Impressions from Raise the Macallan NYC

Raise the Macallan events have been sweeping this great nation. Their viral email marketing made all of us feel like we were part of an exclusive society. Going into the event I didn’t expect much since I figured it would be a loud, noisy, party-like atmosphere with raucous people who were there for the free booze. Upon entry that expectation was met. We started off in a shoulder room only bar area where we had to battle our way to the bar to get drams of Macallan 10 Fine Oak. Luckily a friend of a friend was lounging in the spacious VIP area and invited us in. Soon after we were whisked away to the main presentation room which was a cavernous hall worthy of hosting a lavish wedding reception. We were seated at comfortable tables of ten which would be the forum for a four flight tasting.

Now this was nice. Charlie Windfield, Macallan brand ambassador, greeted us with some kind words and embarked on a very informative presentation. 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.

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. Two table mounted iPads 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. If you get a chance to attend a similar tasting in your city, you should definitely take advantage of it. Cheers!

Empty tasting glasses at the end of the event
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