Whyte and Mackay
|Products||Scotch Whiskies , Liqueurs, and Vodkas|
Whyte and Mackay is a Scottish company producing alcoholic beverages. It was founded in 1844 and is based in Glasgow. Since May 2007, Whyte and Mackay has been owned by United Breweries Group, a large Indian conglomerate.
Whyte & Mackay's self-branded whisky holds about 3 per cent of the UK whisky market.
Charles Mackay and James Whyte started a company as whisky merchants and bonded warehousemen in Glasgow in 1882. W&M Special was their first blended whisky and it was successful in the United Kingdom and other English speaking countries around the world. After World War II they focused on the home market and now sell more than 1 million cases a year.
The brand was purchased by Hugh Fraser's SUITS group in 1971. SUITS was acquired by Lonrho in 1981 and subsequently Whyte & Mackay was sold to Brent Walker in 1988 and then to American Brands in 1990, which was renamed as Fortune Brands in 1997. In 2001 Fortune Brands sold Whyte & Mackay to management for £208 million. United Breweries purchased the brand in May 2007 for £595 million in cash.
In August 2013, key members of United Spirits Limited (USL), the subsidiary of United Breweries that owns Whyte & Mackay, resigned from positions at Whyte and Mackay in the wake of the purchase of a controlling share of USL by Diageo, including USL CEO Vijay Mallya, White & Mackay CEO John Beard, and director Ayani Nedungadi. Regulators in the UK are investigating whether to force United to divest itself of Whyte & Mackay due to anti-trust concerns over Diageo's dominant position in Scotch whisky production. On September 16, 2013, Whyte & Mackay appointed Bryan Donaghey as its new CEO. Donaghey formerly served as managing director of Diageo for Scotland and prior to Diageo held posts within the Scotch Whisky Association.
In October 2011, Whyte & Mackay formed an import company in the U.S.—Whyte & Mackay Americas—to handle its portfolio in the U.S. market with products including the Jura, The Dalmore, Cluny, John Barr, Glen Salen, Whyte & Mackay and Mackinlay’s whisky brands, as well as Glayva Liqueur, Snow Leopard and Pinky vodkas in the U.S. The company appointed former Bacardi executive Jorge Gutierrez as president of Whyte & Mackay Americas. In July 2013, Gutierrez left Whyte & Mackay Americas to become CEO of Voli Vodka. In September 2013, Whyte & Mackay appointed alcoholic beverage specialist Park Street to provide importing, back-office and enterprise resource planning services for its Whyte & Mackay Americas unit.
The company sells Single Malt and Blended Scotch whiskies, Liqueurs, and Vodkas. Their brands include the W&M blends; Dalmore, Jura, and Fettercairn single malts; Glayva liqueur; and Vladivar Vodka.
In August 2010, it was reported that Whyte and Mackay would replicate a supply of whisky discovered in Antarctica from a 1907 expedition of Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton's supplies. The 11 bottles of whisky recovered were of the Mackinlay brand, and Whyte and Mackay now oversee those distilleries.
On October 14, 2010, Whyte and Mackay sold two bottles of their 64-year-old Dalmore Trinitas malt whisky for 100,000 pounds each, or about $160,000. According to the master distiller, only three bottles of this whisky were ever made, and it cannot be made again.
In October 2009, Whyte and Mackay Master Blender Richard Paterson announced on his blog site that the 30 year old Whyte and Mackay whisky had been voted the best blended whisky in the world in two different prestigious whisky competitions.
Whyte and Mackay were sponsors of the English football team Leeds United from 2003 to 2006, but their backing did little to save the club from a financial crisis which cost them their place in the Premier League. The brand used to sponsor Edinburgh club Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League, the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, the PDC Premier League Darts and the Force India Formula One racing team.
Boxes of Whyte and Mackay can be seen in the 1931 Hollywood movie The Public Enemy.
Bottle of Whyte and Mackay can also be seen in the 2012 movie Cloud Atlas.
A bottle of Whyte and Mackay is seen being drunk by a Yakuza group in the 2004 anime, Requiem for the Phantom.
Bottles of Whyte and Mackay were recovered by underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence from the shipwreck of the SS Regina, which had been sunk in Lake Huron in 1913. A People magazine article that told of the recovery, had a picture of Spence on the bow of the salvage boat hoisting a full bottle of Whyte and Mackay.
Social media presence
In 2009, the company expanded into Social Media setting up Twitter accounts for Whyte and Mackay whisky and Jura Superstition. It also launched an ARG/online and offline game consisting of Twitter and GPS updates called the Whyte and Mackay Safari Hunt.
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- Whyte & Mackay Creates New Unit To Handle Portfolio In U.S., Shanken News Daily, October 3, 2011.
- Wehring, Olly, UK/US: Whyte & Mackay calls time on Shaw-Ross International US import tie-up, Just-Drinks, October 4, 2011.
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- Whyte & Mackay, part of Diageo-controlled United Spirits Ltd., making moves in the U.S., Park Street News, September 11, 2013.
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