Monday, April 1, 2013

Macallan to Make Flavored Whisky


In doing some historical research, I found an interesting Times of London article dating from 1828 about the Macallan distillery:


Macallan to Make Flavored Whisky

The Macallan, a new whisky distillery in New Moray, Scotland, announced last week that they would be aging their whisky exclusively in sherry casks to impart a "delicate, sweet sherry flavour" to the whisky.  Macallan owner Alex Reid said he was going to make this flavoured whisky "the heart of our new, innovative operation."

Reaction by whisky experts was quick and harsh.

"This is an atrocity," said Sir James Murray, author of The Book of Common Whisky, "this will open the floodgates to whisky flavoured with everything from kippers to cup cakes.  Flavoured whisky is NOT whisky and we must oppose it!  People have no right to be drinking such filth."  Other critics agreed, claiming that the experiment would led to cherry, honey or even peat flavoured whiskies.  John Walker, maker of the Kilmarnock Whisky, was similarly dismissive:  

"Macallan, oh sorry, The Macallan, is nothing but a flash in the pan start up anyway.  They'll be lucky to last a fortnight making this flavoured junk."

But not all were in opposition.  Robert Hay, who is looking to start a distillery in Ballindalloch said he might even consider it for his new distillery.  

For his part, Macallan's Reid was unconcerned, "We have so much demand for whisky in the PUSS countries that we could sell it all abroad and make a low-grade non-sherry brand for domestic consumption."  (The acronym PUSS is often used in the industry to refer to the burgeoning new markets in Prussia, the United States and Scandinavia.)  "Those guys in the States," Reid continued, "they'll drink anything as long as it's sweet."

Time will tell if flavored whisky finds a lasting audience or is a mere trend, like the much ballyhooed "light mead" of several years ago, but one thing is for sure, The Macallan will be known as the pioneer of flavoured whisky.


4 comments:

The Coopered Tot said...

Bastards. Now try finding a decent cask strength unsherried single malt from Speyside. It's like hen's teeth!

CBrown said...

Ah 'tis the 1st of April methinks...

ilium55 said...

next thing you know someone will try swishing around their low grade distillate is discarded Bourbon barrels. Everyone has to try to cut corners!

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that this is what they were saying back in "1828" about Macallan. Historical in nature only.