“An obsession with quality. Understanding our consumer’s values and delivering an incomparable product” Jodie Marriott, Brand Education Manager at The Macallan, on what makes a bottle of The Macallan Single Malt Whisky so exquisite.”
The world of whisky can be complex to navigate, but one of great wonder. Right from the grain to the oak casks to the delicate process of malting, distilling and creating a unique whisky experience, it truly takes a master-craftsman to perfect this process. One that has always been held in high regard, residing in the hills of Speyside, Scotland, is The Macallan. Apart from their methods of mastery, it’s their near-two-century heritage in distillation and the whisky industry, that cements them as masters of their craft.
To understand why, we poured ourselves a dram of The Macallan and spoke with the brand’s very own Jodie Marriott.
The Macallan – Founded in 1824, how is the brand staying true to its original Single Malt taste and spirit today?
The Macallan is revered for Scotch excellence today, simply because we’ve stayed true to our near-double-century history, heritage, and art of Single Malt craftsmanship, as it’s always been at the forefront of everything we do. From the curiously small stills to exceptional oak casks, every bottle of The Macallan stands the test of time, which further contributes to its excellence.
The Macallan double cask 18-year-old is certainly distinctive. Could you give us an insight into its unique maturation process and what makes it so smooth?
The Macallan Double Cask 18 Years Old certainly tells an interesting tale – Two oaks, that create an exquisite harmony within our Single Malt whiskies. These Double Cask expressions are aged in two types of oak, each in hand-picked and hand-crafted casks that are seasoned with dry oloroso sherry. While the American imparts flavours of vanilla, citrus, and butterscotch, the subtle spiciness of The Macallan comes from the European oak. As they mature, the two whiskies unite, creating a single malt that brings the best of both worlds – Sweetness, and warmth.
What are the key factors that differentiate a Single Malt, from other whiskies?
To put it simply, Single Malt whisky as a category of whisky, is one that is unblended with any other malt. By malt, we mean the raw material used within the process. Barley would be an example of this. If it’s used within the whisky, no other type of grain such as maize or wheat would be included in the mix. Hence, ‘single’ malt. In addition to this, the Curiously small stills, exquisite oak casks, 100% natural color, and of course, our incomparable Scotch spirit is what make our Single Malt stand out.
The Macallan is a global leader in the Single Malt business, what goes into maintaining this title?
Well, it’s our obsession with quality. We strive to understand the values of our customers and deliver an incomparable product and whisky experience.
In the past 10 years, how do you think drinking habits and the Single Malt business have evolved?
One of the reasons I’ve enjoyed my career in Scotch whisky is seeing the trends in the spirit industry evolve. In my opinion, the most prominent drinking change, especially when it comes to Single Malt whisky, is the deep dive one takes into mixology and exploring the potential and phenomenal serves a Single Malt can create.
Are there any dos and don’ts when it comes to drinking Single Malt?
There’s only one rule in my books – Enjoy The Macallan responsibly. I believe it can be enjoyed in any way we desire as it’s our own journey.
Why do you think Indian consumers will enjoy indulging in Macallan?
The Macallan houses a spectacular array of flavor notes which Indian consumers will have a liking towards. However, depending on one’s preferences and tastes in Scotch, there is a unique ‘The Macallan” expression for everyone. The Indian market is absolutely fantastic and ever-evolving, The Macallan is really excited to see the market evolve in the future and to become a long-standing spirit of choice for Indian consumers.
Let’s talk mixology. For those looking at making cocktails using The Macallan Single Malt, which ingredients would work best?
Well, since India is quite a tropical and hot place, I’d like to keep my cocktails fairly simple. My top pick? With The Macallan Double Cask Series, I think, a highball would be the best! Taking a highball glass, adding loads of ice, The Macallan Double Cask 18 Years Old, a few drops of orange angostura, and topping up with soda water/sparkling water – really refreshing and compliments the sweeter tones of flavors coming through in our Double Cask Series.
The Macallan believes – “Every bottle comes with a rich story to tell” – could you shed some light on this?
Every single cask at The Macallan boasts a unique flavor and thus, there’s always a new story to tell. This depends on where the oak was grown and the natural conditions during its life that contribute to its flavor. But due to our rich history and heritage, we certainly believe that every bottle of The Macallan is a testimony of its journey and history. More so, a journey of craftsmanship, sheer passion for Scotch, and the value that Macallan stands for today, and stood for, for the last two centuries.
All images: Courtesy brand
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