The Macallan’s new luxury retail experience at Taoyuan International Airport — the first unveiling of the brand’s global Boutique programme in Asia — is a testament to the distiller’s commitment to connecting travellers to its Scottish home in Speyside.
The re-launch of The Macallan Boutique in Taiwan this week marks the third retail experience to be opened by The Macallan since the programme launched in June with Le Clos at DXB (Dubal International Airport) and Dufry at London Heathrow Airport in July.
It is a multi-million-pound investment all built around the simple sentiment of “being a home away from home experience,” according to Edrington Global Travel Retail Managing Director Suzy Smith.
Just 18 months ago, The Macallan opened the doors to its new £140 million (US$180 million) Distillery Experience on its Speyside estate, increasing investment in whisky, warehousing and in its trademark sherry oak casks.
The design of The Macallan Boutiques at DXB, Heathrow and Taoyuan is inspired by the design and architecture of the new distillery. Step inside and be immediately greeted by a stunning oak lattice centrepiece — a direct reference to The Macallan distillery’s innovative timber roof that comprises 380,000 individual components.
A distillery, then, that doesn’t look like a traditional distillery at all. That is perhaps a perfect reflection of how a brand, with a rich heritage dating back to 1824, continues to evolve and spearhead an exciting new chapter in luxury single malt whisky.
Guests visiting the Boutique in Taiwan are invited to discover a multi-sensory experience incorporating scent and taste. They can peruse a range of expressions such as The Boutique Collection 2019 (an offering exclusive to the travel retail spaces under the brand’s Boutique programme), as well as vintages such as The Macallan Fine and Rare 1979. The Boutique also showcases rare bottlings such as The Macallan 72 Years Old in Lalique, The Macallan Folio 5, and releases from The Macallan Exceptional Single Cask range.
“Not every traveller goes to Scotland,” said Suzy Smith. “So the thinking behind the Boutique was about bringing a little bit of that to life to consumers who don’t get to travel there.”
Ever Rich Duty Free Deputy Chairman Samuel Wu said, “The re-launch of The Macallan Boutique in Taiwan embodies the innovation, storytelling and dedication to luxury retailing which have made The Macallan a powerful brand in the single malt category.
“This is therefore a natural partnership and marks the next chapter in our long-standing relationship with the iconic single malt. This partnership and exclusive launch are important and significant for Ever Rich, as we remain committed to offer fresh, engaging and exciting experiences to delight shoppers at our airport and downtown stores.”
Taiwan is the number-one travel retail market for The Macallan, with over 46 million passengers flowing through the airport last year. And to cement that fact, the brand created a country-specific expression called Aurora, which is only available in the Boutique in Taiwan.
The brainchild of The Macallan whisky maker Sarah Burgess, Aurora is a whisky crafted to reflect the palate of the Taiwanese consumer. “I’d quite like to have visit here first before making Aurora,” Burgess told The Moodie Davitt Report. “And now that I have, and tried the Chinese herbal teas, experienced the flavours of the braised pork, and textures of the pineapple cake, I think I got it quite right with Aurora’s spicy ginger notes and citrus aromas.”
To her, Aurora represents the perfect coming together of Taiwan’s vibrancy and Speyside’s rolling landscapes. “The main quality of a Speyside whisky is its soft, gentle sweetness. Nothing too big, nothing too bold. But, at the same time, it’s complex in that there is a certain layered vibrancy to it. That’s Aurora.”