Raise the Macallan

Friday, April 29, 2016

Last night NYC whisky enthusiasts were given the chance to attend Raise the Macallan, a private whisky tasting that provided attendees with the opportunity to taste four different whiskys made by The Macallan.

"Building a Scotch collection isn’t for the scarce of pocket. Even the first step–figuring out what you like– proves problematic when it’s hard to find a bar with a good scotch collection and harder still to justify ponying up $15 a dram when you might find, in fact, your drink reminds you of an actual pony (while pony is not a whisky flavor, hay and grass are common tasting notes). The answer? Tasting events. They are, by far, the best way to start sampling and discerning your preferences." - Whersky

After spending some time to check out the rare collection, yes! with a price tag of $38,000.00, SoonI was whisked away to the main presentation room which was a cavernous hall worthy of hosting a lavish wedding reception and I wes seated at comfortable tables of six.

The presenter for the evening was Craig Bridger, a charismatic and comfortable public speaker brand-ambassador for Macallan. He covered the history of single malt Scotch whisky and showed us a tutorial on how to taste the spirit. Guests were provided with information from both a video presentation and from Craig himself, creating a dynamic presentation that kept the audience engaged and interested. Guests learned the story of The Macallan, peppered with jokes from Craig, and learned about the small stills, the small percentage ultimately used, and the very particular oak casks.

"The majority of Macallan’s spirit distilled by their curiously small stills is disregarded; Only the top 16% is deemed good enough for aging in their self-owned casks. I had no idea that Macallan owned their own oak forests in Spain and had invested no less than $27 million in making their own casks. From tree to cask to bottle the full cycle is a staggering 118 years. Surprisingly Macallan owns 90% of sherry casks available on the market. That is a whole other business in itself outside of distilling." - NYLoveswhisky

The bigger events can be prohibitively expensive but, fortunately for us all, once a year all over the country, Macallan hosts a tasting event featuring four of its products. While the presentation is targeted at whisky-newbies, the fact that the event is absolutely free is enough to get anyone excited. Over the course of 45 minutes we tasted Macallan 12 Sherry Oak, Macallan 15 Fine Oak, Macallan 17 Fine Oak and Macallan 18 Sherry Oak. Table mounted iPad accompanied our tastings with helpful flavor notes. I applaud Macallan for turning a possibly trashy free booze fest into an elegant informative whisky tasting. I’m sure the people who came for the free booze walked away with some additional knowledge and appreciation for single malt whisky.


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