Food & Drinks

Macallan's quest to satisfy new yearnings


Duck confit with whisky marmalade sauce. PHOTO | POOL

There is something supremely enrapturing about listening to Scottish-Celtic music over a dram of whisky. The combination takes you to the heart of Scottish Highlands, the home of scotch whisky and centuries-old distilleries.

Scottish classic music is a wonder. It comes with bagpipes, guitars and flutes, transporting you to all hallowed places.

But to listen to violinist Scott Mwangi play Runrig’s Loch Lomond while tucking into pan-seared Nile Perch alongside a classic whisky highball, though, is to journey into the past and the future. Every bite, every quaff and every tug results into a perfect night on earth – a night like no other.

Such was the atmosphere earlier this month when The Macallan unveiled A Night On Earth in Scotland single malt whisky at a dinner at Hemingways Watamu.

This new addition to the growing Macallan range is a revelation of the rich story of Scotland’s world-famous Hogmanay festivities that are marked on the eve of the New Year, complete with Scottish traditions.

Even more electrifying are the Scottish tales of the 1800s world of Alexander Reid, the original Macallan crafter, narrated with something of poetic polish by Sherlyne Muita, the regional brand ambassador for The Macallan, amid clanks of cutlery and giggles from guests.

Macallan reintroduced in Kenya in 2021 is part of the Edrington, whose portfolio features spirits such as Highland Park, Glenrothes, and Famous Grouse.

To retain their consumers and get new ones, whisky makers around the world are curating some editions of their products around certain events, personalities and even places, and producing them in limited editions.

The craftsmanship of A Night on Earth, for instance, is a convergence of surprises, high life and a heritage spanning nearly 200 years. It comes in a new limited edition gifting series in collaboration with London-based celebrity graphic illustrator Erica Dorn.

‘‘These drink editions are NPDs (new product development) and specific collector whiskies. They target whisky lovers who understand and appreciate art, value taste expressions and heritage,’’ Sherlyne explains, saying the edition targets drinkers in the middle-class and upper-middle-class segments – those with a bent for sophistication.

A Night on Earth’s colours achieves two things. Its bold red depicts ‘‘merriment, vitality, good fortune and joy’’ its blue a reminder of Scotland’s tranquil winter evenings and amber for the aroma of freshly-baked shortbread.

To meet their demand in a competitive whisky market, makers such as The Macallan are going to great lengths to develop products that satisfy not just thirst for liquid but sentimental yearnings as well. These and dining experiences that capture life and traditions of the country of the whisky’s origin.

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