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Edrington`s scheme works

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Edrington`s scheme works

Postby kallaskander » Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:00 am

Hi there,

for your pleasure - or displeasure.

http://heritage.scotsman.com/topics.cfm ... d=10372007

Greetings
kallaskander
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:14 pm

Interesting find kallaskander! I actually thought sales would be lower because of the Fine Oak line but clearly I must have fooled myself. I guess the sentiments on this forum aren't representative for the overall single malt market?
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Postby kallaskander » Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:08 pm

Hi there,

well Jan the Admiral posted that in Australia the Fine Oak line is the only one on sale. No more sherry oak for down under. If this is the case in other parts of the world as well, it might explain the figures.

What you expected is true in parts as I was told that the sales in Germany were down 30-40% because of the fine oak line but they did not cut us off from the sherry oak as yet.

If you want good Macallan as it used to be buy the 10 year old cask strength bottlings for the duty free market. They are the Macallan Edrington tells us they can no longer suply. I think they think that customers are not the most intelligent.
Another good Macallan nearer the old style is the 12 year old Elegancia, for duty free as well.

I´d say someone at Edrington`s miscalculated imensely and we will see the counter movement any day now.

Greetings
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Postby Oliver » Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:41 pm

Yeah,

I saw the reports in the press of the Edrington group's "Macallan's success": 28% profit this year....

Here's how they did it:

-- Go from using two 2 strains of yeast to one (save money).
-- Do away with the best kind of barley, golden promise in favor of more profitable -if less flavorfull and more metallic tasting -- strains, like optic.
-- Go from exclusive Sherry cask maturation to bourbon cask maturation -- which in some markets is the only kind available. (Contrary to what Macallan said at the outset of the launch of fine oak, btw). Sherry maturation made its reputation, Bourbon oak macallan just lives off of it.... for now.
--Stop selling the 18 years old as a vintage.
--Stop selling the 25 years old as a vintage. (Vintages can be sold for more money said the marketing man).
--Slowly move away from selling whisky with age statements, one of the few presumably verifiable quality statements on the botlle. Replace said age statments with various gimmicks such as (1) "thirties, forties fities, etc..." style bottlings; (2) no age statements Csk Strength bottlings (for the US market...); sell, (3) replicas like the 1854, etc... -- some based on porven fakes -- discover that they are based on fakes and continue selling them of course....
--After having cut corners with respect to the manufacture of the actual product,drastically
increase the advertising budget. Make Macallan into a brand. Increase sales to emerging markets, such as russia, and the far-east, with the full knowledge that you are selling a brand, a lifestyle and that the quality of the product is secondary.
It is my contention that by turning the macalllan into a brand and drastically reducing the standards of manufacture and quality at the MAcalllan distillery, the Edrington group is paving the way in the long term for the decline of single malts in general as a spirits category. Those who cannot think outside of profits, quartely revenues and marketability might disagree, however I venture those who think single malt scotch whisky is also linked to a [/i]terroir[i], a region, and to the people who make it and dependent on a process, tradition and authenticity might not.
Last edited by Oliver on Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lambda » Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:26 pm

The first time I tasted some of the Fine Oak I was very disappointed like many others. Last night I tasted the Fine Oak 12 again and I must admit that I was wrong. I would say that this is quality whisky and better than many other GlenBourbonSpeyside 12 (though they price is higher too). So it would be a shame if they indeed produce a lesser new-make right now, and not a very smart business decision in the long run. I do not think you can succesfully market a bad product.
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:04 pm

Time will tell if this is viable long term plan. In the mean time I drink the FO 15 and the sherry matured 12 year old. If was a bit of afight to get a dram out of them while visiting the distillery this summer though. :roll:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:12 pm

Good posts Oliver and Lambda.

I personally really enjoyed the examples of "Sherry Oak" 18 years old tha t itasted in the past, whereas I have resisted trying the 18 FO mainly due to tzhe bad press I have read.

For me, Macallan IS Sherry Oak and nothing else will do.

I do have two bottles of FO 18 which may some day be used in tastings, at that time I will say whether I was right to hold out or not.
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Postby Oliver » Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:45 pm

Malt-Teaser wrote:Good posts Oliver and Lambda.

I personally really enjoyed the examples of "Sherry Oak" 18 years old tha t itasted in the past, whereas I have resisted trying the 18 FO mainly due to tzhe bad press I have read.

For me, Macallan IS Sherry Oak and nothing else will do.


Thanks man. I -- obviously agree :D on that one. As for not buying due to the bad press, while I agree with the end result (not buying Edrington gimmickry) I think that this is a minority reaction. Most people who buy malts nowaday, don't read the specialized press or any reviews for that matter. And for those that do, most "famous" reviewers strangely thought that Bourbacallan was great ( guess who --- :evil: ....)
Then again, its no surprise that most pros "loved" fine oak; these are the same people who love the fake replicas and went on and on about the 20's, 30's etc, no Age statement recreations.... :roll:
Oh, boy, its a mess I tell you. :(
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:15 am

One slight deviance I did notice from the report though .... Eventhough Profit went up 28%, sales was only up 18.8% ... how did they manage that the crafty buggers :wink:
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Postby Oliver » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:21 am

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:One slight deviance I did notice from the report though .... Eventhough Profit went up 28%, sales was only up 18.8% ... how did they manage that the crafty buggers :wink:



... maybe this explains the 15% annual increase of macallan "products".... :evil:


BTW, love Galway, went there a while back, enjoyed riding on an island off the coast and going to pubs, seeing Joyce's squeeze's house and of course...sharking back some crested ten.....Ah memories..........
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:51 pm

CI is that a whispered post above :wink:
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:23 pm

Oliver wrote:BTW, love Galway, went there a while back, enjoyed riding on an island off the coast and going to pubs, seeing Joyce's squeeze's house and of course...sharking back some crested ten.....Ah memories..........


I'm not originally from Galway myself but it is a great place and I love living here. Galway City has been voted one of the top 10 Sexy must visit cities of the world. City is a bit of an over statement though but it is a great place to visit.

The island you were on was probably one of the Aran islands. The biggest Island is known as either Oileáin Árainn (Aran Island) or Inis Mór (Inishmore), the middle Island is Inis Meáin (Inishmaan) or Inis Oírr (Inisheer) the smallest of the 3.

A view of the barren west (Atlantic) side of Inis Mór

Image
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:50 pm

Looks like a beautyful place IWC!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:59 am

Of course introduction of the Fine Oak line increased sales. The whole reason they did it was because they didn't have enough of the sherried whisky to go around. If you don't like the FO, that's your prerogative, of course, but it wasn't the decision to introduce FO that caused the shortage of sherried Macallan--quite the opposite.

Whatever one's opinion of the supposed superior flavor of Golden Promise, one must face the fact that barley varieties have to be changed periodically. Golden Promise delivers a far lower yield than currently used varieties, both in the field (shortchanging the farmer) and in the still (shortchanging the distiller). Even more important, varieties have to be changed for reasons of disease resistance. Fact of life. Macallan can't get enough GP to fill their needs because farmers don't want to grow it, because it's unprofitable.

Vintages are a nice concept, but are not really relevant in the world of whisky. Choosing the best available barrels is far more important.

Terroir, as it is understood in the wine world, is not practiced in the production of Scotch whisky.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:31 pm

Further on the Golden Promise issue... I was talking to the master distiller at Midelton and he is of the opinion that the barley variety has very little to do with the end taste citing that the most important processes are the Potstill and Wood used to mature in determining the end taste.
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Postby bernstein » Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:47 pm

Though I would love to have it somehow differently (I'm after all a very romantic person) - I guess, this is exactly how it is:
It's the qualilty of the pot still. the accuracy of the middle cut, the quallity of the casks, chill-filtering, colouring and of course the art of vatting of casks.
So, forget almost everything said about the water, the microclimate (at least as far as Scotch is concerned), marketing blurbs like "coastal influences" "highest/smallest/biggest/exclusivly/most northern/southern/westerly/easterly distillery in the Highlands/Islands/Lowlands" etc.".

It has a romantic touch, yeah, - but doesn't really have any impact on the real qualitiy of the malt.
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Postby Admiral » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:32 am

Talk to the actual distillers and you'll find that opinion is pretty divided on whether or not Golden Promise plays a pivotal role in the whisky's final flavour.

Whisky Mag had an article on barley about 18-24 months ago, and the topic of Golden Promise was well addressed. Several distillers were quoted giving their opinion as to whether GP made any real difference to the quality of the whisky. Some thought the difference was tangible, others thought it made no difference at all.

I personally am not too fussed that Macallan don't use much Golden Promise anymore. What I am fussed about is that their brand ambassadors are spewing forth the line that they only use GP, or use a majority of GP, and this is simply a falsehood. I've spoken with a major industry figure who recently saw Macallan's mashbill, and he informed me that the percentage of GP was very, very, very small.

Again, this in itself doesn't bother me, I just think it's a little dishonest of Macallan to try and tell us that the situation is different.

Cheers,
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:54 am

Admiral wrote:Talk to the actual distillers and you'll find that opinion is pretty divided on whether or not Golden Promise plays a pivotal role in the whisky's final flavour.


Probably much like wooden washbacks. If you have them, of course they make a difference. If you have stainless steel, it makes no difference at all.

I would assume the ambassadors are briefed periodically with whatever propaganda the head office is pushing this week. (I don't mean this to sound quite so harsh--it's pretty typical business m.o.) Long ago, they were told about the importance of GP, and that Macallan uses it exclusively. As the situation changed, that was quietly dropped from the company line, but never corrected. Macallan may (or may not) be particularly egregious in its propagation of propaganda--I wouldn't argue the point with Oliver--leaving it particularly susceptible to this sort of time-shifted misinformation. After all, the company likely wouldn't much care to call in all its ambassadors and tell them, "Oh by the way, all that stuff we told you about the superiority of Golden Promise two years ago? It's all crap."
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Postby Admiral » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:59 am

Yes, valid points, Mr T.

Still, I reserve my right to be irked! :)

Cheers,
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:22 am

As well you might!
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Postby Admiral » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:47 am

Oh, the irony of it all......

I've just realised I'm actually sitting here at my desk at work and I'm wearing a Macallan tie!!!!!!! :roll: :D

Cheers,
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Edrington profits

Postby Muskrat Portage » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:17 pm

Admiral wrote:Oh, the irony of it all......I've just realised I'm actually sitting here at my desk at work and I'm wearing a Macallan tie!!!!!!! :roll: :D Cheers,AD

Admiral;
Did it a least come wi' a decent bottle of Macallan? Or are you one of them?
I've commented elsewhere on the FO versus the Sherry and I prefer the Sherry finish. However in the name of someday having one of every distillery line in my collection, someday I will purchase another FO. Not now, though, at present I'm stalking a Glenmorangie Artisan cask.
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Postby Admiral » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:39 am

Ha!!! :D No, I'm not one of "them" !!

My mother-in-law came back from a trip to Scotland in October last year and she bought me a Macallan tie while she was up Speyside way. It's a silver tie with Easter Elchies (sp?) house on it. For some reason, I just elected to wear it to work that day.

Cheers,
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Not a Macallan, eh? :D

Postby Muskrat Portage » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:55 pm

Admiral wrote:Ha!!! :D No, I'm not one of "them" !!
My mother-in-law came back from a trip to Scotland in October last year and she bought me a Macallan tie while she was up Speyside way. It's a silver tie with Easter Elchies (sp?) house on it. For some reason, I just elected to wear it to work that day.
Cheers,AD
Too bad, as maybe we could have weasled some free samples if you'd been one of the clan. :D
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Postby DJR » Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:22 am

Poor Edrington - turning a once fine product into a mass-produced, oversaturated "brand".

I'm just glad i avoided completely the BourboCallan when i went to the distillery door in '05, the difference between the 10yo expressions of normal Sherry and the FO was pretty painfully clear, i don't know how the "experts" could have awarded scores very close. The FO had pretty significant astringency and too much acidity. I just got the 12yo Sherry one in the "old" packaging, so i ended up with a pretty good one luckily. What's really funny is that i have a magazine with some whisky reviews in it, the 18yo macallan got 5 stars in 2003 and was $120AUD RRP, now it's $190AUD RRP and everything's changed for the worse. It's hard to find the sherry cask ones now in Oz. There is a shop near me with a bottle of '86 vintage 18yo (still sherry) for $150. One of these days i might buy it, but the new price of $190 dollars for an 18yo FO is just too much when you can get far better value from a Glenlivet 18yo for $90-100, or even a Glenfarclas 25yo for about the same price as the "new" Macallan 18!

Call me a non purist, but personally i think a home vatted Glenlivet is probably much better than any Mac 12 (with a bit of creative licence) - $40 for a 12yo, add a bit of 16yo Glenlivet CS (hehe), then a bit of Aberlour A'bunadh for sherry character, and there you have it, $45 dollar a bottle speyside macallan killer. At that price you could drink a dram or two every day and not break the bank - Macallan 12yo in FO sells for about $60-70!
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Postby Oliver » Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:47 pm

DJR, I think that's a very interesting concept: home vatting to your tastes....
Why not do yourself what many companies (like compass fancy box) do for you? What you lose in packaging your more then make up in creative licence and savings...
THat's one of the more original post I've come acroos in a whie. Even though I too, sometimes have dome a little "home vatting"
Can you share some of your recipies with us?
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