole process to enable us to fully determine the authenticity of all the components of these bottlings. We are fully committed to get to the heart of the matter and re-assure all our customers around the world that we have taken all feasible steps to investigate the authenticity of these bottles.”
The statement, made at the beginning of March, predicted that the results were expected “in a couple of month’ – that is, early May. Any developments will be posted on this website.