Whisky Advocate

Anatomy of a New Release

by Jonny McCormick

Albert D. Mackie had the right idea. “With the growing demand for single malt whiskies, it is likely that more of these will be released for general circulation,” he stated presciently in the sole chapter covering “Single Whiskies” in his 1973 book The Scotch Whisky Drinker’s Companion. Single malt whiskies were frustratingly difficult to procure back then. Typically, distilleries only produced one or two expressions. In contrast, more new single malt whiskies will be released this month than the entire selection Mackie would find for sale 40 years ago.

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New whiskies awaken our desires. We cannot help impulsively falling for their novelty again and again. As your local retailer seeks out space to slide another set of cartons onto the shelf, have you ever considered the behind-the-scenes work that goes into bringing a new whisky out? Here we dissect the process of new product development to examine the functions and relationships within a whisky company. We go under the skin of the single malt whisky of which Mackie remarked, “Many discerning Scotch whisky drinkers place this at the head of their list of favorites, and some will drink nothing else.” He was writing about Glenmorangie.

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