The Macallan: Traditional favourite becomes top trending whisky in the world

2 mins readOct 24, 2023

Interested in the buying behaviours of clientele at the world’s best bars? We are.

This is why we’re still reading the 2020 Drinks International Annual Brands Report launched this January digitally. We’re struck by the story emerging from its scotch report: The Macallan, a scotch in production since 1824 is the No.1 Trending scotch whisky in the world. Considering this is a world where fads, innovators and cult brands seem to take all the limelight, how has this 196-year-old spirit become such a trendy beverage?

The Macallan is not only the top trending whisky, but it’s also the 3rd biggest-selling scotch whisky this year. Johnnie Walker is the world’s No.1., which is a blended whisky that has done much to put scotch and whisky cocktails on the map.

Indeed, the Drinks International report shows cocktails like the Old Fashioned and the Whisky Sour place in the top five of the world’s best-selling cocktails every year. Such bartender favourites generally use American style whiskeys or any blended scotch for their creations. Also, in the past, mixologists chose blended scotch with which to create new cocktails.

A single malt was thought of as something to only drink neat or with water. Hence Johnnie Walker, a blend, has been the biggest selling scotch whiskey for the past 10 years. That thinking has moved on; the consensus now is that malts are endlessly mixable, indeed necessary for a top-quality cocktail. So single malt scotch is taking off. This year 7 of the 10 bestselling Scotch whisky brands are single malts.

Single malt scotch is arguably the best quality. Made from water and malted barley in pot stills at a single distillery. Contrast it with say, a Johnnie Walker which blends two or more single grain scotches from two or more distilleries.

The single malt by which others must be judged.

The Macallan is the most consistent producer of superb single malts in a region famous for them. Speyside in the Highlands of Scotland is remarkably prolific when it comes to world-class whisky brands.

However, it was Macallan that promoted the single-malt ethos long before it was fashionable to do so. We believe it’s good old-fashioned natural selection that made The Macallan the third best selling scotch and the winner in the Trending category this year.

Fads have come and gone, but this foundational beverage has withstood them all, to become one of the few that sells over a million cases. In other words, The Macallan makes up one-third of all single malt scotch sold in the world.