Good news for whisky lovers: British Airways is creating a limited-edition whisky with Scottish distillery, InchDairnie, which will be served inflight. The bad news: the 12-year process of creating the whisky means that it won’t be served until 2031.
It should be worth the wait though. On May 18 – World Whisky Day, naturally – British Airways staff joined the distillers at the Fife-based distillery to mix malted barley, water and yeast before distilling and pouring it into a bespoke American oak cask once used to mature bourbon. The cask heads are from a red wine cask, made from French oak, in a tribute to the first flight operated by AT&T, the forerunner company of today’s British Airways which flew to Paris in 1919. The American oak is a nod to British Airways, as the airline now makes up to 30 journeys across the Atlantic every day.
Over the next 12 years the spirit will mature, drawing out vanilla and coconut flavours and a dark colour from the cask, before ageing to create a malty, fruity, Scotch whisky designed to come alive at altitude. The cask-aged spirit will then be decanted into 300 limited-edition bottles.
Kelly Stevenson, British Airways’ wine and beverage manager, said: “Celebrating our centenary is all about honouring our airline’s history, as well as looking to the future. InchDairnie has a modern and innovative approach to whisky distilling and we’ve incorporated touches with a nod to our history. In years to come our customers will be able to enjoy it from the comfort of their seat – we know it will be worth the wait.”
Flyers can also own their own bit of history as InchDairnie have created the Centenary Cask programme, which will be showcased at the airline’s brand new First bar in New York from June. Just 12 casks are being offered exclusively to British Airways customers between now and the end of September, and each cask will have its own unique taste profile.
The InchDairnie is the latest of British Airways’ series of centenary editions in partnership with British brands. The airline has partnered with Scottish craft brewers, BrewDog, who created a ‘transatlantic IPA’ beer for customers and has also teamed up with Marmite, who have created a centenary branded jar. As Marmite is the most confiscated brand at airport security, the travel-sized jar is conveniently sized to fit within the liquid allowance.