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.