For the better part of two centuries, exquisite single-malt whiskies have been distilled and patiently laid down in Spanish sherry casks at a sprawling 485-acre property overlooking the River Spey in the Scottish Highlands. Those sumptuous whiskies, that romantic estate and the labor of love (and patience) that is required to produce such bottled treasures are the lifeblood of The Macallan.
Three hundred miles to the south (as the crow flies) in Crewe, England, luxuriously appointed, high-performance cars are painstakingly built by hand. Inside a cutting-edge facility that spans almost 129 acres in total area thousands of expert craftspeople are dedicated to fashioning together thousands of individual parts, using traditional manufacturing techniques, such as bespoke marquetry, as well as modern technology. Much of the detail work is also performed by hand. For example, it requires three and a half hours to hand-stitch the steering wheel of a Flying Spur. Almost 200 inches of thread are sewn through 352 precisely positioned holes, creating a unique cross-stitch pattern that is impossible to replicate with a machine. This level of refinement and attention to detail is the heart and soul of Bentley Motors.
Not many brands ascend to the pinnacle of their field, let alone have the longevity to last a century or more. But the British automaker and Scotch whisky producer have not only held leading roles in the development and evolution of their respective industries, but they have done so for hundreds of years. Bentley Motors celebrated its centennial anniversary two years ago, while The Macallan readies itself for a bicentennial jubilee in 2024.
Moreover, the two illustrious marquees share histories that are defined by an ongoing dedication to craftsmanship, creativity, innovation and sustainability. Through an exclusive partnership, the brands will share knowledge from their respective industries in the coming years, building on their rich heritages to develop distinctive collaborations and further their vision of a more sustainable future.
“Our collaboration presents a remarkable opportunity to compare our time-earned knowledge and to learn from each other, supporting fresh thinking about our businesses, our customers and ultimately our products,” says Igor Boyadjian, managing director for The Macallan. “A key focus of the partnership will be our commitment to a more sustainable future. The breathtaking natural landscape at The Macallan Estate provides the perfect platform for us to embark together on this exciting and extraordinary journey.”
Adrian Hallmark, Bentley’s chairman and chief executive, shares a similar view and enthusiasm for the partnership. “Our brands are two that share the same ethos,” he says. “I’m delighted to be working with The Macallan with one common goal: to both lead our fields as we work towards a more sustainable future. We will learn from each other in the coming months and years to advance our programs together, and on the way work on some truly extraordinary projects and products.”
Beyond their shared ethos of craftsmanship, each company’s sustainability initiatives also run parallel. The Macallan is committed to become carbon neutral by 2030—an endeavor that is best exemplified by the whisky brand’s iconic distillery, which features an undulating timber roof structure adorned with a living meadow. Similarly, Bentley Motors strives to become the world’s most-sustainable luxury car manufacturer. As way of example, the automaker has reduced the CO2 emissions at its headquarters in Crewe by 99.5 percent since 2010. Additionally, the automaker is striving to electrify its entire range by 2023 and aims to become fully carbon neutral by 2030. The whisky producer, in synergy, has declared that it will transition its fleet of passenger vehicles at The Macallan Estate to all electric cars—including the use of an exclusive Bentley hybrid—by 2025.
On the topic of innovation, both brands are driven to push boundaries, and this new partnership will allow them to learn from one another as they advance their innovative efforts and ways of collaboration. Additionally, it will allow them to further how they source sustainable materials, as well as enhance their ability to find and share sustainable, local suppliers.
In an upcoming video series produced exclusively for Bentley Motors and The Macallan, we’ll delve deeper into each of these core philosophies. What do those respective tenets mean for both Bentley and The Macallan? How are the brands leading by example? How will both entities learn and benefit from the lessons and experiences that each one has had? In what ways will the future be impacted by such a collaboration? These key insights will be shared via the craftspeople at each brand and will provide an exciting glimpse of the noteworthy benefits that can be gained from such a unique partnership. There’s definetly a lot to look forward to.