The Macallan has unveiled the new expressions that form the second edition of The Harmony Collection, a limited annual release series driven by the brand’s inherent curiosity and its innovative and creative mindset. A collection exploring The Macallan’s future packaging journey, each release features distinctive packaging that incorporates organic by-products and gives them new life.
The Macallan Harmony Collection Inspired by Intense Arabica and The Macallan Harmony Collection Smooth Arabica, the single malt whiskies in this year’s release, celebrate the world of coffee and have been inspired by the Ethiopian Arabica coffee bean. Their hybrid packaging was created using repurposed and recycled materials including coffee bean husks which would have otherwise been discarded.
The Macallan Whisky Maker Steven Bremner has created the intensely flavored whiskies to pair perfectly with coffee. He immersed himself in the art of coffee by hosting a masterclass with world renowned coffee experts at The Macallan Estate. He explored the incredible journey from field to cup, uncovering the unique process and distinct flavor profiles at each stage.
Among the coffee masters who shared their knowledge with Steven 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 acclaimed for her roasting techniques; and award-winning American barista Andrea Allen, renowned for creating incredible 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.
Steven Bremner, Whisky Maker, The Macallan, said: “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.”
Drawing inspiration from the Arabica coffee bean from Ethiopia, renowned as the birthplace of coffee, Steven selected a harmonious combination of American and European oak casks to achieve the distinctive notes offered by the single malts. Inspired by Intense Arabica is reminiscent of a sweet yet strong espresso coffee and has a higher ABV of 44%, while Smooth Arabica conveys the flavors of a gently spiced and soft americano which come through at an ABV of 40%, and both can be paired with coffee to provide a new way to savor The Macallan.
“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.
“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 an exciting new sensorial experience of The Macallan,” said Steven Bremner, Whisky Maker, The Macallan.
Scottish coffee roaster, Lisa Lawson, said: “Today, people have a greater understanding of coffee, they know the vocabulary, they know what they like, and with whisky it’s the same. Whisky goes well with coffee – it comes at the end of a meal and it’s natural for whisky and coffee flavors to sit together.”
In homage to their coffee inspiration, the new expressions are presented in a beautifully crafted presentation box, which incorporates repurposed coffee bean husks, a by-product in the coffee-making process. Paper expert Michele Posocco from Italian paper mill Favini worked with The Macallan to create the innovative packaging. The rich red pantone color on the Inspired by Intense Arabica pack reflects the coffee fruit, while the vibrant green on the Smooth Arabica pack represents the unroasted 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 distinctive chocolate flavor profiles.
The Macallan Harmony Collection 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, with availability in the US from November 2022. The Macallan Harmony Collection 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.