Michael Urquhart, former managing director of family-owned Scotch whisky and premium spirits specialist Gordon & MacPhail, has been named 2021 president of the prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC).
The IWSC’s president represents the organisation’s objective to promote the production of quality wines and spirits throughout the world.
From the beginning, IWSC says it has placed special emphasis on the analysis and independence of its judging process and it is now one of the oldest and most respected industry competitions. It has hundreds of international experts – including buyers, producers, distillers, sommeliers, distributors and influencers – judging wines and spirits throughout the year.
Michael replaces 2020 president Tamara Roberts, CEO of English wine producer Ridgeview. He is the first Scotland-based president since former chair and chief executive of Edrington Sir Ian Good who held the position in 2009. Other iconic members of the wine and spirits industries who have been president include Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Wolf Blass, Robert Mondavi and Napa Valley winemaker, Warren Winiarski.
Michael retired as managing director of Elgin-based Gordon & MacPhail, the fourth-generation business owned by the Urquhart family, in 2014 and stepped down from the board in 2017 after serving over 36 years in the company. He travelled extensively throughout the world promoting single malt Scotch whisky bottled by Gordon & MacPhail and also from the family’s owned distillery, Benromach.
Becoming president of the IWSC adds to the many accolades Michael has received as a result of his dedication to the Scotch whisky industry. In 1999 he was made a Keeper of the Quaich and in 2012 a Master of the Quaich in recognition of services to the promotion of Scotch whisky worldwide. At the end of 2013, The Whisky Advocate, one of North America’s leading drinks publications presented Michael with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also inducted to the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame in 2014.
Michael Urquhart said: “It’s a real privilege, and I’m humbled, to be chosen as president of such a prestigious organisation as the IWSC. I believe this is a reflection of Gordon & MacPhail’s standing in the drinks industry and I thank all those involved in our family business for their support and contribution to our success over the years.
“I’ve always had the greatest respect for the IWSC and the excellent work it does in maintaining and developing the high-quality reputation of the global wine and spirits industry. I’m very much looking forward to getting behind the IWSC and ensuring it continues to work in the best interests of the entire industry.”
Christelle Guibert, IWSC CEO, said: “We’re delighted to be able to name Michael Urquhart as our new president. The president is chosen for their stature and reputation in the wine and spirits industry, and Michael perfectly fits this remit. He has dedicated his life to representing high quality sprits, in particular Scotch whisky, through his family’s business, Gordon & MacPhail. We’re sure Michael will continue to build the excellent, long-standing reputation of IWSC.”
Ewen Mackintosh, managing director at Gordon & MacPhail, said: “We have seen first-hand how hard Michael has worked for our family business and on behalf of the Scotch whisky industry as a whole. This is yet more well-deserved recognition for Michael, and Gordon & MacPhail, and we’re sure he will be an excellent president.”
The Macallan has unveiled Distil Your World: The London Edition, a unique limited edition single malt whisky providing a sensorial journey through one of the world’s greatest capital cities.
Marking the first global release in a ground-breaking series in collaboration with the Roca brothers to discover the essence of some of the world’s greatest cities, Distil Your World: The London Edition embodies London’s special charisma, and captures the people, experiences, colours and history that ultimately define the city.
United by an insatiable curiosity, quest for knowledge and dedication to mastery, The Macallan and the Roca brothers, owners of El Celler de Can Roca in Spain, twice named Best Restaurant in the World, explore different cultures and source inspiration for their own worlds of whisky-making and gastronomy.
Distil Your World: The London Edition is inspired by the long-standing partners’ journey and exploration through an uncharted London, with the purpose of distilling its soul and capturing the unique essence, aroma and flavour of the city in an exceptional single malt whisky.
In homage to its birthplace, the edition will be unveiled to the world in a highly coveted window display in Harrods’ world-famous flagship store in Knightsbridge, London on 1st November 2020. Over the years the renowned Hans Crescent window has hosted iconic displays from some of the world’s leading luxury brands and will showcase The Macallan’s remarkable whisky on a global stage.
During their adventure, The Macallan’s Whisky Maker Steven Bremner and Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca spent time with the craftspeople and creators who fuel London’s inimitable creativity and entrepreneurial drive; the committed leaders who add to its vibrancy; and the special thinkers who understand its past and anticipate its future. They truly immersed themselves by discovering emblematic buildings and going behind the scenes to uncover the unique flavours and scents that define London and unearthing its vibrant community spirit.
Ultimately, this journey led them to their own complex and sensorial map of the city and with this map as inspiration, they masterfully selected the perfect combination of six first fill European oak Oloroso seasoned casks to translate London’s values into an extraordinary single malt with unique tasting notes representing the spirit of the city.
A character led whisky with encapsulating nuances of orange caramel, curry spice and Earl Grey tea, rare to find in The Macallan single malts, this expression takes the taste buds and imagination on a journey of discovery, bringing London’s soul and unique character to life, while retaining The Macallan’s renowned signature taste. Seeking out these distinctive flavours among thousands of casks was a complex and highly skilled process, but Steven Bremner and the Roca brothers’ mastery of flavour, aroma and craftsmanship enabled them to distil the essence of London into a remarkable whisky.
Steven Bremner, Whisky Maker at The Macallan, said: “London is an international city, a melting pot of culture, cuisine, architecture, and art and its rich heritage and myriad of cultures, combined with a timeless spirit and an innovative nature, made it the ideal playing field for this journey of mastery. It is not just about being there, but about immersing yourself and dedicating time to understand what’s underneath everything you see, and we are proud to have collaborated with the Roca brothers on this exploration.
“Like the London soul, our single malt whisky, matured in its unique sherry seasoned oak casks, delivers rich complexities, harmonious flavours, and vibrant aromas. This whisky is something new – with London notes like curry or the sweetness of Earl Grey tea – but it keeps The Macallan’s signature taste, and that’s the difficult part.”
Josep Roca, said: “The places we visited, the people we met, all that now takes shape in this whisky – our own distillation of the London essence. There is part of umami, the subtle touch of curry, orange, vanilla and raisin. There are some special notes that are really rare to find.”
Distil Your World: The London Edition is housed in a striking presentation box featuring a triangular engraving design to represent the map of London and red detailing inspired by the city’s red bricks. As well as the limited edition whisky, the box contains a luxurious book capturing the different inspirations behind this single malt, alongside rich London photography, which combined, form a picture of London as created by Steven Bremner and the Roca brothers.
The Macallan Distil Your World series is the next step in the brand’s long-standing partnership with the Roca brothers. They have previously worked together on a range of ventures, including The Macallan Edition No.2 which was inspired by the brothers’ distinctive and dynamic characters and Distil Your World Scotland, a culinary journey through Scotland to explore the country’s rich cuisine tapestry which resulted in an innovative publication and documentary.
Limited to 2,000 bottles worldwide, Distil Your World: The London Edition has an RRSP of £2,630 and will be available globally from November 2020, including in Harrods, The Macallan Boutique in London Heathrow and The Macallan Estate Boutique.
For further information visit www.themacallan.com
A rare bottle of the world’s oldest whisky ever released by The Macallan – also believed to be the oldest whisky ever launched by a distillery – from the distillery’s “Red Collection”, is being auctioned by online whisky auction platform, Whisky Hammer. Whisky Hammer is the first dedicated online auction house in the world to offer a bottle of the 78-year old whisky, giving its members the unique opportunity to bid on this super rare single malt Scotch whisky.
Whisky Hammer, a family-owned business in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, has launched the online auction (https://www.whiskyhammer.com/auction/current) that will run until 7pm (BST) on Sunday 25 October with a starting price of £10,000 for The Macallan 78-year old. The auction features over 3,000 lots, from everyday drams to investment-grade iconic bottles, and represents Whisky Hammer’s largest online auction to-date. New members can join to participate in the auction by following Whisky Hammer’s quick and straightforward registration process at whiskyhammer.com.
Given its age, exclusivity and the level of global demand for The Macallan, the new release is expected to prove popular with whisky lovers and investors around the world.
The Macallan Red Collection launched this week comprises 40, 50, 60, 71, 74 and 78-year olds. The producer describes the new collection as “an exquisite range of distinguished and rare single malt Scotch whiskies, shaped by the actions of our founder Alexander Reid and key characters in our history, who have laid the foundations for our single malt today”. It adds: “This collection celebrates the rich range of reds present naturally in every step of our process”.
The 78-year old is described as reflecting “deep respect for time, tradition and craftsmanship”. It is being presented by The Macallan lead whisky maker Sarah Burgess and was laid down decades ago in The Macallan’s “hand-picked oak casks”. Tasting notes describe its colour as “Sunset on the Spey”.
Its oak presentation box is crafted by hand in the UK, using the same sustainable European oak used to make The Macallan casks. The box is upholstered with sustainably sourced, soft Scottish leather from Bridge of Weir Leather.
Whisky Hammer hosts auctions once a month, dedicated to whisky and other fine spirits, allowing buyers and sellers from every corner of the globe to participate at www.whiskyhammer.com. It has auctioned several rare and collectible whiskies – both bottles and casks – since its launch in 2016. The business has recently re-located to a new, purpose built, facility in Aberdeenshire which is also home to a sister business, Still Spirit – a whisky shop and exquisite tasting room.
Daniel Milne, Managing Director of Whisky Hammer, said: “We’re really excited to be able to offer something as rare as this 78 year old expression from The Macallan Red Collection for auction and we expect a very high level of interest in this lot. The Macallan is one of the most well-known and loved Scotch whisky brands and is regarded globally as the epitome of quality and taste – add to this the thrill of the oldest single malt ever released by Macallan, the end result is a true icon in whisky history.
“As a Scottish family-run business we have seen rapid growth since our inaugural auction in 2016 – today we are one of the largest online dedicated whisky auction platforms globally. We’re delighted to have been able to host such an exclusive whisky which builds on our growing reputation as a place for whisky lovers and investors to buy and sell these iconic whiskies.”
The Macallan, in collaboration with world renowned chefs, the Roca Brothers, have launched two innovative gastronomic experiences at some of London’s top bars and restaurants. Each experience has been created to encapsulate the very essence of the city of London, with consumers being given the chance to try a distinctive gastronomic dish, paired with a new Macallan single cask whisky, only available to purchase by the measure at these chosen locations.
Titled, ‘Distil Your World London’, the experiences were created by Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, owners of El Celler de Can Roca in Spain, twice named Best Restaurant in the World, and Steven Bremner, Whisky Maker at The Macallan, exploring the city of London, with the purpose of capturing the essence, aroma and flavour of the capital.
The first experience features a scallop dish served in an elegant malt broth, with fennel, roasted hazelnut and artichoke puree, representative of London’s produce from land and sea. The second experience consists of three types of candied nuts; curry candied walnuts, Earl Grey candied macadamia nuts, and mint and ginger cashew nuts, each infused with unique London tasting notes, such as lemongrass, curry spice and Earl Grey.
To complement both gastronomic creations, Steven Bremner and Josep Roca have carefully selected an exclusive single cask at The Macallan Distillery. The remarkable single cask whisky is limited to 465 bottles and only available through the on-trade. The whisky delivers distinctive tasting notes of oak spice, lively ginger and cinnamon, inspired by the unique essence, aroma and experience.
Consumers will be able to experience the iconic consommé dish and single cask whisky pairing exclusively at Rosewood London, in a setting which captures the character and essence of The Macallan Estate in Speyside.
The candied nuts and single cask whisky pairing experience will also be available at Rosewood London, as well as The Macallan Estate and in a selection of other exclusive London bars and restaurants, including The Ritz and The Connaught.
David Sinclair, The Macallan Prestige & Experience Manager, said: “We were determined to offer consumers an exceptional experience which really celebrated the essence of London.
“By partnering with world renowned chefs, the Roca brothers, we’ve been able to create two distinctive gastronomic experiences which celebrate the flavours and aromas of the capital and work perfectly with our specially selected The Macallan single cask whisky.
“Having Rosewood London as the venue to deliver our iconic dish, as well as a selection of other exclusive London bars and restaurants offering our candied nuts and whisky pairing, we believe we’re celebrating all that London has to offer and we hope consumers will enjoy this unforgettable experience.”
Josep Roca, said: “London has a depth: it has a history, and centuries of written cuisine. Thinking up dishes and snacks that remind us of a city is a real challenge. Encapsulating the aromas, the essence, an idea for an appetizer. For a whisky to have that kind of connection with a city is fascinating and all of these challenges arise in the kitchen at El Celler de Can Roca.”
The elegant consommé dish and whisky pairing experience will come with a welcome cocktail and will be available at Rosewood London, from the 19th October. The experience will cost £100.
The three types of candied nut and whisky pairing experience, will also come with a welcome cocktail and will be available at Rosewood London, from the 19th October. The experience will also be available from The Macallan Estate and in a selection of exclusive London bars and restaurants, including The Ritz and The Connaught from November 2020. The experience will cost £90.
Distil Your World London is part of the wider Distil Your World campaign, a ground-breaking new series of single malt whiskies and gastronomic experiences for The Macallan, inspired by some of the world’s greatest cities, beginning with London. It marks the next chapter in the brand’s long-standing relationship with the Roca brothers.
For information on how to book a spot at Rosewood London, visit https://holborndiningroom.com/theterrace/ .
For information on how to book a spot at other bars and restaurants across the city, keep an eye on The Macallan website for details https://www.themacallan.com/en/distil-your-world
The Macallan has been awarded the prestigious Butterfly Mark from Positive Luxury for its commitment to sustainability across key areas of the business including innovation, environmental performance, and community development.
The Butterfly Mark is a third-party certification earned by brands that have adopted sustainability as a business strategy. It promotes transparency and enables people to buy better. More than 130 iconic brands worldwide have achieved the mark.
To earn the certification, luxury brands undergo a rigorous assessment to ensure they are meeting the highest standards of innovation within sustainability. The assessment is designed to holistically evaluate a brand’s commitment to sustainability across the following areas: governance, social impact, innovation, community investment, and environmental performance.
The Macallan’s in-depth review covered all areas of the business, including how it protects The Macallan Estate, its supply chain, and its contribution to local communities.
Igor Boyadjian, managing director of The Macallan, said: “We are proud to confirm that we have been awarded the coveted Butterfly Mark from Positive Luxury.
“Sustainability is a guiding principle for The Macallan across all aspects of the business, from the way we look after our pristine 485-acre Estate, to the way we treat our people and communities. As a brand proud of our strong Scottish roots and distinguished history, we feel a deep responsibility to act with integrity to preserve our craftmanship and mastery for future generations.
“We look forward to continuing our sustainability journey in partnership with Positive Luxury and doing all that we can to encourage a more positive and progressive world.”
Brands that achieve the Butterfly Mark are assigned a bespoke set of ‘positive actions’, displayed in the form of simple symbols that illustrate the unique environmental and ethical business practices each has pursued.
The Macallan’s positive actions highlight its sustainable packaging, biodiversity protection, marine conservation and measures to promote energy efficiency. They also demonstrate The Macallan’s support for charitable causes and community development, and its dedication to fair pay and working conditions.
As a recipient of the Butterfly Mark, The Macallan will be able to display the certification on its packaging and on The Macallan website.
Diana Verde Nieto, Co-Founder and CEO of Positive Luxury, added: “We are extremely pleased to welcome The Macallan to the Positive Luxury community.
“The Macallan does fantastic work honouring the skills of artisans and craftspeople, creating sustainable packaging and implementing an environmental protection programme that supports biodiversity on their Estate.”
The Butterfly Mark originates from the success story of the Large British Blue Butterfly. This species was extinct in Britain in 1979 yet was brought back to the natural world due to the dedication of multiple organisations and individuals.
Are you of legal drinking age in the country where you reside?
© Copyright Malt Marketing