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
The Glen Scotia virtual festival has been heralded a huge success, after attracting over 8,000 visitors from all around the world.
Following the cancellation of the Campbeltown Malts Festival 2020 which had been scheduled to run from 19-21 May 2020, the Glen Scotia Distillery announced it would bring its programme of events online for the first time at www.glenscotia.com/festival.
As part of the programme the distiller made its famous dunnage whisky tasting, which for many is the pinnacle of their Campbeltown Malt Festival experience, available for those outside the distillery for the very first time.
The theme for 2020 is The Casks of Campbeltown, featuring whiskies matured in casks from the town, and investigating the influencer they have on the modern Campbeltown style.
Only 200 dunnage tasting packs have been released in the UK, each containing five 25 ml samples along with password access to a specially created tasting video hosted by Iain McAlister. A further 1800 tasting boxes will be distributed to markets around the world.
In the UK, the Glen Scotia Dunnage Tasting Box is available to order from Dram Team priced at £55.99 (including postage).
The five samples will include:
Iain McAlister, Master Distiller at Glen Scotia, said: “We’ve been absolutely thrilled by the response we had to the Glen Scotia Virtual Malts Festival. We saw over 8,000 people join us from all over the world including Europe, North America, South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australasia – wildly exceeding our expectations!
“We’re now considering making some elements of the festival permanently ‘virtual’ going forward. We know Campbeltown isn’t the easiest place in the world to get to so this will be a great way to allow our global whisky fans the chance to be a part of the celebrations in future years.
“The dunnage tasting is one of my favourite events in the Campbeltown Malts Festival schedule and we’re excited to be able to provide those who had hoped to join us in person, and perhaps quite a few who usually wouldn’t have had the chance, the opportunity to take part in our special dunnage tasting.”
Chris Borrow, Founder, DramTeam added “I could not be more thrilled to be working with the fantastic team from Glen Scotia to put together this incredible dunnage tasting set. Some friends and I had the privilege of being utterly spoilt by Iain McAlister on our first ever visit to Campbeltown, when he very generously hosted us for a Glen Scotia dunnage warehouse tasting. To this day, the best tasting experience of my life – and one that I am very excited to put in a box for other people to enjoy. This is legitimately the best whisky-tasting-by-post we’ve ever done!”
Campbeltown was known as the whisky capital of the world during the Victorian era and was home to over 30 working distilleries. The annual Campbeltown Malts Festival is a celebration of Scotland’s fifth and smallest malt producing region and its whisky making heritage. This year’s event was set to take place from 19-21 May, however in line with Covid-19 government guidance, the festival has been cancelled for the first time since it launched in 2009.
Founded in 1832, Glen Scotia reflects centuries of craftsmanship and experience associated with the region and its award-winning whiskies are renowned for their distinctive maritime influence and Campbeltown character. For those who missed out on the festival this year many of the tastings and tours are still available to watch www.glenscotia.com/festival.
Issued by BIG Partnership on behalf of Glen Scotia.
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