The Brand That Changed Whisky In 2018
“A man stands on a cliff, terrified to jump off. He finally makes the jump and as he falls wings start to manifest on his arms. Right before he crashes to the ground, the wings lead him to soar through the sky. Special effects, amazing cinematography; one would never imagine the video belongs to a whisky brand. Beyond the product, the message behind the 90-second video pushes viewers to make decisions without fear. As the slogan reads, ‘would you risk falling, for a chance to fly?’ As with everything the brand has achieved this year, this is yet another innovative step forward into changing the Scotch whisky industry for the better. Here’s how The Macallan changed the whisky industry in 2018.
What makes the Macallan the best Scotch whisky brand of 2018? Well, there are many reasons, many of which don’t revolve around the flavour of their whisky. The brand’s achievements this year have been many. So far in 2018, bottle after bottle from the Macallan has sold for huge price tags at auctions across the globe. The pinnacle – A 60-year-old Macallan bottle sold for over $1 million USD, shattering a world record. In June, after years in the making, the brand opened their brand new state-of-the-art distillery, which cost around $188 million and with increase production greatly. The Macallan Genesis expression released to commemorate the new distillery led collectors into a frenzy, and the road by the distillery was shut down by local police. That same bottle, which retailed for $600 sold for $6,000 on auction two weeks later.
The highlights of The Macallan in 2018 have been many, and while many complain, stating that all the coverage is driving bottle prices up and making them unattainable for long-time fans of the brand, what has been accomplished is very important – The news has put The Macallan, and Scotch whisky as whole, in front of people with no previous interest in whisky. Road closures, world records, luxury events, videos with winged men soaring through the sky. The Macallan promotes a lifestyle, one which even non-whisky drinkers strive for.
The new video release, under the ‘Make The Call’ slogan, marks the first global advertising campaign for the brand and will launch in major markets including the US, Taiwan, China, and the UK. Ian Curle, chief executive of Edrington, said, ‘Throughout the history of The Macallan, we have “made the call”, repeatedly making the decision to invest in quality above all, even when that has entailed a degree of risk. We believe that this film will resonate with a generation of consumers who want to make the bold decisions that ultimately lead to a more fulfilling life.’ Further bringing whisky into the luxury lifestyle mentioned, the brand recently teamed up with the Monarch Air Group and Golden Yacht Charters for The Macallan Masters Journey, a $46,000 experience, featuring a private jet, yacht and whisky experience. On-board private chefs, tastings of the Macallan Rare Cask, Macallan Reflexion, and The Macallan M; the package blends in perfectly with the brand’s mission.
Alongside blending and promoting single malt whisky and luxury lifestyle towards new groups of potential future whisky fans, The Macallan has achieved greatness this year within the circles of seasoned whisky fans as well. First, one must understand the history of an important whisky category. Rewind several years, and NAS whiskies (bottles with no age stated) were regarded as low-quality, inferior products. Many complained, stating it was cheating, blasphemy, betrayal. Yet, NAS whisky gives way to experimentation, allowing blenders to bring together both older and younger vintages for a balanced expression. Without the need to write an age on the bottle, which the youngest whisky included must be, there are no limits to what can be made. The perception of NAS whisky has changed over the years. The Japanese, suffering from shortages of aged stock have helped increase the popularity on NAS, as have many new world whisky distilleries around the world, which haven’t been around long enough to even bottle a 12-year-old expression.