Whyte & MacKay Blended Scotch Whisky
Whyte and Mackay Ltd has its roots in warehousing and Charles Mackay and James Whyte started out as the owners of a bonded warehouse (which the bought from Allan & Poynter in 1882) before starting as whisky blenders. After sorting the storage and distribution part of the business and rebranding their first blended concoction was called W & M (Think you can work that one out) and the popularity of the whisky grew within Scotland and the UK. By World War II Whyte & Mackay was selling 1 million cases per year.
Whyte & Mackay’s history was fairly uneventful until 2009 when Indian businessman Vijay Mally purchased Whyte & Mackay from Bacardi. He quickly replaced the chief executive John Beard with Ashwin Malik and took Whyte & Mackay in a different direction aimed at selling more whisky in the Indian and American market. This was hugely successful in India where Whyte & MacKay took a massive 13% of the market in just over 5 months, a remarkable achievement.
The modernisation was under way and Whyte & Mackay were using relatively untested marketing channels such as twitter and Facebook in order to promote its products. They also launched an online game called Whyte & Mackay Safari Hunt. These methods were credited in the successful launch of Jura Superstition which Vijay Mally also owned.
This was an exciting time for Whyte & Mackay who in October 2009 won the best blended whisky in the world with their 30 year old blend. They also a year later took on a project to recreate the whisky found in Antarctica which was believed to be from Ernest Shackleton’s 1907 expedition. The brand of those whiskies was MacKinlay which is now owned by Whyte & Mackay. The same year 2 bottles of 64 year old Dalmore (also part of the Whyte & Mackay stable) sold for £100,000 each, 1 bottle stills remains in the possession of Whyte & Mackay.
However, Whyte & Mackay’s biggest success is that it remains a very popular brand in the home of whisky, Scotland. The fact the population with most choice stay loyal to Whyte & Mackay says a lot about the quality of this blended scotch whisky.