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Friday, February 18, 2011

The Macallan Single Malt Scotch Whiskey tasting



Having been invited to a Macallan Single Malt Scotch whiskey tasting recently, I thought it would make an interesting post. Like many wine & spirits, single malt whiskeys have an acquired taste and usually require multiple tastes to acclimate your palate. Different nuances splash your palate the same way wine would. The tasting was led by Macallan U.S. Ambassador Eden Algie, a Scotsman and proud of it. Eden walked us through a history of Scotland's whiskey industry, the different regions & types of whiskey and what sets Macallan apart from the rest. All done in a very funny and informative manner. Macallan has been distilling whiskey since 1824 in the Highland region of Scotland and is the 3rd largest single malt whiskey distiller, producing over 500,000 cases a year.

Macallan is a single malt whiskey, which means that what's in the bottle comes a "single" distillery & comes from only malted barley. Unlike blended whiskey's that are not only blended from different distilleries, they can use malted barley but other cereals also. At Macallan they use sherry oak barrels barrels for the aging. We tasted 4 of the offerings including 10, 12, & 15 year old in sherry oak and a 15 year old in fine oak. All had very distinctive tastes, some were tasted neat(no ice or water) & some were tasted with a few drops of water to open it up a bit. There are no rules to how you drink your whiskey, whether you like it neat, over ice or with a splash of water. Enjoy it how you like it. That being said one should always try it by itself before you choose to add ice or water so that you may taste it in its truest form. I was surprised to learn that Macallan is owned by a charitable trust and that they do a lot for charity. They recently raised $460,000 for Charity Water w/ a 64 year old bottle in a crystal decanter called "Lalique: Cire Perdue".

So as you expand your palate for new libations, one should give single malt whiskey a try and for that I like Macallan.

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