Macallan unveils coffee-inspired whiskies
The Macallan has revealed the second edition of its Harmony Collection, which celebrates the world of coffee.
The new limited annual release series features two new single malt whiskies: The Macallan Harmony Collection Inspired by Intense Arabica for domestic markets, and Smooth Arabica for global travel retail.
The Macallan whisky maker Steven Bremner has created the ‘intensely flavoured’ whiskies to pair with coffee, having been inspired by the Ethiopian Arabica coffee bean.
Bremner immersed himself in the art of coffee by hosting a masterclass with world-renowned coffee experts at The Macallan Estate. He explored the journey from field to cup, uncovering the unique process and distinct flavour profiles at each stage.
Bremner commented: “Exploring the world of coffee with our masters in the industry, who shared their knowledge, creativity and love for their art, was both an education and an inspiration.
“There are many parallels between the approach to creating incomparable whisky and coffee. Each requires unique skills and craftsmanship to achieve depth and complexity of taste, and both worlds aim to deliver an extraordinary consumption experience.”
Among the coffee masters who shared their knowledge with Bremner were: Ethiopian coffee grower Kenean Asefa Dukamo, whose family works with the Arabica variety showcased by the whiskies; Scottish coffee roaster Lisa Lawson, a pioneer of speciality coffee in Scotland; and award-winning American barista Andrea Allen, renowned for creating coffee experiences.
UK-based coffee artist Dhan Tamang crafted a range of coffee art, sharing his knowledge on the art of the perfect coffee serve and sensory perceptions, while leading coffee historian Professor Jonathan Morris provided an insight into the roots of coffee and how it has become the global phenomenon it is today.
To create the whisky, Bremner selected a combination of American and European oak casks to achieve the distinctive notes offered by the single malts.
“To create the coffee-inspired second edition of The Harmony Collection, I sought out intense notes in The Macallan’s traditional sherry seasoned European oak casks that would offer the rich and satisfying elements of coffee, with the influence of Sherry-seasoned American oak casks adding sweeter and softer vanilla notes for a balanced and rounded experience,” he said.
A ‘sensorial experience’
Inspired by Intense Arabica is said to be reminiscent of a sweet-yet-strong espresso coffee and has a higher ABV of 44%, while Smooth Arabica offers the flavours of a gently spiced and soft americano, and rests at an ABV of 40%.
“Each expression has been paired with two different variations of Ethiopian coffee, which accentuate the unique tasting notes within the whisky when enjoyed side by side, creating a new sensorial experience of The Macallan,” Bremner concluded.
The collection explores The Macallan’s future packaging journey, with each release featuring a distinctive packaging design that incorporates organic by-products, including discarded coffee bean husks, in order to give them ‘new life’.
The rich red pantone colour on the Inspired by Intense Arabica pack reflects the coffee fruit, while the vibrant green on the Smooth Arabica pack represents the un-roasted coffee bean.
The Harmony Collection commenced with the release of Rich Cacao last year, followed by Fine Cacao earlier this year, which both incorporated discarded husks from cacao pods in their packaging and offered chocolate flavour profiles.
The Macallan Harmony Collection Inspired by Intense Arabica, and Smooth Arabica both have an RRP of £140 (US$185).
Inspired by Intense Arabica will be available at The Macallan Estate Bar, The Macallan Online Boutique and in premium retailers, bars and restaurants around the world from October 2022.
Smooth Arabica will be available in The Macallan Airport Boutiques, key airports around the world and China Hainan Island duty free shops from November 2022.