After 21 years in the bar and spirits trade combined with 15 years as a TV and radio presenter, actor and voice over artist, Kieron Elliott has found the perfect blend of both worlds as The Macallan Brand Ambassador.
A native of Scotland, Kieron moved to LA in 2008 to escape the dreary weather and has spent the intervening years putting his two great passions– drinking and talking– to good use. He spends most his time training, sampling and educating fine scotch enthusiasts from the sun kissed shores of Laguna Beach and the mountains of Denver to the barren wilderness of Alaska and the other sun kissed shores of Hawaii, on the Rolls Royce of Single Malt Scotch: The Macallan.
We asked him to tell us 5 fun facts about Scotch at the Macallan Rare Cask event at the Soho House in Los Angeles. This is what he told us:
1. All Scotch is whisky but not all whisky is Scotch.
For whisky to be legally known as scotch it has to be made on Scottish soil, aged for a minimum of three years in Oak casks again on Scottish soil and has to be a minimum of 40% ABV
2. What “Single malt” means:
Single malt is the echelon above scotch. As well as adhering to the rules above you have to follow two further laws.
“Single” refers to it only being made at a single geographical location and “Malt” refers to it only using malted barley on the grain bill. No wheat, rye, corn or spelt is used.
3. Macallan was founded in 1824 and Highland Park, its other single malt, was founded in 1798.
These weren’t the dates they started making whisky; these are the dates they got caught by the excise men and decided to become legit.
4. Macallan’s house style is “heavily sherried.”
Edrington, the parent company of The Macallan and Highland Park single malts, own approximately 95% of the world’s supply of Sherry seasoned casks. These casks are among the most expensive in the scotch whisky industry as they cost nearly $1000 each to create. Most other scotch companies use ex-bourbon casks which cost approximately $60-$70.
5. Why does Macallan spend so much on casks?
Simply put 60-70% of all the flavor, aroma, texture… everything in that glass comes from the contact with the wood. Edrington spends more on his wood policy than all the other scotch companies combined.