Interested in the buying behaviours of clientele at the world’s best bars? We are. This is why we’re still reading the 2020 Drinks International Annual Brands Report launched this January digitally. We’re struck by the story emerging from its scotch report: The Macallan, a scotch in production since 1824 is the No.1 Trending scotch whisky in the world. Considering this is a world where fads, innovators and cult brands seem to take all the limelight, how has this 196-year-old spirit become such a trendy beverage?
The Macallan is not only the top trending whisky, but it’s also the 3rd biggest-selling scotch whisky this year. Johnnie Walker is the world’s No.1., which is a blended whisky that has done much to put scotch and whisky cocktails on the map. Indeed, the Drinks International report shows cocktails like the Old Fashioned and the Whisky Sour place in the top five of the world’s best-selling cocktails every year. Such bartender favourites generally use American style whiskeys or any blended scotch for their creations. Also, in the past, mixologists chose blended scotch with which to create new cocktails. A single malt was thought of as something to only drink neat or with water. Hence Johnnie Walker, a blend, has been the biggest selling scotch whiskey for the past 10 years. That thinking has moved on; the consensus now is that malts are endlessly mixable, indeed necessary for a top-quality cocktail. So single malt scotch is taking off. This year 7 of the 10 bestselling Scotch whisky brands are single malts.
Single malt scotch is arguably the best quality. Made from water and malted barley in pot stills at a single distillery. Contrast it with say, a Johnnie Walker which blends two or more single grain scotches from two or more distilleries.
The single malt by which others must be judged.
The Macallan is the most consistent producer of superb single malts in a region famous for them. Speyside in the Highlands of Scotland is remarkably prolific when it comes to world-class whisky brands. However, it was Macallan that promoted the single-malt ethos long before it was fashionable to do so. We believe it’s good old-fashioned natural selection that made The Macallan the third best selling scotch and the winner in the Trending category this year. Fads have come and gone, but this foundational beverage has withstood them all, to become one of the few that sells over a million cases. In other words, The Macallan makes up one-third of all single malt scotch sold in the world.
The most expensive spirit in the world
Macallan scotch offers some incredibly expensive, extra-aged whisky, often delivered in collaboration with high-end fashion brands. For example, it’s 72 Years Old in Lalique sells for $60,000. The last bottle of Macallan (Fine and Rare 60-Year-Old) to make the news sold for $1.9M in London. It broke its own record set the previous year (2017) – a bottle from the same 1926 cask which sold for $1.2M. The Macallan is the most likely to make memorable culture moments too; who can forget James Bond and Javier Bardem bringing a whole new meaning to ‘let’s do a shot’ in Skyfall?
What this means for you, Cayman Islands drinks aficionado, is that you’ll be seeing a lot more reasons to sip, mix and serve scotch in 2020. The Macallan is, in our opinion one of the finest for both beginners and drinks-snobs alike. While it is known as the most expensive bottle of wine or spirit ever auctioned, we offer a selection at reasonable price points.
So get acquainted with your personal favourite. As with all the fine wines and spirits we recommend on our blog, the proof is in the tasting. Finding your favourite Macallan will help you perfect your nose and palate, round out your drinks cabinet and ensure yours is the most lively and chic cocktail party on island.
Macallan Double Cask 12
Nose: Classic dried fruit aromas alongside butterscotch scent.
Taste: creamy, honeyed with marmalade; there are warm pastries and cinnamon essences.
Finish: Fruity with vanilla and plump sultanas.
Nose: Soft aromatic vanilla, lemon and barley with hints of ginger. Milk-chocolate and hints of Raisins.
Taste: Quite thick and fruity – sultanas, dates, hint of apple with cinnamon. Grain/cereal notes with reminders of Scottish shortbread.
Finish: Fragrant and oaky with mince-pies lingering.
Macallan 1824 Sienna
Nose: sherry, oak, raisins, vanilla.
Taste: sweetish, sherry, vanilla, apples, tangerine.
Finish: long-lasting, oak and vanilla.