The color was inspired by the complexity of the whisky-making process—and no, it’s not brown.

By Bridget Hallinan
Updated September 16, 2019
Courtesy of The Macallan.

This past July, the Pantone Color Institute—behind the “Color of the Year”—collaborated with LG Electronics to create a café featuring four of the institute’s trending summer 2019 colors, Pink Peacock, Turmeric, Aspen Gold, and Pepper Stem. Dubbed Café OLED, the experience included food and drinks inspired by the aforementioned colors, with bright pink and gold lattes, as well pastries, cake pops, and cake balls created specially for the café by Flour Shop’s Amirah Kassem. While the experience was only a three-day pop-up, it doesn’t mark the end of Pantone’s food and beverage collaborations. On September 16, The Macallan announced a new single malt whisky, Edition No. 5, which is a nod to "the diversity and complexity of the natural colors of The Macallan whiskies”—to match, the brand collaborated with Pantone to create a new shade that celebrates the whisky’s 100 percent natural color.

“We can find much common ground between whisky making and color creation and with Edition No. 5 we have been able to explore and celebrate these two art forms,” said Sarah Burgess, The Macallan whisky maker, said in a statement. “Whilst color development starts with mixing basic colors with precision to achieve different shades, for whisky making, it is the knowledge and understanding of a specific palette of colors from the cask which is the starting point.”

While you might expect a whisky-inspired color to lean amber or golden to match the spirit, the two companies actually settled on purple—The Macallan Edition Purple, as it's called—because it’s “the rainbow’s most complex color” and thus felt fitting to represent the complex whisky making process. Edition No. 5’s actual color has been described as “sunlit barley,” which was created by the American oak casks the whisky was aged in. As for the tasting notes? Per The Macallan, expect an aroma of “vanilla and toffee with notes of oak, nutmeg and ginger and lemon basil and pear;” the taste is considered to be fresh and sweet with notes of caramel and pear, which then transitions into a “toffee sweetness with light oak spices.”

The whisky will hit U.S. and “select global” markets starting in September, priced at $120 per bottle. New Yorkers will also find a three-day pop-up exhibit at The Oculus—The Macallan Whisky & Color Experience—which will show visitors how The Macallan Edition Purple was inspired by The Macallan’s whisky making process. If you’re 21 and over, you can participate, with the opportunity to taste the new whisky and enjoy a snack, too—you can sign up on The Macallan website to pre-register for the event and get priority access.

The Macallan Whisky & Color Experience will take place at The Oculus between September 18 and September 20, from 1 pm-7 pm. Find out more at