The Macallan Launches it's First Advocacy Programme in the UK

A new curriculum for bartenders designed to bring to life the brand's commitment to craftsmanship, creativity, and innovation.

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Published: 08/02/2023

The Macallan is launching its first advocacy programme in the UK, designed to bring to life the brand’s commitment to incomparable craftsmanship, creativity, and innovation. Combining different skills practiced by artisans who mirror and share these core values, the programme will equip bartenders with a richer understanding of the brand, whilst developing transferable skills that will complement their work behind the bar.

Working with artisans across four different industries (leather, oak, tea and chocolate), ‘Masters of Their Craft’ will see participating bartenders engage in four workshops that combine whisky making with artisanal craftsmanship. The programme will take place between January and April 2023 and will culminate in a trip to The Macallan Estate, Speyside.

The programme concludes with a trip to The Macallan Estate, where bartenders will be taken through the brand’s dedication to creating unparalleled single malts, through the wood journey, distillation and whisky making processes. Every action in the journey, from seed to glass, is considered and weighed; the trip will draw on the key learnings of the programme to better understand The Macallan’s commitment to incomparable craftsmanship.


Working with Kingsley Walters, a London-based leather merchant who uses locally and ethically sourced products, and the UK’s last remaining oak bark tannery, the first workshop will demonstrate the art of craftsmanship and locality. It will focus on bespoke belt making which will aim to educate bartenders on the parallels between leather making and the whisky making process at The Macallan, both using mindfully and naturally sourced raw ingredients and materials. The session will also explore the ageing process used to produce one piece of leather, corresponding to the meticulous ageing process used by The Macallan Estate.


This workshop invites bartenders to explore the significance of water both in The Macallan’s whisky making process, and in tea blending. Hosted by Jing Tea, the premium and ethically sourced single garden tea company. It will involve a sensory analysis of 10 black teas broken down by terrain, flavour, and tannins, before inviting attendees to create their own bespoke blend to pair with The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old. The emphasis of the session will be around developing sensory preceptors in innovative ways, key for cocktail experimentation. This builds on The Macallan’s previous collaboration with Jing Tea, through the first episode of ‘Distil Your World London’ – where 3-star Michelin chef Josep Roca and The Macallan whisky maker Stephen Bremner were introduced to tea in London by Jing’s founder Edward Eisler. The collaboration explored the world of single garden teas, from Ali Shan to Wuyi Oolongand and Assam Breakfast, as the masters of taste were invited to extract the essence of one of the cultural capitals of the world.


Partnering with a leading oak specialist from Kent, Maika Spooner, the focus of the session will be on ‘reuse’ and will showcase how to repurpose offcut materials into beautiful ornaments or artwork via pyrography, or wood burning. The workshop will highlight The Macallan’s attention to the nurturing of casks, emphasising the way its oak casks are toasted and not charred, akin to the practice of pyrography. The workshop will also draw attention to The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks that are a great contributor to the outstanding quality, natural colours and distinctive aromas and flavours of The Macallan. It is these casks that contribute to The Macallan’s 100% natural colour, whilst being 80% attributable to its flavour.


The final workshop, led by Lucocoa chocolatiers, will explore the interesting and diverse flavours of chocolate. As London’s first bean to bar chocolatier, this session will explore the bean to bar journey to better understand the comparable journey from acorn to glass adopted by The Macallan. The workshop will culminate in a tasting of The Macallan alongside beautifully crafted, ethically sourced chocolates.

Andrea Montague, Head of Advocacy at Edrington UK, says: “Craftsmanship, creativity and innovation are at the heart of The Macallan. Working with our wonderful partners, we’re excited to give bartenders a deeper understanding of our brand and a range of new skills to take forward in their day-to-day jobs. This advocacy programme marks the first of its kind for The Macallan and, this advocacy programme is a celebration of The Macallan and our way of giving back to the on-trade community.”

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