Two new single malt whiskies are included in the new limited annual release series: The Macallan Harmony Collection Inspired by Intense Arabica for domestic markets and Smooth Arabica for global travel retail.
Steven Bremner, master distiller at The Macallan, was inspired by the Ethiopian Arabica coffee bean when he crafted these “intensely flavored” whiskies to pair with coffee.
Bremner immersed himself in the art of coffee by hosting a masterclass at The Macallan Estate with world-renowned coffee experts. He investigated the journey from the field to the cup, revealing the distinct processes and flavor profiles at each stage.
Bremner stated, “Exploring the world of coffee with industry masters, who shared their knowledge, creativity, and passion for their craft, was both enlightening and motivating.
“There are numerous parallels between the methods used to create unparalleled whisky and coffee. Each requires a unique set of skills and craftsmanship to achieve depth and complexity of flavor, and both strive to provide an exceptional consumption experience.
Ethiopian coffee grower Kenean Asefa Dukamo, whose family works with the Arabica variety highlighted 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, were among the coffee masters who shared their knowledge with Bremner.
the Macallan coffee classic
The Macallan enlisted the assistance of award-winning American barista Andrea Allen to advise on the process. UK-based coffee artist Dhan Tamang created a variety of coffee art and shared his knowledge on the art of the perfect coffee serve and sensory perceptions, while leading coffee historian Professor Jonathan Morris discussed the origins of coffee and how it became a global phenomenon.
Bremner chose a combination of American and European oak casks for the whisky in order to achieve the distinctive flavors of single malts.
“To create the coffee-inspired second edition of The Harmony Collection, I searched for 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 explained.