Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

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Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Exciseman » 06 Feb 2009, 23:36

Back in 2001 or 2001 (I can't remember which), Michael Martin became the first Catholic Speaker of the House of Commons since the Reformation.

He was then (and presumably still is) a teetotaller to boot, having moved on from his days of under-age drinking in Glasgow.

On his appointment, 16 friends selected a 10 year old Macallan Single Malt to be his official whisky. It was duly bottle by Macallan (ie an OB) under the name "Speaker Martin's" Both the bottle label and the box have illustrations of bagpipes, reflecting Michael Martin's love of piping.

"Speaker Martin's" isn't available outside the Palace of Westminster. Indeed, it isn't even available in the main public gift shot within Westminster. Rather, only from the tiny private Members' shop in the Commons.

I'm hoping (fingers doubly crossed) to soon secure some bottles of this rare expression. What's more, I'm hoping (toes doubly crossed as well) that the labels will be signed personally by Mr Speaker.

If I get them, they'll make absolutely fab. gifts. I'll also keep one bottle back for little old me.

Here's hoping!
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby martin grant » 06 Feb 2009, 23:44

Sounds great Tim. We all fingers crossed for you that you can grab a bottle or two of this. We'd love to see some tasting notes for a bottle like this

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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Willie JJ » 06 Feb 2009, 23:57

I'd rather see a sample :)
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Nick Brown » 07 Feb 2009, 00:11

I presume it is standard Macallan 10yo with a different label. I remember the previous Speaker's Choice - Glendullan. It was a dull 'un. But that was packaged without any identification of origin, whereas the Macallan is quite overtly Macallan.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Malt-Teaser » 07 Feb 2009, 09:07

Tim,
this bottling may not be generally available now, but when it was first released it was available everywhere. There is quite a lot of it about. I had a bottle but sold it during the Summer as part of my fund-raising efforts.

Like all special edition Macallans I would expect this to rise in price over time, but this particular one is taking longer than most, probably because there are so many around.

As for signed, that's a different story.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Exciseman » 07 Feb 2009, 11:16

Quite a fair few bottles have indeed reached the secondary market over the years, but I'm only aware of one retail outlet that's ever sold it (ie the Private Members' shop in the House of Commons).

It's about two years still I lasted opened a bottle (yes, Martin - I have tried it). For sure, it was a sherried Macallan. Delicious. I've not tasted enough expressions to know if it was identical to the normal Macallan 10yo.

One thing that I don't know is whether it's bottled year-on-year by Macallan, or whether the distillery supplied a one-off finite batch. I'm guessing probably the latter.

It is very, very reasonably priced !!!!!

There's a parallel bottling for the House of Lords (no, nothing to do with the blend of the same name. The Lords' private bottling by Chivas is of an unspecified 10yo Highland Single Malt. Last time that I got some (all given away as pressies), it was less than £17 a bottle.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Nick Brown » 07 Feb 2009, 11:28

Michael Martin chose the Speaker's Malt in 2001. Nobody knows how long he will remain as Speaker. Therefore it would be improbable, to say the least, that the Palace of Westminster would have bought a finite batch of Speaker's Malt.

I'm sure the Palace of Westminster will have a contract with Edrington to get supplies whenever they need it. This will be easy for Edrington to do as I'm sure this is just a regular 10yo Macallan with different labels and boxes. The prestige of the contract would have Edrington jumping through hoops to keep the Palace of Westminster happy and supplied.

I had heard from a source I trust that the House of Lords is/was Edradour. Most House of Commons/House of Lords products are not identifiable, which makes me think that the Macallan deal is something quite special that both parties to the contract value highly.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby C57 » 07 Feb 2009, 13:14

House of Lords certainly used to be Edradour. Not sure if it still is...
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Exciseman » 07 Feb 2009, 16:29

I've asked Macallan whether "Speaker Martin's" was a one-off bottling in 2001 or is supplied regularly to this day. I've also asked whether it's the 'bog standard' sherried 10 year old with different packaging. But really, all this detail matters not. It makes great pressies. Also, popular with Macallan freaks.

I bought three or four bottles of the "House of Lords Highland 10yo", which I think was about £17 a bottle. All gone now. At the time, I did contact Edradour Distillery and they denied that it had come from there. I also contacted Chivas, who are/were the bottler. They were saying nothing. Wherever it came from, it was a very decent dram.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Malt-Teaser » 07 Feb 2009, 23:59

Tim, I bought mine on the open market some years ago. I may even have bought it from TWE, but I can't remember. It was certainly available in many retail shops for quite some time.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Exciseman » 08 Feb 2009, 12:35

To be fair, I've seen the odd bottle or two of "Speaker Martin's" in specialist whisky shops. For example, Vintage House in Soho had a bottle once. But I'd venture that it was not stock purchased through the normal Macallan supply chain. Rather, the odd bottle acquired here and there at auction, from a friend of a friend, or through someone at the Commons.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Nick Brown » 08 Feb 2009, 13:18

I used to work for a Member of Parliament - apologies if I'm telling people what they already know.

There is a large range of House of Commons souvenirs and whilst they are not easily available to the general public, they are sold in pretty good volume. Visitors to events at the Palace tend to walk out with armfuls of the stuff. MPs buy tons of the stuff for raffles, fundraising events and presents back in their constituency. Staff at the Palace buy presents for friends and relatives - and their own consumption. Ministers buy stuff for their civil servants, either as raffle prizes or as Christmas presents for Private Office staff. Many of the souvenirs end up with signatures, either of MPs, Ministers, Party Leaders or even the Prime Minister. I think Labour MPs have an annual allocation of PM signed stuff.

Now much of this material will end up being used or consumed, but there will still be quite a lot of it knocking around. I guess the trick is to get stuff signed by those who don't hold office for long. A Tony Blair signed bottle of whisky would be quite common - he was in office for 10 years. A Gordon Brown one would be rarer - he has only been in office for a year and a half. But the longer he stays on, the less rare his stuff will become.

But overall, people would be surprised by the sheer volume of stuff the gift shops sell.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Exciseman » 08 Feb 2009, 16:21

OK, I'm wrong - as usual lol.

By the way, House of Commons choc-covered mints are theeeee best. Scrummy, albeit a little dear.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Nick Brown » 08 Feb 2009, 16:25

I don't think I've disagreed with anything you've said - lol
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Exciseman » 23 Feb 2009, 18:43

Progress is slow on this little project. Seemingly, my contact has bought a few bottles on my behalf. They're now in the Speaker's Office awaiting signing. Thence, just a matter of getting them to me intact.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Tim F » 24 Feb 2009, 13:40

We've had Speaker Martin's for longer than I've been at TWE, but I don't think we've ever had a signed one. I do have an amusing tale about a visiting VIP who wanted a bottle of House of Lords whisky signed by a certain disgraced Tory peer whose books he greatly admired, but I probably shouldn't share that here.

Coincidentally, when I first rocked up to London in 2000 I was working as assistant manager at the Oddbins on Victoria St (it's a Phones 4U these days, nothing to do with me, honest).

My manager at the time was a troubled character (that's putting it politely), but had managed to secure the HOC account for own-label champagne and HOC whisky. The champagne was relabelled Heidsieck Monopole, the whisky was relabelled James Martin 8yo and the volume was phenomenal. We were sending about a pallet of the champagne and 150 bottles of the whisky over every Monday morning, smashing our weekly targets (which had been set before we got the account) with our first sale of the week - which was a lifesaver, as assistant managers in those days (and probably now I shouldn't wonder) had a salary of about 9k, didn't get paid for overtime and had to live off their monthly bonus. So Thank You HOC, without whom I probably wouldn't have been able to get through my first 6 months in London.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Exciseman » 24 Feb 2009, 22:16

Edrington have kindly confirmed that "Speaker Martin's Single Malt" is indeed the 'standard' 10yo sherried Macallan, except with different labelling and packaging. This makes sense, as the House of Commons shop price of £28 is almost identical to the supermarket price for Macallan 10yo.

It is supplied to the House of Commons by Edrington as requested. Seemingly, the special packaging will shortly be changing, to bring it more in line with Macallan core packaging. So, I picked a good time to stock up before the change.

Tim - Yes, I've just seen unsigned "Speaker Martin's" on the TWE website. An astonishingly reasonable £69.99 lol. Sorry, how naughty am I lol. Although, to be fair, that pretty much mirrors the E-Bay secondary market value.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Nick Brown » 24 Feb 2009, 23:56

My first job was in the House of Commons, and I'm happy to confirm that the House of Commons branded cigarettes were really Silk Cut in different packaging (and with a portcullis on the cigarette).
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Tim F » 25 Feb 2009, 03:44

Don't worry Exciseman, we don't charge more than the current ebay value - after all this very much a tourist thing which more than one person I know takes advantage of on ebay. The price there goes up towards £85 so I think we're a bargain. Of course the portcullis insignia and your bottle being signed makes all the difference between that and a real bottle of 10yo.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Nick Brown » 25 Feb 2009, 09:53

Tim F wrote:Of course the portcullis insignia and your bottle being signed makes all the difference between that and a real bottle of 10yo.

Portcullis and mace, please. This is the Speaker's insignia, not any old tatty Palace of Westminster branding.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Tim F » 25 Feb 2009, 11:19

Sorry, Nick. Unforgivable of me ;)

Next point - will the Speaker Martin Macallan be tainted by his implication in an expenses scandal and his reprehensible conduct in the Damian Green affair, or will his notoriety actually push the price up in the future??
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Nick Brown » 25 Feb 2009, 13:46

Tim F wrote:Sorry, Nick. Unforgivable of me ;)

Next point - will the Speaker Martin Macallan be tainted by his implication in an expenses scandal and his reprehensible conduct in the Damian Green affair, or will his notoriety actually push the price up in the future??

Without Googling - try to name the previous three Speakers...

...I can only manage two, and that's the kind of trivia that particularly interests me. The point is, people do not remember former Speakers in the same way they remember former Prime Ministers. It's the office that endures, not the office holder. Michael Martin's reputation - good, bad or indifferent - will soon be forgotten when he demits office and I imagine it will have no bearing on the value of his signature.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Tim F » 25 Feb 2009, 13:54

I can't remember any of them, Nick - but then again, I don't think any of the previous three were caught defrauding the taxpayer of 75 grand for a non-existent mortgage :lol:

You are absolutely right about the value of the whisky, of course. The fact that it's a Macallan is what gives it its value, whatever that may be.
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby C57 » 25 Feb 2009, 15:14

Betty Boothroyd and Bernard Weatherill... and the previous one was <something> Thomas
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Re: Speaker Martin's 10 Year Old Macallan Single Malt

Postby Exciseman » 25 Feb 2009, 21:38

It's only a bit of fun for me. Last time, I picked up two. One went in my drinks cabinet, to share with friends. The second eventually went on E-Bay, to dr-fray the cost of my trip to London. Oddly, it went to a Macallan collector who lived just a 'stone's throw' from the disillery
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