The Golden Promise of Whisky

CoBo Social Market News Reports

Before the year of 1994, you would be able to pick-up a bottle of Macallan in the shop and know that it is aged in sherry casks and the barly is Golden Promise. These two elements were the symbol of this distillery. The Father of all single malt, Rolls Royce of the whisky industry. GP2 (1)

After the year of 1994, The Macallan lower the use of Golden Promise and introduced barley that have a higher alcohol per tonne transfer rate. They launched the “Fine Oak” series back in 2004, which will mark as one of the changing point in the history of The Macallan. Even though the sherry cask stays as a line that continues, but Golden Promise seems to be gone forever.

The result is inevitable as the next generation of barley varieties- like Optic and Chariot , have been proven themselves to be more cost effective. They became more resistant to different infections, survive adverse weathers, higher alcohol per tonne transfer rate, as well as a shorter length of dormancy (Golden Promise would be 2 months compare with Optic’s 6 weeks). All of the above leads to a lower production cost for both the farmers and the distilleries.


It is a production cycle. Newer barley varieties replace the previous prime with a rate of around 5-7 years, yet Golden Promise have a relatively long career compare with the others. It was originally developed back in the 1950s, almost all the distilleries in Scotland uses Golden Promise as their barley of choice, and in that way, Golden Promise has enjoyed around 30 years of its prime.

The reason behind such a longer career was because Golden Promise is known to be “sweeter” than other varieties, and it transforms into the finishing product as a distinct textural impact, which slowly developed a large fan base along the way.

“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.”

—To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick

You can still find Golden Promise in the market, buy a bottle and save it for special occasion. It is like a time capsule, telling stories about the good old days.

Julien Yung Mameaux - CEO and Founder of The Experience Company, Julien is a multi-cultural, multi-faceted personality with extensive professional experience, academic credentials and passion. Born in Asia, raised in France and holding managerial roles during a 15-year career in leading MNCs, he has an intimate knowledge of the luxury lifestyle, wine & spirits, and travel sectors. Julien endlessly builds expertise in fine wines, whisky, champagne and fine drinks from the vineyards of France to the cellars of Italy, US, China and Australia.

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