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Food and beverage

The Macallan explores passion for excellence with violinist

March 22, 2022

In one of the short films, violinist Nicola Benedetti composed an original piece to retrace John Grant's journey. Image credit: The Macallan


Scottish whisky maker The Macallan is reflecting on its roots in a series starring Scottish-Italian violinist, Nicola Benedetti.

In a short film, Ms. Benedetti illustrates the heritage of the whisky maker while tapping into her musical prowess. In an additional vignette, the artist describes her passion for her line of work, the intersection of music and education, her charitable efforts and her relationship with The Macallan.

“The Macallan collaborated with Nicola Benedetti to create a powerful reflective piece to retrace Captain John Grant’s story through music and bring to life the animated film,” said Jaume Ferras, global creative director at The Macallan.

“Nicola Benedetti shares The Macallan’s values of creativity and craftsmanship and dedication to the continuous pursuit of perfection,” he said. “She also embodies the community spirit which lies at the heart of our brand, having recently set up The Benedetti Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to providing quality music education.”

Do it fully
The “Tales of the Macallan Volume I” is filled with stunning visuals of an immensely verdant Scotland.

With music composed and performed by Ms. Benedetti, the short film opens with the artist standing in a field at sunset before the shot transitions to a bottle of The Macallan whisky.

Ms. Benedetti retraces John Grant's footsteps in scenic Scotland

Ms. Benedetti then appears in a home, reading a large book, running her fingers over the title of the chapter, “Captain John.”

With the intense violin-laden soundtrack carrying the narrative, the solo violinist closes the book.

The film follows the violinist in the footsteps of John Grant, in various natural landscapes on The Macallan Estate in Speyside, Scotland.

The violinist is seen under a bridge, then in more fields, enthusiastically and metaphorically illustrating the journey of Captain John. Ms. Benedetti’s powerful composition of music mirrors the passion of John Grant and his lasting legacy for The Macallan.

The music represents the excitement and challenges that The Macallan faced in its inception — as the music grows in its fast-paced intensity, another shot of the bottle is included.

The vignette concludes with Ms. Benedetti back in the home with the large green book, with a shot then revealing its title: The Tales of The Macallan. Inside the book, a bottle of the maker’s whisky resides.

To complement the campaign, the violinist discusses her roots and how she believes her work with music is a vocation in another short film, “In Collaboration with Nicola Benedetti.” She also discusses collaborating with The Macallan.

In recalling her love for music, she explains how she loved everything about the violin — its look, its shape, its sound — and the advice her mother gave her.

The solo violinist talks about her passion for music and education

“Her motto was provided you have a love for this thing, then we’re going to do it fully,” Ms. Benedetti said in the film.

She also discusses her charitable work in helping bring music to the next generation of artists. Her organization, The Benedetti Foundation, plans to provide inspiration and enrichment to the United Kingdom's educational networks and communities.

The passion Ms. Benedetti has for her work is palpable, with the film showing her both being interviewed but also playing the instrument alone and with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Finally, she sums up what it means to have worked with The Macallan on this project.

“I think the essence of true collaboration is believing that 'me plus you' is better than just me.”

Uniting the past and future
The Macallan often keeps its heritage in its periphery, often while leveraging exclusive offerings or collaborations.

In November, the house released a new single malt whisky into its Fine & Rare Collection with the launch of The 1990 Edition.

The Macallan Fine & Rare 1990 is marking the latest addition to the largest collection of vintage-dated, single malt whiskies in the world. There were only 467 bottles of the whisky available, each featuring the cask number, year of distillation and year of bottle printing on the label with age, strength and volume also handwritten (see story).

Last October, The Macallan also unveiled an indulgent collaboration as it moves in a more sustainable direction.

Polly Logan, whisky maker at The Macallan, teamed with pastry chef Jordi Roca and master chocolatier Damian Allsop to create a limited-edition single malt, The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao. For the first time, the whisky was packaged in a recyclable and biodegradable presentation box to minimize waste from the chocolate-making process (see story).

No matter which directions the whisky maker continues to go, it is clear that The Macallan will neither forget nor neglect its roots.

“The Macallan has always been inspired by its environment and the people who have helped shape the brand’s outstanding character through the years,” Mr. Ferras said.

“Tales of The Macallan Volume I, The Laird of Easter Elchies (1659 - 1715), a limited-edition whisky in a remarkable new series of distinguished and rare single malts, is an homage to Captain John Grant who had a vision of transforming the land he had inherited from his ancestors into the Easter Elchies Estate, the birthplace of The Macallan.”