14th January 2021, London: In 1943 when Bill Samuels Sr. walked away from the whisky founded by his great, great grandfather by burning the only copy of 170 year old family recipe, he set off to personally create a whisky that he could proudly share with his friends and family. Collaborating with his wife Margie Samuels, their result was Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky.
To continue the tradition of proudly sharing this great tasting whisky with our friends and family, we are delighted to share the news that the award-winning UK bartender and drinks expert Nicole Sykes has joined Edrington Beam Suntory UK as Maker’s Mark Diplomat.
Nicole brings 5 years’ experience to the Bourbon Whisky brand, working in some of the world’s most iconic bars in London and Edinburgh including Lyaness, Voodoo Rooms and most recently at Satan’s Whiskers, one of the world’s leading independent cocktail bars.
Nicole has also received numerous awards and accolades for her creativity and commitment to quality. Nicole’s passion for handmade cocktails and crafted American whisky will be key to sharing Maker’s Mark remarkable story.
Commenting on Maker’s Mark new role Nicole Sykes said: “The most compelling part for me is the genuine story behind Maker’s Mark. Each step of the process has its purpose and is there to create the best tasting Bourbon Whisky. It’s much like when bartenders create cocktails, each ingredient and method is well thought out. We don’t use the cheapest or quickest methods; we use the best methods to achieve the best taste experience.”
In her new role, Nicole will share the unique hand-crafted story of Maker’s Mark with bartenders and Bourbon Whisky enthusiasts across the UK. She will also work to support the on-trade during their transition back into service as restrictions loosen in the coming weeks.
Nick Temperley, General Manager for London at Edrington-Beam Suntory UK also commented: “We are extremely excited to have Nicole join the team here at Maker’s Mark. Having proven herself as an outstanding bartender in some of London’s best bars, she will now bring her own sense of fun, energy and cocktail experience to help us grow our remarkable bourbon whisky and support all our customers in 2021.”
For more information visit: www.makersmark.com
The Macallan has unveiled The Red Collection, an exquisite range of distinguished and rare single malt Scotch whiskies which captures The Macallan’s deep respect for tradition and craftsmanship.
Inspired by the significance of the colour red throughout the history of the brand, The Red Collection features a carefully curated selection of ongoing aged expressions and high aged guest releases.
At the heart of The Red Collection is The Macallan 40 Years Old, The Macallan 50 Years Old and The Macallan 60 Years Old. These remarkable single malts, which will anchor the range, are the oldest ongoing expressions ever offered by The Macallan and will be available in limited quantities globally.
From time to time they will be joined by special high aged guest releases, commencing with The Macallan 71 Years Old, The Macallan 74 Years Old and The Macallan 78 Years Old. These incredibly rare single malts are among the world’s oldest Scotch whiskies, with The Macallan 74 Years Old and The Macallan 78 Years Old being the oldest bottlings ever released in the history of the brand.
Together they showcase the pursuit of uncompromised excellence for which The Macallan is renowned and reveal the legacy of craftsmanship, innovation and knowledge that sustains The Macallan to this day.
An extremely rare, complete set of The Red Collection is set to be auctioned by Sotheby’s after being gifted by The Macallan to raise funds for food charity, City Harvest, which redistributes surplus from the food industry to vulnerable people across London. The Sotheby’s auction runs from 22 October to 31 October 2020.
Distilled decades ago, in The Macallan’s signature curiously small copper stills, each peerless expression in The Red Collection has been matured in The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks under the watchful eye of several generations of whisky makers. Over time, these astonishing single malt whiskies have slowly been shaped and influenced by the carefully selected casks to deliver extraordinarily elegant aged whiskies.
The colour red has deep and long-standing significance for The Macallan. The red thread begins with Alexander Reid, the farmer and teacher who founded The Macallan in 1824. His surname means ‘the red one’ in Scots and was originally associated with red hair.
In 1903, owner Roderick Kemp launched The Macallan Choice Old range. It was reportedly shipped in cases labelled with distinctive red print to distinguish it from The Macallan’s existing whiskies, which featured black labelling.
And almost eight decades later, in 1980, red was to feature strongly in the release of The Macallan’s then oldest vintages, dated 1938, 1940 and 1950. Allan Shiach, chairman of The Macallan at that time, tied a red ribbon around the sought-after bottlings to denote their age and value.
The three characters now feature in a remarkable animated film created to introduce The Red Collection in collaboration with celebrated Spanish painter and illustrator Javi Aznarez. The Spanish creator is acclaimed for his striking graphic art which has featured in several Hollywood films, including respected director Wes Anderson’s upcoming feature, The French Dispatch, and was also instrumental in the storyboard development for ‘Greta’ by director Neil Jordan in 2018.
The animation is set to music recorded by Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, one of the world’s most influential classical artists of today.
Javi Aznarez said: “When a brand like The Macallan, which has been making whisky for nearly 200 years, asks you to draw red for them, to explain what red means to them, it’s quite a challenge. Alexander Reid – The Red, Allan Shiach, and Roderick Kemp are some of the people that have led The Macallan to excellence.
“What I like about The Macallan is that the colour of their whisky is natural. It’s the cask that, little by little, over time, paints this whisky.
“I think that The Macallan and I value time very much. I need plenty of time to do my drawings and they need years to achieve the excellence of this whisky.”
Each expression in The Red Collection is encased in an exquisite oak presentation box created from the same sustainable European oak used to craft The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks. The boxes are beautifully upholstered with sustainably sourced soft red leather from Scottish supplier Bridge of Weir Leather, which creates upholstery for leading luxury car brands across the globe.
A bespoke handcrafted case that can house the trio of ongoing or guest releases has also been developed by Scottish artisan furniture and objet d’art manufacturer, Method Design Studio. Based in Linlithgow, near Edinburgh, Method utilises traditional craftsmanship and skills to create one-off commissions for some of the world’s top luxury brands.
Each of the ongoing releases in The Red Collection has been hand finished and signed by Kirsteen Campbell, who was appointed Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan in 2019 and is the first woman to occupy the role in the history of the brand which spans almost 200 years. Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker for The Macallan, has signed the initial guest releases.
Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan, said: “Created from some of the world’s oldest and rarest casks it is an incredible privilege to have crafted The Red Collection, the pinnacle of The Macallan’s portfolio.
“It’s thanks to the foresight of previous custodians of The Macallan, who laid down and aged these extraordinary casks, that we have been able to curate such a remarkable selection of whiskies.
“Each precious drop offers a unique opportunity to explore The Macallan’s whisky making legacy. The incredible elegance and rich flavours of the expressions that form The Red Collection are a direct result of the craftsmanship, knowledge and skills nurtured by our master whisky makers, past and present.”
The Macallan Red Collection will be available from Harrods, The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and other selected specialist retailers from 15 October 2020.
The Red Collection will have an RRSP as follows:
The Macallan 40 Years Old – £11,300
The Macallan 50 Years Old – £37,500
The Macallan 60 Years Old – £49,000
The Macallan 71 Years Old – £58,500
The Macallan 74 Years Old – £61,500
The Macallan 78 Years Old – £65,500
For further information visit www.themacallan.com
The Macallan has released Double Cask 15 Years Old and Double Cask 18 Years Old in a significant expansion of the highly successful range.
First introduced in 2016 with The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old, the enticing collection is formed from a harmonious union of American and European oak sherry seasoned casks. Together they combine to create a perfectly balanced single malt Scotch whisky with a distinctive warm character that is punctuated with a contemporary soft sweetness.
Double Cask tells the story of a journey which brings together two different worlds. The voyage begins in the vast green forests of northern Spain and the French Pyrenees, where The Macallan sources its European oak. New oak from the lush forests of Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky in America is also transported thousands of miles to Spain, where both types of oak are hand crafted into casks that are filled with sherry.
Once seasoned, the casks are shipped to The Macallan Estate on Speyside where they are filled with new-make spirit. Following years of slumber, The Macallan’s Whisky Mastery Team use their skill and expertise to select the best balance of spirit from both the American and European oak sherry seasoned casks to create Double Cask.
The result is a perfect partnership, with the sherry seasoned American oak imparting delicate flavours of vanilla, while the European oak delivers the subtle and unmistakeable spice and classic style of The Macallan.
The incredible wood journey which underpins Double Cask was recently showcased by a collaboration with iconic Magnum photographer Steve McCurry, who travelled across continents to witness The Macallan’s decisive story unfold. His exclusive photographic journal documents the people, places, skills and processes involved in the production of The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks.
The new expressions will significantly enhance the existing Double Cask range, which lies at the heart of The Macallan’s portfolio of single malts and is a popular choice with whisky lovers around the world.
Displaying a golden butterscotch hue, The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old imparts aromas of dried fruit, toffee and vanilla, and delivers a warming finish with a creamy mouthfeel.
The Macallan Double Cask 18 Years Old has a rich amber honey tone, and imparts notes of dried fruits, ginger and toffee. A warm oak spice finish is balanced by citrus flavours of sweet orange.
Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker, The Macallan, said: “Bringing together American and European oak sherry seasoned casks to achieve the perfect balance of flavours is incredibly exciting for the Whisky Mastery Team, and we are proud to offer two new expressions to this distinctive range for The Macallan Double Cask fans to explore.
“With Double Cask 15 Years Old, the delicate and indulgent flavours of American oak including honey, citrus and chocolate balance The Macallan’s more traditional characteristics of rich fruits, sherry and wood spice. The Macallan Double Cask 18 Years Old offers slightly more complexity, with rich raisin and sultana subtly balanced by warming oak spice.
“Oak influence is the single greatest contributor to the quality, natural colour and distinctive aromas and flavours at the heart of The Macallan’s single malts.”
The new Double Cask expressions demonstrate The Macallan’s enduring desire to go beyond the ordinary, to seek out the extraordinary, and create peerless single malts.
The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old has an RRP of £100 and The Macallan Double Cask 18 Years Old has an RRP of £250. They will be available from specialist retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt and The Whisky Shop.
For further information visit www.themacallan.com
The Macallan has appointed Kirsteen Campbell, renowned throughout the industry for her expertise and knowledge, as Master Whisky Maker for its Single Malt Whisky.
She will lead a newly strengthened Whisky Mastery Team, enhanced to continue delivering the outstanding quality, natural colour and distinctive aromas and flavours of The Macallan.
The team now also incorporates the role of Master of Wood to reflect the complete whisky making process and the vital influence of wood on the character of The Macallan whisky. It seamlessly combines innovation with craftsmanship and heritage to continue The Macallan’s commitment to exceptional quality since 1824.
The six-strong Whisky Mastery Team includes: Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker; Stuart MacPherson, Master of Wood; Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker; Polly Logan, Whisky Maker; Steven Bremner, Whisky Maker; and Russell Greig, Sample Room Assistant.
Its formation will formally see maturation and whisky making working hand in hand from the very beginning of the journey to bring out the best of spirit and wood. It will additionally secure the legacy of almost two centuries of whisky making heritage, by bringing together the next generation of whisky makers with The Macallan’s most experienced and skilled craftsmen and women. As part of the new approach, apprentices with natural sensory talent will learn the art of whisky making from the depth and breadth of experience within the Whisky Mastery Team.
Originally from Thurso in the Highlands, Kirsteen is the first woman to become The Macallan Master Whisky Maker in its long-standing history spanning almost 200 years. She will transition to the position from her current role within the brand’s parent company Edrington.
Embarking on her journey into the industry in 2001 with a degree in Food Science, Kirsteen worked in a new make spirits laboratory, where she discovered her passion for Scotch whisky and her extraordinary sense of smell.
Kirsteen joined Edrington in 2007 as a Whisky Quality Technologist and progressed her career to her most recent roles within for Cutty Sark, Naked Grouse, The Famous Grouse and The Glenrothes. She holds a Diploma in Distilling and has also worked at the Scotch Whisky Research Institute.
Kirsteen’s appointment and The Macallan’s enhanced focus on the art and science of whisky making and mastery of the team marks the next chapter in the history of the world-renowned single malt whisky. It follows a landmark year in 2018, which saw the opening of The Macallan Distillery Experience on Speyside, designed by internationally acclaimed architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and paves the way for the brand’s 200th anniversary in 2024.
Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker, The Macallan, said: “I feel a real sense of honour and pride to be entrusted as the custodian of The Macallan, charged with leading the Whisky Mastery Team in the creation of The Macallan’s remarkable single malt whiskies. Having been a part of the wider Edrington whisky making team for over a decade, I’m really looking forward to working more closely with the team at The Macallan.
“The Macallan is at the pinnacle of whisky making across the globe and the Whisky Mastery Team will combine the whisky makers’ depth and breadth of skills and experience to drive forward The Macallan legacy for the future.”
Igor Boyadjian, Managing Director, The Macallan, said: “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Kirsteen Campbell to the position of Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan. Kirsteen will join the Whisky Mastery Team and together they will use their skills and craft to continue to create and enhance our exceptional portfolio of whiskies.
“The appointment of Kirsteen and investment in the future legacy of The Macallan, with the strengthening of the Whisky Mastery Team, comes at an incredibly exciting time as The Macallan continues to cement its position as one of the world’s leading single malt whiskies. In the wake of the first anniversary of the new distillery, The Macallan is experiencing continued global growth and success, enjoying growing demand in new markets.”
For further information, visit www.themacallan.com
HIGHLAND PARK is proud to introduce VALKYRIE Special Edition single malt Scotch whisky.
In partnership with renowned Danish designer Jim Lyngvild, VALKYRIE is the first in a series of three VIKING LEGEND releases inspired by rich Viking history and mythology.
Having once been part of Denmark and Norway, Orkney became the raiding headquarters for Norwegian Vikings in the 8th and 9th century, shaping a unique past for the island. Magnus Eunson, who founded Highland Park in 1798, was a direct descendent of those first Viking pioneers. Even today, 1 in 3 Orkney islanders bear Scandinavian DNA and share a fierce pride for the rich Nordic ancestry woven into the islands’ traditions and culture.
It is this enduring culture and legacy that is the inspiration for VALKYRIE, set to launch in April 2017.
Highland Park approached Danish designer Jim Lyngvild, himself a modern day Viking and expert in Norse mythology, to design striking new packaging for the three special edition whiskies.
Valkyrie’s unique one-off design is inspired by two important Nordic sources – a typical Viking pendant from around 300-700AD discovered in Uppland, Sweden and the ancient Hammar Stone of Gotland which details the epic journey of the Valkyries,
In his distinctive style, Lyngvild has interpreted the ancient legend of the Valkyries – avenging horse-backed angels who combed the battlefields for the bravest of their fallen warriors – in an expressive, story-telling illustration for Highland Park.
Noticeably different from the traditional black and silver Highland Park packaging, the re-imagined design maintains the distillery’s ongoing references to Viking design whilst updating the graphics with a bolder, hand-drawn aesthetic.
Using embossed metallic detailing, he represents the Valkyries as shield-maidens of Odin, offering their god a drink of mead from a curved horn. The larger illustration features a winged Valkyrie with coiled hair and a necklace that pays homage to the goddess Freya’s magical Brísingamen torc (necklace).
Jason Craig, Highland Park brand director, added: “We’ve enjoyed delving deeper into Orkney’s history and heritage for the Viking Legend series, culminating in this exciting new collaboration with bona fide 21st century Viking Jim Lyngvild. Jim’s knowledge about Viking history and the Viking way of life is rich in detail.
“The whisky itself, created by our Master Whisky Maker, Gordon Motion, dials up more of our smoky notes by incorporating more of our heathery peated malt. This creates a richer, fuller phenolic note that has balance due to the sweeter, heathery character of our moorland peat but it is a slight departure from our core 12 Year Old whisky.”
Issued by Big Partnership on behalf of Maxxium UK
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