Guest Post: Raise the Macallan, aka: Scotch o’clock

First off I want to thank Tanya for generously donating her tickets to this event to me.  I also owe her and the organizers an apology for not posting this sooner.  Life has been extremely busy since then and I didn’t have the time to finish this until now.  I’m sincerely sorry for the delay.

The event was hosted at The Art Gallery of Calgary. We started out by signing in on the upper level; at that point we were tagged with a wrist band allowing us to sample a lot of whisky before the main event.  Sadly my lovely date Lara and I became so engrossed in checking out and discussing the artwork plus sampling the very tasty amuse-bouche and the Macallan 10 that was being served; we were only able to partake of one glass. In retrospect, it was probably a good thing as we were unaware of the volume of scotch we would be tasting that night. We were also fascinated by the displays/history of the ultra-premium bottling’s of Macallan.

How would you like a couple of these in your collection? Would you drink it?? I would be tempted to drink it, why not right?

 

The next thing we knew is the room was almost empty! We didn’t notice people leaving and only just caught a glimpse of a some people slipping through a side door which lead to the lower level. Off we went to catch the next part of the evening’s fun and festivities.

On the second level we were queuing up to take our seats in the formal tasting area on the main level below us. Once we were directed to some seats we were greeted by a row of tasty whiskies that were calling my name. Or was that my inside voice getting the better of me? Either way, who am I to argue with those particular voices.

 

Our host for the evening started the festivities with a short video on the making of Macallan and the history of the distillery.  After that, on to the tasting!

 

 

First up is the 10 year Fine Oak .  The official tasting notes describe it better than I can and for the rest of these I’ll put up those notes followed by my comments/thoughts on it.

Colour:  Pale Straw

Nose: Complex, with a hint of fruit and heather honey

Palate: Soft and malty, balanced with oak and fruit

Finish: Lingering with hints of oak and fruit.

Fine oak is aged in a mix of Spanish and American oak casks.

I noticed a light toffee flavour coming through along with a touch of citrus. Not a peaty scotch by any means, it’s very approachable and easy to sip.

 

 

Throughout the tasting our host and tasting guide has been very chatty and informative, pausing to answer questions and in turn, ask us questions to get us thinking about what we were experiencing.  Interesting note, only 17% of the whisky they produce is used for The Macallan, the balance is used in other brands for blending, Famous Grouse being one of them.

 

Our next sample is the 12 year Sherry Oak

Colour: Rich Gold

Nose: Vanilla with a hint of ginger, dried fruits, sherry sweetness and wood smoke.

Palate: Deliciously smooth, rich dried fruits and sherry, balanced with wood smoke and spice.

Finish: Sweet toffee and dried fruits, with wood smoke and spice.

Sherry Oak is aged in Spanish sherry oak casks. This attributes to the darker colouring, fruit and spice characteristics.

I definitely agreed with their tasting notes, I also picked up a touch of milk chocolate on the palate as well. Overall a darn fine sippable whisky!

At this point there was a break to present an informative and heart wrenching video about charity:water  Macallan auctioned off The Macallan 64 Years old in Lalique with full proceeds going to charity:water, raising $460,000 Real action and positive results, rare to see in this online world of armchair activism(the scam, err search for kony anyone?). Check out charity:water here and if you’re so inclined, get involved.

 

We were then introduced to an ice ball maker that our host was quite excited about. It converts a block of ice into a 65mm sphere of ice using pressure alone. Made of a heavy alloy, the pressure of the weight melts the block into the sphere. It too can be yours only £650.00, free delivery too!

Our host was so excited by this and the making of a perfect ice sphere that he missed doing the tasting of our third whisky of the evening, the 15 year old Fine Oak.

Colour: Rich Straw

Nose: Sublime and full, with a hint of rose and cinnamon

Palate: Intense rich chocolate, with a hint of orange and raisin

Out of the four we tasted, this was by far my hands down favourite.  I loved the chocolate flavours, the spice on the nose and the slight residual sweetness.

 

Our final taster of the night was the 18 Year Sherry Oak

Colour: Light Mahogany

Nose: Dried fruits and ginger, with a hint of citrus, vanilla and cinnamon

Palate: Rich dried fruits, with spice, clove, orange and wood smoke

Finish: Full and lingering, with dried fruits and sweet toffee, ginger and a hint of wood smoke.

This one was interesting, certainly a lot more complex than the others and my second favourite of the night.  I found it to be quite sweet with flavours of figs and earl grey tea on the palate.

 

All in all, an amazing night of wonderful company, learning more about a subject I’m keenly interested in and tasting some fantastic whisky.

 

Again, I wish to offer a huge thank you to Tanya and the organizers of the #RaiseTheMacallan event.

Find me over on twitter @twowheelgeek

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