While beer makes my world go ‘round, I am not one to turn down a new experience. So, when Ad told me about the Macallan scotch-tasting he had passes to, naturally I had to accept.
I know nothing about scotch except that until a matter of months ago, I could barely look at it, let alone smell or taste it, without retching. However, I have opened my mind a bit and was ready for this single malt. Again, I have very little idea of the difference between a single malt and a blend.
When we got upstairs, we were welcomed with a fine oak 10-year scotch, either neat or on the rocks. We took a seat and grabbed some hors d’oeuvres one of which was perhaps the best I’ve ever had. It was thick-cut, maple bacon with some sort of chutney on top. I don’t really know what type of chutney it was—it’s unimportant when compared to the bacon.
Anyway, after the 10-year, we were given a brief presentation by Graeme Russell, a Macallan brand ambassador. The presentation was essentially a VH1-style clip show featuring goings-on from the year the scotch was made.
The first scotch was a fine-oak 15, matured in 3 different types of casks. The nose had hints of cinnamon, the palate was vaguely fruity—orange and raisin mostly—and the finish was lingering.
The next was a fine oak 17, a really pretty amber color with a more floral aroma and a peatier taste and citrus finish.
After these, we had two sherry oak scotches. That is, these were aged in barrels previously used to age sherry. The color of each of the second two was more amber, deeper, and less gold. The sherry oak 12 was very smooth with hints of caramel in the nose, vanilla in the mouth, and a moderate wood finish.
Finally, the sherry oak 18 had a much stronger, more astringent mouthfeel than the others. There were hints of ginger, which gives you an idea of the type of almost-bitterness that it had.
The presentation was well-done and my favorites were the fine-oak 15 and the sherry oak 18. And of course, they all went very well with maple bacon.