Queens Award: Macallan keeps whisky exports flowing

THE MACALLAN Distillers, maker of malt whisky since 1824, has won a Queen's Award for Export after increasing the percentage of its production sold overseas from 54 per cent to 61 per cent over the last three years, writes John Willcock.

The company is based on the banks of the River Spey in Banffshire, Scotland, and sells about 200,000 cases of malt whisky a year.

Simon Sanders, director of corporate affairs at Highland Distillers, the Perth company that owns Macallan, said sales had prospered despite the current strength of the pound.

"The malt whisky market is still buoyant. Also the strong markets for malt whisky are not in Asia and Latin America, but rather in Europe and North America, with the exception of Japan. It's a premium product, and people are still prepared to pay for it," he said.

Macallan has won its second successive export award and its fourth in total. Mr Sanders says the company is dedicated to maintaining the Macallanvirtues, such as the exclusive use of sherry casks for the whisky's maturation. "We arrange for the casks to be built and put into the Spanish sherry industry. Then when they've been used the effects of the sherry on the wood impart a smooth and rather sweet taste to the whisky," Mr Sanders said.