The Macallan unveils new release inspired by Ethiopian Arabica coffee bean

Eat & Drink

The historic whisky maker has revealed the second annual release of The Harmony Collection, Inspired by Intense Arabica.
The Macallan Harmony Collection Inspired by Intense Arabica. | Image source: Supplied

The Macallan’s Harmony Collection first launched in 2021 with the release of Rich Cacao and after a successful run, its second release, the $299 Inspired by Intense Arabica, is set to hit selected retailers, bars and restaurants from February.

Inspired by Intense Arabica pays homage to the Ethiopian Arabica coffee bean, with The Macallan’s whisky maker Steven Bremner using a combination of American and European oak casks to create the drop.

“To create the coffee-inspired second edition of The Harmony Collection, I sought out intense notes in The Macallan’s traditional sherry seasoned European oak casks that would offer the rich and satisfying elements of coffee, with the influence of sherry seasoned American oak cask adding sweeter and softer vanilla notes for a balanced and rounded experience,” Bremner says.

“Whisky goes well with coffee – it comes at the end of a meal and it’s natural for whisky and coffee flavours to sit together.”

– Lisa Lawson, Scottish coffee roaster

To the nose, the crema-coloured Inspired by Intense Arabica features tiramisu, cappuccino, gingerbread, raisins, almonds, vanilla and – of course – sweet oak. But to the palate, there’s also espresso, dark chocolate, Brazil nut and blackberry.

To achieve the right flavour combination, The Macallan enlisted five experts specialising in the coffee ecosystem: Ethiopian coffee grower Kenean Asefa Dukamo, Scottish coffee roaster Lisa Lawson, award-winning American barista Andrea Allen and UK-based coffee artist Dhan Tamang.

“Exploring the world of coffee with our masters in the industry, who shared their knowledge, creativity, and love for their art, was both an education and an inspiration,” Bremner says.

“There are many parallels between the approach to creating incomparable whisky and coffee. Each requires unique skills and craftsmanship to achieve depth and complexity of taste and both worlds aim to deliver an extraordinary consumption experience.”

For coffee roaster Lawson, it was a winning combination: “Whisky goes well with coffee – it comes at the end of a meal and it’s natural for whisky and coffee flavours to sit together.”

The whisky is encased in red packaging made of recycled materials, like coffee bean husks (natural by-products of the coffee-making process), in line with The Macallan’s sustainability principles. The red was selected to reflect the colour of coffee fruit in nature, the brand says.