For the past 21 years, Macallan, one of the world’s most famous single malt whisky brands, has exclusively used Simpsons Malt, with more than 600 tonnes of malt delivered every week.
To celebrate this continued, long-running relationship, McCreath, Simpson & Prentice (MSP), together with Macallan, invited more than 20 of its barley growing customers to the whisky giant’s new state-of-the-art £140 million distillery, which opened in June 2018.
All of the farmers, as well as their MSP Farm Traders, went on guided tours of the incredible facility near Aberlour, learning about the history of the brand and how their barley plays such a vital role in helping to produce Macallan’s world-renowned whiskies.
After the tour, drams were enjoyed by all in attendance and a presentation was made from Colin Baird, Technical Support Manager at Edrington, Macallan’s parent company, to Mike Barr of Grindon, Northumberland. Every year, MSP sends barley samples up to Macallan and a light-hearted competition takes place where staff decide who has the best-looking barley. Barr, below right, was crowned the winner and, as a result, received a bottle of Macallan 18-year-old and an engraved quaich.
The farmers and MSP staff then headed back to the Mansefield Hotel in Elgin where, prior to a group meal, Baird spoke about how valuable the trip had been for all parties involved.
He said: “One hundred per cent of the malt that comes into Macallan is from Simpsons Malt and it’s nice to be able to show farmers where the barley that is being grown for us is being used and educate why good quality barley is so important to us and how it impacts our product quality.
“As a company and brand, we’re very focused on premium and super premium products, so quality is only going up on our agenda. I think bringing farmers, who are ultimately the start of the supply chain, in to see what’s happening here is very powerful.
“It’s also extremely rewarding for them to be able to know that what they’re growing and putting so much effort into isn’t just disappearing into a black hole but is actually being enjoyed by people all across the world.”
Andy Hindhaugh, MSP Commercial Director, added: “The relationship between Macallan and Simpsons Malt is now into its third decade and it’s very important for us to arrange trips such as this, so our farming customers can meet the end user of the barley that they have grown.
“Having spoken with a number of the farmers who attended since, it’s clear that they – along with our own Farm Traders – found the whole visit incredibly valuable and I’d like to thank Macallan for helping to put on what was a fantastic trip.”
Watch the full video from the Macallan visit above or CLICK HERE.
To read more about the products and services offered by MSP, CLICK HERE.