By Caroline Olszewski
(GMBA - Luxury Brand Management)

While spending a week in London filled with company visits, the ESSEC GMBA Luxury Brand Management cohort had the privilege of meeting with the Edrington Group to learn more about the incomparable Macallan Whisky. The Macallan team walked us through the entire process of how their single malt scotch whisky is created from their deep heritage to the distillery process to barreling and branding their bottles. Without spilling too many secrets about their savoir faire, we were able to learn what sets Macallan apart from other whiskies.

In addition to producing a great whisky, you also need to be able to connect with the right consumers and create a relationship with them. The Macallan team took us through various campaigns and events they put on to keep customers engaged and loyal to the brand. We learned about their partnership with James Bond and the limited edition bottle they released, which we later saw on display at Harrod’s! The cohort had the opportunity to ask tons of questions about the brand, their marketing strategy, and what makes them successful which was a fantastic learning experience. The Edrington Group then took us through various career opportunities within the group, even highlighting the importance of diversity in the workforce and the strong involvement of women within the group and in leadership roles which was exciting for many of us to hear.

Then on to the tasting! The first sip was sherry, as Macallan barrels their whisky in sherry-seasoned oak casks. This helped ground us in the underlying flavor profile that we would find across their whiskies to varying degrees. From there, we moved on to the 12-year-old whisky and then 18-year-old whisky, and were coached throughout the tasting on the different flavor profiles that were incorporated in each whisky. Lastly, we were lucky enough to try the special edition James Bond 60 th Anniversary release whisky, which was a perfect end to the tasting. Everyone left the visit full of smiles and filled with warmth before heading back out into the chilly London air.

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