Malt Resistance

Narrating the Rise and Fall of Single Malt Scotch.

Monday, April 11, 2005

For many, Fine Oak now only choice

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In an interview with a malt aficionada, Bob Dalgarno Macallan's Whisky maker cum Marketer extraordinaire was quoted as saying:

"...the Fine Oak whiskies are merely being presented to the consumer as an alternative(...)"

However Macallan issued an e-mail to consumers, dated 02/24/2005, where they stated:

"In many markets Fine Oak will be the only [Macallan] available(...)"

So which is it, Mr. Dalgarno?

If one hoped that this little nugget would put an end to the fable that the "Fine Oak" range was introduced for anything else than increasing market shares, one would be sorely disapointed. The marketing machine that is the Whisky industry doesn't stop at a lie or two, or even at destroying the quality of their products if it means more short term profits.

Case in point, to celebrate the demise of rigor, stringent standards as well as tradition at the Macallan, the industry decided to crown the engineer of the downgrading of the Macallan as "Innovator of the Year." No, this is not a joke, and I've written more on this issue in previous posts.

What is fine oak, anyway?

The 'Fine Oak' malt, meaning Macallan spirit in Bourbon Casks was seen by Macallan (before Innovator Dalgarno & Edrington were running the show) as only fit for going into "no age statement" blends, and certainly not worthy of being bottled as a single....

My, how times have changed. Yesterday's plonk is marketed as today's grand cru. And all the "independent" tasters are along for the ride! Of course its just a coincidence that their books are advertised on Macallan's very own web site.
Who, you ask? Let the dishonor roll begin with Jim Murray (no surprise there) and end on a sad note, with Michael Jackson.

Back to the snake oil: they want us to believe that the fine oak range is composed of extraordinarily refined bottlings. They are not, of course.

For moral support I will quote the early Michael Jackson in a bit of praise, which I bet he now wishes he'd never written:

"Without the sherry, it is not The Macallan."

Though its author doesn't, I still agree with his thought. The real question however, is do you?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without the sherry, it's not a macallan indeed!

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old (original/real) Macallan is starting to disappear from shelves all over the country. The new perfume bottle 12 Year Old is showing up, the original 18 Year Old bottles are being discounted and Cask Strength bottles are evaporating and aren't being replaced. It's the end of real Macallan.

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old (original/real) Macallan is starting to disappear from shelves all over the country. The new perfume bottle 12 Year Old is showing up, the original 18 Year Old bottles are being discounted and Cask Strength bottles are evaporating and aren't being replaced. It's the end of real Macallan.

5:23 AM  

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