British Airways (BA) has teamed up with Fife’s InchDairnie Distillery to create a limited edition Scotch whisky, which will be served on the airline's flights in 2031.To mark World Whisky Day on 18 May, BA and InchDairnie began the 12-year process of creating an expression to mark the airline’s centenary. BA headed to the Scottish distillery to mix malted barley, water and yeast, before distilling and pouring the liquid into an ex-Bourbon American oak cask. The cask ends come from a red wine cask made from French oak, which pays tribute to the first flight operated by AT&T – the precursor company of BA – which flew to Paris in 1919. The American oak is a nod to BA's 30 journeys across the Atlantic every day. Over 12 years the spirit will mature to create a "malty, fruity" Scotch whisky “designed to work perfectly at altitude”. It will then be decanted into 300 limited edition bottles, which will be served exclusively on BA flights in 2031. Ian Palmer, managing director of InchDairnie, said: “We’re delighted we’ve been able to create a very special whisky for British Airways in their very special year. “Although we are a new distillery who have a much younger heritage than British Airways, through the use of industry leading technology we are bringing together decades of industry experience and knowledge, enabling us to fine tune one of the most meticulously designed distillation processes in the world.” Kelly Stevenson, BA’s wine and beverage manager, said: “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.” BA will also be showcasing InchDairnie’s exclusive Centenary Cask ½ programme at the airline’s new First bar in New York from June. Twelve casks are being offered exclusively to BA customers between now and the end of September.
Fife-based InchDairnie began distilling in 2015 and will release its single malt Scotch whisky in 2029. This is not the first time that BA has moved into the world of spirits. Earlier this month, BA partnered with Pickering's Gin on the world’s first expression specifically designed to be sipped at high altitudes. In 2016, BA teamed up with The Cambridge Distillery to produce its own gin blend for first class customers.