Spanning two continents and thousands of miles, the incredible wood journey undertaken to create The Macallan’s hand-crafted, sherry seasoned oak casks has been chronicled in extraordinary new detail by iconic Magnum photographer Steve McCurry.
His exclusive photographic journal, which is revealed in full for the first time, showcases the people, places and processes involved in the production of The Macallan’s exceptional oaks casks.
Crafted to unique specifications, The Macallan’s oak casks are the single greatest contributor to the outstanding quality, natural colour and distinctive aromas and flavours of The Macallan’s peerless single malts.
The images also provide a compelling new insight into the mastery of wood and spirit for which The Macallan has been renowned since 1824.
Steve McCurry said: “The thing I admire about The Macallan is their passion for craftsmanship, their excellence and their integrity for their processes.
“Sometimes you have to choose a different path – the one less taken – to go beyond hardship, to reach excellence.”
Firstly, the photographer, recognised as one of today’s finest image makers and synonymous with evocative colour photography, made the trip to the vast green forests of Northern Spain, the source of European oak for The Macallan casks. Then he journeyed to Jerez, Southern Spain where The Macallan’s casks are hand-crafted and seasoned with sherry – one of The Macallan’s defining strengths.
McCurry also travelled to Pennsylvania to discover the influence of American oak. Grown in the lush forests in the North East of the US, it is key to the unique flavour of The Macallan’s highly successful Double Cask range that balances both American and European sherry seasoned oak casks. After leaving America, these casks are also shipped to Jerez to be crafted into casks and filled with sherry, using the same traditional processes applied to the European oak.
When fully seasoned, each cask is transported to The Macallan Estate home to the award-winning Distillery on Speyside. It is then filled with the finest quality, new make spirit ready to be matured under the watchful eye of The Macallan Whisky Mastery Team.
As well as evoking the sights, sounds and even the smells of the forests where the oak trees that form The Macallan’s casks are grown, McCurry also reveals the mastery and commitment of those who craft The Macallan’s casks, including the coopers – professional cask makers – who spend many years learning and perfecting their art.
Stuart MacPherson, Master of Wood, The Macallan, said: “Steve McCurry is one of the world’s greatest documentary photographers and we are privileged that he has expertly captured The Macallan’s wood story through his incredible lens.
“Our people and their craftsmanship have defined The Macallan for almost 200 years and Steve’s outstanding images provide a unique insight into the intensive process of sourcing, crafting and seasoning our exceptional oak casks.
“With up to 80% of The Macallan’s final flavour and character determined by cask quality, Steve has recorded the painstaking commitment and attention to detail that we uphold to deliver the uncompromised excellence that lies at the heart of our brand.”
Steve McCurry’s interpretation of The Macallan’s wood journey is his latest partnership with The Macallan. It follows his previous work with the brand to document the build of The Macallan Distillery, alongside fellow Magnum photographers, in 2018.
For further information visit www.themacallan.com
Sales topped £71m over Christmas
Value grew +2.6% compared to the year previous
No.1 whisky in the No.1 spirits category with total whisky sales larger than both gin and vodka at £393m
The Famous Grouse enjoyed an outstanding Christmas in the UK off-trade, with sales topping £71m – making it the number one whisky in the UK.*
The whisk(e)y category in total was valued at £393 million, larger than both vodka and gin making The Famous Grouse the number one whisky in the number one category this Christmas.*
While The Famous Grouse has a long-standing streak as the UK’s favourite whisky, the brand has returned to No.1 Whisk(e)y by value this Christmas. The Scotch blend reports +2.6% value growth over the festive period compared to the previous year, in turn, overtaking Jack Daniel’s. The US whiskey had held the top spot in 2018 but saw value drop -9.3%.
The news comes despite the wider blended Scotch category continuing to struggle, with value down -4.1% over Christmas.
Mark Riley, managing director, at Edrington-Beam Suntory UK says: “The Famous Grouse for years has been the UK’s favourite whisky and driving force behind the blended Scotch category, so we are delighted to have reclaimed our number one spot in the UK’s largest spirits category.
“It’s fantastic to see a Scotch back in the top spot, particularly for The Famous Grouse, where success has been driven by our strong equity, premiumisation and increased demand for smaller bottle sizes.”
Source: Nielsen ScanTrack, Off-Trade Total Coverage, 12wks To 04.01.2020.
The Amazon Exclusive Will Target Urban Drinkers With a Brand-new Addition to the Single Malt Category That’s ‘Better Shared’
Monday 11th November – Auchentoshan®, the urban malt inspired by the city of Glasgow, has today announced the launch of Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc, a new special edition whisky available exclusively on Amazon.
Available to purchase on 15th November (pre-order here), Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc is a unique combination of two worlds – the smooth triple distilled taste of Auchentoshan and the unique flavour of Sauvignon blanc casks that gives a fresh, vibrant take on Auchentoshan, setting out to reflect the ever-changing needs of the urban millennial.
The brand new urban malt is matured in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in Sauvignon Blanc Barrique casks, which gives it a distinct, smooth and high-quality taste. Distilled at 47% ABV, the result is a unique single malt that’s ‘best served chilled’ allowing the fresh flavours of citrus and apple to excite the pallete.
The release of Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc follows the recent announcement of the brand’s vibrant new look packaging and brand positioning, aiming to reach a new generation of whisky drinker who are looking for a smooth and exciting whisky to be enjoyed together with friends.
Eileen Livingston, Senior Director of Scotch Whisky for Beam Suntory, comments: “Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc is a unique innovation that disrupts the category and provides consumers with a drinking experience out of the norm. This enables us to connect with urban millennials who are looking to sample new expressions and shared experiences.”
Ron Welsh, Master Blender for Auchentoshan, says: “We set out to create a never-seen-before whisky on the market. Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc was crafted to be enjoyed chilled, allowing us to innovate on the key occasions when the product is shared.”
Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc tasting notes are included below:
Ex-Bourbon barrel matured, followed by Sauvignon Blanc Barrique finish
Subtle citric notes of white grapefruit with light sweetness of white peaches and green apple, light perfume of eglantine, honeysuckle, Scotch broom and Jasmine.
Lightly peppery with zesty notes, green grapes, light acacia honey and lemon curd, vanilla sweetness, lychees and honeydew melon, but also dried grass and hay notes.
The finish is hot and peppery with lingering notes of custard apple with a salty mouthfeel.
The limited edition whisky will be available as an e-commerce exclusive on Amazon from 15th November.
17th June 2019 – Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been awarded a total of seven medals at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, including a coveted Double Gold for its 18-year-old expression.
The medal haul, from one of the most significant global competitions, highlights Bowmore’s position as one of the top distilleries in the world, producing iconic single malts that continue to set the bar for the entire spirits industry.
The top awarded expression was Bowmore 18-year-old, which scooped the much-coveted Double Gold for its masterful combination of ripe fruit, dark chocolate and Islay smoke. Cosseted away in the finest, hand-selected oak casks and allowed to mature at its own sedate pace, this bottle is one of the most remarkable, perfectly balanced single malt scotch whiskies of its kind.
Gold medals were also awarded to Bowmore’s 12-year-old and 25-year-old expressions, demonstrating the breadth of quality in the distillery’s production from one of its youngest core offerings to one of its oldest.
The 12-year-old, which reflects the essence of Bowmore, is both complex and perfectly balanced with subtle lemon and sweet heather honey complementing Bowmore’s trademark peat smoke.
The 25-year-old offers a joyful union of toffee and hazelnut, bound together by sweet peat smoke. It is a whisky that has been patiently matured for a quarter of a century in North American bourbon and Spanish sherry casks and is exceptional even by Bowmore’s standards.
Alongside these awards for the core range, Bowmore’s 15-year-old and 18-year-old Travel Retail Exclusives also picked up gold medals.
Bowmore 15-year-old Travel Retail Exclusive is a golden and elegant whisky, exquisitely married in first fill Bourbon casks and hogsheads for a refreshing, inspired and uplifting character.
Bowmore 18-year-old Travel Retail Exclusive is deep and complex. Perfectly balanced, with a dignified maturity through time well spent in the depths of the finest Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks.
David Turner, Bowmore® Distillery Manager, comments: “San Francisco World Spirits Competition is one of the top awards for the industry so it’s an honour to have picked up so many medals across our range. To have been awarded Double Gold for our 18-year-old core expression is a moment I will forever be immensely proud of – it’s superb whisky and having it recognised like this really makes for a rewarding moment for everyone at the distillery.”
Alongside the Double Gold award and four Gold medals, Bowmore 15-year-old and Bowmore 10-year-old Travel Retail Exclusive also picked up Silver medals to round off an impressive showing from one of Scotland’s most esteemed distilleries.
Since its introduction in 2000, the SFWSC has become one of the most respected and influential spirits competitions in the world. And that means that the award is one of the most reliable and universal indications of spirits excellence.
The 2019 Competition was the biggest in its history, featuring more than 3,000 entries. Judges of the 2019 Competition were established spirits-industry experts, including: Anthony Dias Blue (Executive Director), author, editor, publisher, and one of the most influential food, wine, and spirits writers and lifestyle personalities in the U.S.A; Tony Abou-Ganim (Director of Judging), the Master-Mixologist, one of the leading pioneers of America’s craft cocktail movement; David Wondrich, James Beard Award–winning author and longtime
Spirits Writer for Esquire Magazine; Julie Reiner, the renowned bartender who has brought New York’s Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club rave reviews and top rankings among the best bars in the world; and Jeffrey Morgenthaler, of Clyde Common at Portland’s Ace Hotel, named America’s Bartender of the Year and the country’s Best Cocktail and Spirits Writer at the 2016 Spirited Award.
The robust judging process includes four days of highly controlled blind tastings, where the experienced judging panels taste every product to decide if it is medal-worthy. Judges do not receive any information on producer or price point, ensuring each spirit is judged fairly, equally, and without bias.
While tasting, judges evaluate each product on an individual basis—not compared to other entries in the flight. During this stage, judges determine which entries are worthy of a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal. Entries that receive a Gold medal from all judges on a panel earn a Double Gold award.
More information about the competition and the winners can be found here: http://sfspiritscomp.com/
Glen Scotia has introduced a new Limited Edition Rum Cask Finish Single Malt to celebrate its Campbeltown Malts Festival programme.
The festival, which was held last month, showcases all that is unique and special about single malts from the region. In the Victorian era the town was home to more than 30 distilleries and known as ‘whisky capital of the world’.
Today Glen Scotia is one of just three surviving local distilleries and its award-winning whiskies are known for their distinctive Campbeltown character.
To mark its biggest ever festival events programme, the distillery has released its Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival 2019 Limited Edition Rum Cask Finish.
A 2003 Vintage, this wonderfully peated single malt delivers sea spray and sweetness on the nose, with notes of melted brown sugar, pineapple and citrus fruits developing before delivering a long dry finish, with spice and sweet peat.
Non-chill filtered, it has been bottled at cask strength, 51.3% ABV, to ensure this exquisite single malt is enjoyed as nature intended. Around 9,500 bottles of this highly collectible limited edition release will be available worldwide.
Iain McAlister, Distillery Manager at Glen Scotia, said: “Our new limited edition rum cask single malt offers whisky fans something very special, bringing together the maritime influences associated with Campbeltown and the sweet, tropical notes of rum – another sea-faring spirit.
“As someone who was born and bred in Campbeltown, I am very proud of our distinctive history and heritage. I hope whisky lovers have fun discovering our latest exceptional single malt.”
Hundreds of visitors from all over the world took part in tours, tastings and more at Glen Scotia as part of its packed programme during the Campbeltown Malts Festival. Highlights included tastings at its historic dunnage warehouse and two sold-out whisky dinners held at the Ardshiel and Ugadale Hotels.
The distillery also hosted local MSP Michael Russell to launch its new campaign to recognise Campbeltown, the fifth and smallest of Scotland’s official malt-producing regions, as the ‘whiskiest place in the world’. Glen Scotia is has introduced new branding as part of the global campaign.
To find our more visit www.glenscotia.com.
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