World Whisky Day (16th May 2020) is just around the corner, and the question of which whisky to celebrate with remains a question on everybody’s lips.
There are few things more perfect than a fine whisky; patiently matured and rich with flavour, taking the drinker on an unforgettable taste journey.
Bringing together the finest ingredients and flavours, here is a selection of stand-out whiskies perfect to raise a Dram with for World Whisky Day, including classics from The Macallan, Maker’s Mark, The House of Suntory, and more.
Bowmore 15 Year Old
Bowmore is Islay’s oldest distillery, and home to the world’s oldest whisky maturation warehouse, the No. 1 Vaults. Matured first in bourbon barrels then Oloroso casks, there’s no finer example of a sherry cask finish than Bowmore 15 Year Old. The final three years spent in Oloroso sherry casks give Bowmore 15 Year Old the rich, deep colour and robust warming finish.
The Macallan Estate
The Macallan Estate, created by Whisky Maker Sarah Burgess, is a tribute to The Macallan’s heritage and home. It is an extremely special new single malt containing rare spirit from a proportion of the barley grown at Easter Elchies estate, which is distilled just once a year over the course of a single week. The liquid delivers a subtle hint of citrus which balances the traditional sherried richness, resulting in a complex single malt with an extraordinarily long finish.
Highland Park 16 Year Old Twisted Tattoo
In collaboration with Danish tattoo artist and modern-day Viking Soul, Colin Dale, Highland Park 16 Year Old Twisted Tattoo’s bold design celebrates the tattoo as a mark of both standing apart and being part of a tribe – just like Highland Park. The expression’s exquisite tasting notes include the likes of sweet vanilla, sun-ripened peaches, and full-bodied red wine, finished with a light peat smoke.
By maturing the liquid in small batches in five unique casks, Laphroaig has created a liquid that is rich, complex, varied and above all, storied. Laphroaig Lore uses different aged liquids ranging from 7 to 21 years, which allows the richest possible flavour. As the name suggests, this offering from Laphroaig is inspired by the knowledge and traditions passed down from generation to generation of its distillery managers, blenders and craftsmen.
The first bourbon in Maker’s Mark’s wood-finishing series, Maker’s 46 was created by Bill Samuels, J., to amplify the flavours he loves most in Maker’s Mark. The innovative wood-stave-finishing process starts with fully matured Maker’s Mark at cask strength, after which 10 seared virgin French oak staves are inserted into the barrel. The liquid is then finished for nine weeks in a limewood cellar, resulting in a bolder and more complex flavour, but without the bitterness typical of longer-aged whiskies.
Meaning ‘time’ in Japanese, Toki brings together old and new – the House of Suntory’s proud heritage and its innovative spirit. A blended Japanese whisky that is both ground-breaking and timeless, the finish is subtly sweet and spicy with a hint of vanilla oak, white pepper and ginger.
For more information on expressions from Edrington-Beam Suntory, please contact email@example.com
Forty years in the making – The Macallan Fine and Rare 1979 is the prestigious new vintage to be welcomed into the brand’s Fine and Rare collection, which was created to portray the very best array of The Macallan.
The Macallan Fine and Rare collection presents some of the greatest vintage single malts produced, and now features the 1979, which was filled on 19 February 1979 and after slumbering for forty years, was captured in 2019 to become part of the liquid history of The Macallan.
Commenting on the new release, Polly Logan, Whisky Maker, The Macallan said: “The release of the 1979 Fine and Rare vintage is an exceptional addition to the collection, which displays an inviting burnished antique oak colour after being held in a single puncheon cask for forty years. On the nose rich dried fruits with gentle peat smoke, gives way to a hint of orange citrus, balanced with antique oak spice and warming ginger. The journey of discovery continues on the palate with oak spice followed with a richness of dried figs and dates, the gentle peat smoke in the background throughout. The expression finishes with the signature richness of The Macallan with warming oak spice and honey sweetness. By capturing this single malt at natural cask strength of 57.2 per cent, it embodies the true spirit of The Macallan and compliments the outstanding array of the Fine and Rare collection.”
Reflecting on the era when this exceptional single malt was distilled, Jaume Ferras, Prestige Marketing Director, The Macallan, said: “This expression delivers an insight into the long-standing heritage of our brand. It is a reflection of the time in which it was distilled – an era of global progression, and an age where our award-winning single malt was also growing and developing.
“In 1979 The Macallan appointed a new Chairman in Peter Shiach, and his influence is still evident in the brand today, much like The Fine and Rare Collection itself, which demonstrates the unmistakable legacy of The Macallan.”
Over the years, the Fine and Rare range has underpinned The Macallan as the world’s most valuable and collectable single malt whisky, leading the secondary market around the world and setting world record prices.
The recommended retail price of The Macallan Fine and Rare 1979 will be £10,300 per 70cl bottle, £11,100 per 750cl and £750 per 5cl.
Colour: Burnished antique oak.
Nose: Rich dried fruits with gentle peat smoke. A hint of orange citrus, balanced with antique oak spice and warming ginger.
Palate: Fresh with oak spice followed with richness of dried figs and dates, the gentle peat smoke in the background throughout.
Finish: Medium long, with warming oak spice and honey sweetness.
ABV: 57.2% (natural cask strength)
Cask: – – Sherry Puncheon
Cask no: 2803
Age: 40 Years Old
Bottle numbers: 338 bottle equivalents
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) are incredibly proud to win this year’s Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award from the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) for The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience in Speyside.
The Doolan family and Aileen Campbell (Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government) presented Toby Jeavons, Associate Partner of RSHP with the RIAS’ Gold Medal at the awards ceremony, which took place at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh on the 4 October 2019. Each year since 2002, the award has celebrated the best building in Scotland in memory of its founder and patron Andrew Doolan.
The ‘Doolan’ shortlist is composed of winners from several categories from the RIAS and the RIBA National awards. RSHP is honoured by the recognition of this award and furthermore to have been shortlisted with the other six buildings that have already received such recognition from RIAS/RIBA combined awards.
This year’s judges; Prof. Sadie Morgan founding director of dRMM (Chair), Henry McKeown, of jm architects and Prof. Mona Siddiqui OBE Hon FRIAS visited and assessed the shortlisted buildings against a range of criteria including architectural integrity; usability and context; delivery and execution; and sustainability. RSHP’s The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience has received the award on these criteria. The judges said about the project “The attention to detail and the consistency and control of aesthetic decisions in this building is incredibly impressive. A worthy winner.”
The owners and client, Edrington, wanted a building that could reveal the production processes of their exceptional Single Malt Scotch Whisky and welcome visitors, while respecting the idyllic landscape of the Speyside region. This interplay of function and display fits well with RSHP’s architectural approach.
Informed by the surrounding landscape and the whisky production process, which has taken place on The Macallan Estate since 1824, the structure’s profile resembles ancient Scottish earthworks.
There is a great deal of responsibility in working with a brand and product that has the reputation of The Macallan in a landscape as beautiful as the Distillery’s Speyside setting. Throughout the design and construction, RSHP felt that it was contributing something special. To have it recognised by a Scottish authority such as RIAS is an honour.
Toby Jeavons, Associate Partner and Project Architect of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners said “We are thrilled that The Macallan distillery has been awarded the Doolan for 2019. It was an incredible project to have been a part of and which was only possible due to our forward-looking and ambitious client in The Macallan. A sustainable response to a fascinating and challenging brief in one of the most beautiful natural landscapes.”
Graham Stirk, Senior Design Partner, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners states that, “It has been an honour for RSHP and the wider team to have assisted The Macallan in realising their vision for a new 21st century Distillery and Visitor experience. The Macallan have been exemplary clients and central to this undertaking. Creating a facility for the future that can also respect the past and create a unique addition to one of the most beautiful landscapes in Scotland. It also serves to communicate the traditions, beauty, and importance of Scottish whisky-making to the world. The resulting building represents a new aspect to our architectural vocabulary and all the team have been intellectually enriched by the whole experience.”
George McKenzie, Head of UK Engineering, Edrington adds that, “The RIAS’ Doolan Award is an extremely humbling honour to be bestowed on the team that created The Macallan Distillery Experience. The award is testament to the vision, and collaboration from our team and our partners. Together, we have been able to deliver this unique and striking piece of contemporary architecture.”
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
(31 July 2019, London) The Macallan has unveiled the latest release in the Exceptional Single Cask range – an exquisite and delicate expression that was distilled in 1950.
The 1950’s represent a significant period in the history of The Macallan with investment in the construction of new buildings on site and modernisation of existing buildings, the purchase of additional farmland and the first of The Macallan highland cows take residence on site.
The single malt is the centrepiece of the 2018 release from the unprecedented range which invites consumers to explore the world’s most valuable whisky through a rare insight from the legendary Whisky Makers’ bench at The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience on Speyside.
The discovery of this First fill sherry butt cask was a special moment for our whisky making team that conjured intense and memorable aromas and flavours. The unmistakable combination of antique oak and subtle peach, with lingering peat warrants this cask being treasured in its own right, with only 336 bottles of this rare single malt available globally to savour.
This exclusive range of single cask whiskies, showcases the depth and diversity of The Macallan. Each whisky revealing a particular character, a subtly different flavour or an aroma in the background making each one truly unique and never to be repeated.
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