Last Tuesday (May 17th, 2011) I went to one of the free Macallan scotch whisky tastings at Milk Studios in NYC to try the whisky, see which variety is my favourite, and take a few photos. Hosting the event was Macallan Ambassador Jay Liddell, who during the evening drank copious amounts of Macallan product and regaled us through their PR presentation about the history of scotch, and how Macallan is made in a way that sets it apart from its competitors.
At the beginning we were given a golden token, which we could redeem at the bar for a dram of Macallan 10 yro to get us started. Nowhere near my favourite, a bit rough up front, and generally lacking in complexity, it nonetheless paves the way for better to come.
We tasted, in order, the following scotches:
- 12 yr sherry oak – sickly sweet, this was nonetheless the favourite of the ladies sitting at my table. The sherry casks impart a smoothness that goes a long way in introducing whisky to an audience who only tastes 80 proof liquor when doing shots.
- 15 yr fine oak – my personal favourite, less sweet and richer, raisin-oak and syrup with a warm lingering finish. Affordably priced under $90, it’s easy to find a bottle to enjoy.
- 17 yr fine oak – too much time in the barrel left the 17 year old feeling thick and syrupy, with little complexity and a flat finish. I would not recommend this bottle, especially at the $125 price point.
- 18 yr fine oak – here we have a problem, as the tasting at the Macallan event was sedimentary and contaminated with dishsoap or some other ingredient lingering in the glasses. However, I have a bottle of this at home, and it is a much smoother version of the 15 year old, retaining much of the complexity.
I also enjoyed the presentation, as I didn’t know what the “fine oak” line of Macallan whiskies meant. Apparently, the scotch is triple cask matured in Spanish Sherry seasoned oak casks, American Sherry seasoned oak casks and American Bourbon casks, before being vatted together for bottling. This gives it a much smoother palate compared to single wood scotches, and yet it’s still considered a pure single malt. You might be interested in reading more on what aging in wood does for whisky, and which ages drinkers seem to prefer.
You can look for free Macallan events in your area, I recommend attending to find out which of the Macallan scotches are your favourite! It’s a far better way to try a bit of scotch than dropping $10-20 a dram at the bar.
|This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 at 9:40 pm and is tagged with macallan scotch, whisky tastings, scotch whisky, oak casks, proof liquor, spanish sherry, seasoned oak, scotches, whiskies, copious amounts, liddell, smoothness, yro, last tuesday, raisin, bourbon, dram, complexity, ambassador, token. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.|