Renowned Scotch whisky distillery The Macallan announced its acquisition of the Vasyma cooperage in Jerez, Spain on Wednesday, according to The Spirits Business. The historic producer, owned by the Edrington Group, is known for its expert use of oak casks for aging its spirits, boasting an already extensive sherry cask aging program.
Founded in 1987, the Vasyma cooperage specializes in making barrels for sherry, Scotch whisky, and brandy production, and has provided casks to The Macallan for over 30 years. This purchase will give The Macallan more access to a supply of American oak from Vasyma’s supplier for cask manufacturing, the Ohio-based Coopers Oak.
“Vasyma’s high quality casks, made from oak expertly sourced by Coopers Oak, have played an important role in the history and success of The Macallan,” Scott McCroskie, CEO of Edrington, says. “We look forward to working closer than ever with these fine craftsmen in Jerez and Ohio as we continue to focus on the quality and resilience of The Macallan’s cask supply chain.”
This move follows The Macallan’s purchase of a 50 percent stake in the Jerez-based group Grupo Estévez earlier this year, which allowed the whisky maker to have exclusive access to its sherry casks. This strategy of deepening its relationships with sherry cask producers suggests The Macallan will continue to cement its status as a top producer in the category.
“Bringing Vasyma into our ownership is a logical step and further demonstration of our pursuit of incomparable craftsmanship and whisky mastery,” says Igor Boyadjian, The Macallan’s managing director.
These acquisitions reflect the growing trend of cask aging and the industry’s particular interest in the unique flavors imparted by sherry casks. Even though the fortified wine itself continues to struggle as a category, the demand for sherry-seasoned casks continues to increase. Therefore, the production of barrels for the Scotch whisky industry has become an important part of the Sherry Triangle’s industry, keeping many cooperages and winemakers in business. Beyond just sherry casks, the business of barrels has grown so rapidly that there are now specialty barrel concierges that specialize in finding the perfect cask to age any given spirit.