Wednesday, November 16, 2022


The Macallan, has today launched a global campaign film which celebrates the extraordinary woman behind its most valuable single malt whisky.

The short biopic reveals the real-life story of former Managing Director, Janet Harbinson, who crafted the now legendary Macallan Fine & Rare 1926.

Emily Mortimer in the role of Janet Harbinson

Janet Harbinson, known as ‘Nettie’ is a key figure in The Macallan’s history. In 1918, just months before the end of the First World War, her husband Alexander, who had been running the distillery, sadly passed.

Janet, was committed to the local community and following his death, she assumed control of the distillery as it was the best way to secure The Macallan for its employees and help the community. Through her passion and care for those around her and her dedication to craftsmanship, she kept the business afloat and helped to rebuild the local area.

The Macallan Fine & Rare 1926, fetched £1.5m at Sotheby’s in 2019. Several years on, it continues to be the world’s most valuable bottle of wine or spirit ever sold at auction. 

To create the short film, which stars British-American actress Emily Mortimer in the role of Nettie, The Macallan collaborated with an array of leading creative talent including acclaimed director Mike Newell, and screenwriter Allan Scott.

Commenting on the news, Jaume Ferras, Global Creative Director for The Macallan and a producer of the film, said: “We uncovered Janet Harbinson’s story when researching the background to The Macallan Fine & Rare 1926 and we knew we had to share it as soon as we learned of her role in its distillation and maturation, as well as the deep influence she had on the future development of the brand. At its heart, this is a love story; it celebrates the love that Nettie had for her husband, her love for the local community, her love for nature and her love for the family business. She cared deeply about others and was determined to use her position at The Macallan to enrich the lives of those around her.”

The Spirit of 1926, will be screened in select cinemas around the world and is available to view at from November 16th.

Posted by Steve Rush