THE MACALLAN LAUNCHES ITS LONDON RESIDENCE
Luxury single malt whisky, The Macallan is taking over London’s Two Temple Place for two nights only. On 2 and 3 June, The Macallan Residence will unlock its doors and invite guests into the world of The Macallan.
The first UK event of its kind for the brand will take guests on a journey of carefully curated experiences exploring the world of photography, food and fashion.
Visitors to The Macallan Residence will learn how to expertly nose and taste single malt with Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby, award winning whiskies from The 1824 Series. Master-classes from Mixologists Wayne Collins and David Miles will showcase the art of creating the perfect Old Fashioned cocktail.
Chocolate and whisky pairings from Artisan Du Chocolat will be on offer, as well a bespoke styling service from a number of hand-picked partners. Photography from The Macallan’s latest collaboration with the world’s most glamourous and iconic fashion photographer, Mario Testino will also be exhibited for guests to enjoy.
Keith Bonnington, The Macallan Senior Brand Manager said: “The Macallan Residence is an exciting and unique event which will take consumers on an exceptional whisky experience. Set in the iconic Two Temple Place, guests will be fully immersed in the world of quality craftsmanship synonymous with The Macallan.”
A limited number of tickets are available for the two hour experience on 2 June at 7.30pm and 8.30pm and 3 June at 6.30pm at Two Temple Place, London, WC2R 3BD. To reserve your place please visit: http://www.themacallanresidence.com/.
Please enjoy The Macallan responsibly, visit www.drinkaware.co.uk for the facts.
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About The Macallan
Founded in 1824 in the heart of Speyside, The Macallan was one of the first distilleries in Scotland to be legally licensed. Since then it has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading single malt whiskies. The creation of The Macallan draws on the vital contributing influences of Spain, North America and Scotland, and of their respective natural raw materials, combined with traditional methods and craftsmanship. From its founding, through the subsequent owners of The Macallan distillery in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and into the present century, The Macallan has been recognised for its outstanding quality above all else.
During one of our cold and dreary winters here in New York I invited some close friends to my house for a grueling task. I wasn’t asking them to move furniture or paint rooms which are the archetypal favors you may rope a friend into. No, this was a “chore” most mates would jump at the chance to aid in. The call I placed was to ask if they would assist me in rating a vertical of Pappy Van Winkle 15, 20, and 23yr. old bourbon. Needless to say both friends didn’t seem to mind lending a hand or their taste buds. However in order to gather sufficient and comprehensive results I had to put a few key methods into place.
First I chose these two friends for particular reasons. Although I had many people offer to “help” out with my study I felt I needed some specific tasters. One of them has tasted many a fine bourbon yet still considers his tasting acumen as” budding” and continuing to develop. Also this individual doesn’t covet any booze or cigar and price and/or hype never sways him. I can always count on him for an honest assessment and he is one friend who even keeps me grounded at times. The other person has never tried bourbon but is a big fan of wine with a developing palate enhanced by his extensive Sommelier certification coursework. He is an asset to the study as he has the ability to recognize taste but no preconceived notions on what bourbon should be.
Second we had to do this study blind. In order to score without bias we needed to NOT be aware of what we were drinking. Each bourbon was covered up by someone not participating in the study and each bottle labeled simply 1, 2 & 3. We were poured each one in number order and utilized the UC Davis College Wine Score Card which applies to spirits as well. This card has a point system broken up into 3 categories with a scoring system for each category. The categories were Appearance, Odor, and Taste. Each category was noted and then given a score. The scores were then added up for a final scoring on that particular spirit. The highest total score that can be achieved is 25 points on the UC Davis College Wine Score Card respectively. The results and ratings below are listed highest to lowest scored with tasting notes as well as the year of the bourbon. The results were quite surprising. Enjoy!
1. Pappy Van Winkle 20yr. Old Bourbon- 20 Points. We found that this bourbon was the sweet spot in terms of the time Pappy should be aged in barrel. The color was a wonderful golden amber with a honeyed hue and a touch of rose’. The first nose gave off alcohol aromas some vanilla and slight spice. Initial tastings had vanilla, baking spice and oak with medium intensity. The mid palate was smooth and refined with oak vanilla and earthy characteristics. The finish was long, rich and continued with an interplay of spices, toasted oak and vanilla. An extremely balanced bourbon with a length that beats many I’ve tasted.
2. Pappy Van Winkle 15yr. Old Bourbon- 18 Points. The color in the glass was that of caramel and toasted almond. Nosing gave off aromas of cinnamon, citrus and spice. This bourbon had a weighty mouth feel with earth and vanilla dominating. Midway caramel, butterscotch and a bit of toasted oak came through. Some “bourbon heat” kicked in for a moment before finishing with a long caramel/toffee aftertaste. This was a medium intensity bourbon and we all felt it was a fine sipping spirit.
3. Pappy Van Winkle 23yr. Old Bourbon- 17 Points. The color on this bourbon was medium with an amber hue. There was a more intense burn on the nose with some vanilla coming through on the second impression. There wasn’t much more on the front of this offering. First sip yielded baking spice, wood and coconut. Midway gave a lot of earthiness along with baking spices and some more vanilla and caramel. There was a lot of heat present and the finish took on a long earthy and spicy character. This bourbon came on with intense spice, heat and wood no doubt due to its aging however we did not feel the extended time benefited it.
The lineup and copious note taking
So after a long hard afternoon which trickled into evening we concluded our findings. Having drunk these bourbons for years I wasn’t surprised to see the 20 yr. old the best in taste, flavor and finish as it has always been my personal favorite. We were all surprised to find that the 23yr. old scored the lowest in our tasting. This wasn’t a bad bourbon at all in fact it is of extremely high quality. The additional aging however seemed to overpower some flavors which seemingly hurt its scoring. What makes blind tastings so interesting is that you remove your preconceived notions and are forced to focus on the sight, smell and taste of the product alone. I would recommend getting some friends together and try a blind tasting. It can be done with any spirit and you may be surprised at what you THINK you like. I’m sure you won’t have any trouble finding friends to lend a hand in this endeavor,I sure didn’t.
This past week I gathered some spirits and cigar aficionado friends of mine for a bourbon and rye blind tasting at Havana’s Cigar Club in East Meadow NY. Our goal was to have all of us bring bourbons or ryes for a total of 20 bottles together for the tasting. There were five guys total including myself with backgrounds ranging from sommeliers to certified tobacconists. All of us arrived at the private club at 11:00 am ready for the challenge. Another cigar associate was present as his job was to pour all the spirits as well as number them so we would have no idea what we were tasting. In addition we each had to fill out cards for every spirit tasted and evaluate them using a hundred point scale. We gave points for 4 separate criteria; 1. Appearance 2. Aroma 3. Taste & Characteristics and 4. Finish. After tasting we tallied all the points up for a top 5 best of the best. It was quite an afternoon with many surprises as to what we “Thought” was what. I urge anyone who hasn’t to organize your own blind tasting and you too may be surprised at how you taste. So without further ado, here is our official top five list and congrats to these wonderful spirits. Enjoy!
# 1: Rating 97 Points- Rough Rider Bull Moose Three Barrel Rye Whisky.
From Richard Stabile of Long Island Distillers makers of LiV vodka, Rough Rider Bourbon and Pine Barrens Single Malt this Rough Rider shot out the gate with three tasters commenting instantly on its aroma and complexity. This rye had it all for us; spice, caramel, butter, toasted oak and some wonderful heat. All that with a silky mouthfeel and a finish that lingered on our taste buds for days. All of us agreed the Three Barrel aging was a brilliant idea that added to its intertwined flavors and finish. We need more of these innovations and more of this Rye!
#2: Rating 96 Points- Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Small Batch.
This very close second in our tasting is one of my favorite bourbons. There are four different bourbons comprised here ranging from 11-17 years old. The nose on this yielded cinnamon, all spice and even a bit of citrus. Notes of vanilla, oak and caramel dominated leaving an aged oak finish. A delicate bourbon due to its age and an amazing expression of what quality blending can accomplish.
#3: Rating 95 Points- Eagle Rare 17 year old.
Yet another choice bourbon that blew us away. This spirit gave off a candied nose along with some citrus and dried fruits. Its initial spice gave way to leather, tobacco and cinnamon. Subtle oak on the finish along with a shot of heat hit all of our sensory spots. I’ve always been a fan of the different style of Eagle Rare even in their lesser offerings and this one is not to be downplayed. A stylish bourbon.
#4: Rating 94 Points- Templeton Small Batch Rye.
We were surprised how far ahead this Rye got in our ratings but despite its seemingly gimmicky claims, this Rye stood out amongst they fray. Its nose was reminiscent of the holiday with pine, allspice and woods. The cinnamon and spice came forward along with a buttery mouthfeel and heated finish. I can’t say for fact that this is a “Prohibition Era” spirit but it’s sure tasty for this day and age.
#5: Rating 93 Points- Kings County Distillery Bourbon.
We must have had NY on our minds as yet another NY spirit made our top tastings. This small batch bourbon out of Kings County delivered fine malts along with a lot of corn on the nose. The flavors gave hints of charred oak, leather and touches anise. The oak finish smacked on the sides of the mouth and kept us salivating for more. Yet another unique style that cut through the rest.
As you’ve probably guessed it was a tough afternoon sifting through choice bourbons and ryes at a private cigar lounge; fortunately we bit the bullet and suffered through the day. Our scientific method yielded the most unbiased ratings we could deliver. You’ll be happy to know we treated ourselves to some luxurious cigars afterward while dutifully sipping on the winner. All for you dear readers, all for you.
The Macallan Unveils M
A collaboration between three masters: The Macallan, Fabien Baron & Lalique
In a collaboration between three masters of their crafts, The Macallan has unveiled a limited edition luxury decanter, M. Partnering with renowned creative director Fabien Baron and crystal makers Lalique, The Macallan has created a beautifully designed and meticulously crafted crystal decanter containing precious and complex Macallan single malt whisky.
Just 1,750 crystal decanters of M, each engraved with its own individual number, are available worldwide. M’s whisky draws upon The Macallan’s classic full flavoured tradition with notes of abundant dried fruits, spices and orange citrus. With a rich natural colour, complexity and sumptuous intensity, the single malt is laden with character absorbed from the Spanish sherry oak casks that nurture it through the maturation process.
David Cox, Director of Fine and Rare, The Macallan, comments: “The coming together of three such masters has resulted in a truly beautiful creation, which specifically showcases the vital influence of The Macallan’s exceptional sherry seasoned oak casks and the craft of the Whisky Maker. The natural colour of M is stunning. A single malt of the most exquisite complexity and character, M will set a new standard in the world of decanters to become the iconic representation of The Macallan.”
Capturing the expressive aesthetic of Fabien Baron’s illustrious creative vision, M’s tall, slim dimensions and geometric form challenge the perceptions of traditional decanter design. Its sharp, angular facets gave inspiration to the name M itself, selected by Baron as a typographic representation of the decanter’s striking design.
Its six striking facets are Baron’s homage to The Macallan’s heritage, reflecting the six pillars at the heart of its ethos: The Spiritual Home – the breathtaking 390-acre Macallan Speyside estate where M was created; the distillery’s Curiously Small Stills, whose unique shape gives the spirit its fruity, rich character; The Finest Cut, the 16% of the new make spirit, the smallest figure in the industry, selected for maturation; Exceptional Oak Casks, acquired and cared for without thought to the cost, imparting its distinctive characteristics and flavour; Natural Colour created purely through the interaction between spirit and wood; and The Peerless Spirit, marking The Macallan’s unsurpassed place in the hearts of the world’s most discerning whisky drinkers.
Lalique has drawn on 150 years of crystal making, and its long standing relationship with The Macallan, to present M with flawless clarity. Fashioned in highest grade crystal, each hand crafted decanter unites proven tradition with striking originality.
Silvio Denz, President and CEO of Lalique, comments: “We have been delighted to have worked with our friends and long-time partners, The Macallan – with whom we have collaborated since 2004 – to realise this exquisite piece. The decanter styling is utterly unique in the world of decanters, and our masters of crystal have relished applying their most complex skills to this project to bring it to life.”
Fabien Baron, Founder and Creative Director of Baron & Baron comments: “I love the craftsmanship and purity of The Macallan. It’s rare to find that level of quality today.”
M is available at specialist whisky retailers in the UK from October, RRP £3000.
NOTES TO EDITORS
M Tasting Notes
- Colour: Rosewood
- Nose: dried fruits ripen, then soften showing off a velvet sateen. Vanilla accompanies green apple hand in hand neither taking the lead. Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon create an ensemble in the background, with polished oak offering to overstate yet never does but plays with a depth of resinous, juicy oranges
- Palate: opens rich in wood spices slowly showing all their viscosity. Wood smoke flits in and out. The heavier raisin and sultana flavours then take over, meandering to a long full finish
- 44.7% abv
ABOUT THE MACALLAN
Founded in 1824 in the heart of Speyside, The Macallan was one of the first distilleries in Scotland to be legally licensed. Since then it has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading single malt whiskies. The creation of The Macallan draws on the vital contributing influences of Spain, North America and Scotland, and of their respective natural raw materials, combined with traditional methods and craftsmanship. From its founding, through the subsequent owners of The Macallan distillery in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and into the present century, The Macallan has been recognised for its outstanding quality above all else. Today this remains the foundation for the worldwide fame of The Macallan and is such that it is truly “The Last Word” in luxury and at the heart of those special moments brought alive over a glass of The Macallan.
ABOUT FABIEN BARON
As the founder and creative director of Baron & Baron, Fabien Baron has crafted identities for the fashion, cosmetic and fragrance world’s most visible and influential brands. The creative director’s singular vision is evident in a broad range of award-winning advertising campaigns, package designs, logos and graphics. Baron has also applied his talents to the design of prominent magazines and books, including the role of Creative Director for Vogue Italia and Vogue Paris, and is renowned for his photography, as well as for directing ground breaking television commercials, music videos and online video content. Fabien Baron is currently the Editorial Director of Interview Magazine.
The LALIQUE story began with René Lalique (1860-1945), renowned as the inventor of modern jewellery who then became the Master in the art of glassmaking of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements, with highly eclectic creations. René Lalique earned his title, “Sculpteur de Lumière”, from the richly sculptural craftsmanship and dramatic contrasts between clear and frosted finishes that define his work. Today, LALIQUE is internationally recognised as the undisputed Master of crystal, and offers crystal collections across five categories: decorative items, interior design, jewellery, art and fragrances. The vision of LALIQUE is to celebrate the creative genius of founder René Lalique by pushing the limits of the factory by creating distinctive decorative objects, issuing superb perfume bottles in crystal, reviving breathtaking jewellery designs, carrying out major architectural projects, working with renowned artists to produce limited edition works of art in crystal; and recreate its cultural heritage, something eternally precious. LALIQUE continues to thrive as a global lifestyle luxury brand, standing for craftsmanship, excellence and creativity.
From the brainchild of Richard Stabile of Long Island Distillers makers of LiV vodka, Rough Bourbon and Pine Barrens Single Malt comes one of the best Rye’s I’ve tasted all year. What makes this rye so special is its aging and select finishing in wine barrels. The spirit is first aged for a minimum of four years in newly charred American oak casks. After aging it’s then finished in selected merlot and chardonnay casks. The result is a rye with a tremendous depth of flavor and a lingering finish. Speaking of “finish’, I just finished another bottle myself and the results are thus. Enjoy!
APPERANCE: A light copper color with legs that scurry down the glass. Swirling gives a nice feel of the depth of the spirit within.
NOSE: Initial flavors of oak, vanilla and spicy heat emerge. Second nose gives toasted wood, bread and some dried fruits.
TASTE: First sip is buttery with apricot some caramel and “merlot” flavors in its expression. The mouth feel is rich with flavors that demonstrates its balance. Both sides of the cheeks are coated with butter and spice that caress not overpowers the senses. The finish goes on forever with a velvety texture and flavors of caramel, toasted oak, butter and heat all at once. This is one of the most balanced and complex Rye’s I’ve tasted.
CONCLUSION: With Bull Moose Three Barrel Rye Long Island Distillers has produced probably my favorite spirit to date. This Rye delivers a cacophony of flavors on the palate and lingers on and on. This exceeded my expectations of rye and what can be done with it. The finishing in wine casks creates tastes and nuances that makes this a true sipping spirit. I’ve enjoyed most everything Rich Stabile has been putting out as of late but if I had to venture off with the “Rough Riders” and could bring only one spirit, this would be the bottle that I’d saddle up with.
July 16, 2013
It is with a very heavy heart that I share with you that our beloved Master Distiller Emeritus Elmer T. Lee, 93, passed away July 16, 2013 after a short illness.
In the world of making really fine whiskey the role of Master Distiller is pivotal, but Elmer’s meaning to those he met, came to know, and worked with closely extended far beyond that of a Master Distiller. Elmer defined, in the simplest terms, what it means to be a great American – hard working, self-made, courageous, honest, kind, humble, and humorous.
Elmer was born in 1919 on a tobacco farm near Peaks Mill in Franklin County, Ky. He graduated from Frankfort County High School in 1936 and worked for Jarman Shoe Company until December 1941. He then served with the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II as a radar bombardier on a B-29. After flying missions against Japan through 1945, Elmer was honorably discharged in January 1946. He returned home and studied engineering at the University of Kentucky, where he graduated with honors in 1949.
In September 1949 Elmer began working in the engineering department of the George T. Stagg Distillery in Frankfort. In 1966, Elmer was promoted to plant superintendent, responsible for all plant operations and reporting to the plant manager. 1n 1969, he became plant manager.
But it was in 1984 that Elmer’s contribution to the bourbon industry gained him the most notoriety, when he introduced Blanton’s, the world’s first Single Barrel Bourbon. Elmer retired in 1985 but continued to serve as an ambassador for Buffalo Trace, and in 1986 he was honored with his very own single barrel bourbon, Elmer T. Lee. Of course, for those of us who knew Elmer, he never really retired. Every Tuesday we could see Elmer making his rounds at the Distillery in his trademark cap, signing bottles, posters, and other memorabilia at the Gift Shop, visiting his friends in Blanton’s Bottling Hall, and tasting bourbons (for quality control purposes!) in the lab.
Elmer was always ready to offer advice, and was a wealth of information that many of us relied on, myself included. Harlen Wheatley would inquire with Elmer when stuck on a mechanical problem, and any historical questions about the Distillery always went to Elmer, who, with his razor sharp memory, could invariably answer. To all of us, Elmer was a friend, a mentor, and a trusted advisor.
Elmer was known through the bourbon industry for his expertise and knowledge about bourbon whiskey and he received numerous awards and recognition, including induction into the Bourbon Hall of Fame in 2001, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Whisky Advocate in 2002, and the Lifetime Achievement Award and Hall of Fame induction from Whisky Magazinein 2012.
We have lost a wonderful friend today, and he will be missed terribly.
Services for Elmer T. Lee are pending and will be announced shortly.
MASTER YOUR SENSE WITH THE GLENLIVET ALPHA;
A NEW MYSTERIOUS AND RARE SINGLE MALT
The Glenlivet, the single malt that started it all, is launching a rare whisky whose unique character can be discovered by using your senses to unlock the flavours within.
The Glenlivet Alpha is a mystery, released with no cask information, tasting notes or age statement. Its flavour secrets can be unlocked via a series of online challenges provided by The Glenlivet to help whisky lovers engage their senses.
Presented in a striking black bottle preserving the mystery until the liquid is poured, the limited edition of only 3,350 bottles has been crafted in secret by Master Distiller Alan Winchester at The Glenlivet Distillery in the heart of Speyside. The Glenlivet Alpha is a truly unique and distinct whisky from the distillery’s exceptional cask collection, which is renowned for its superior quality and flawless character.
Each week, the secrets of Alpha can be unlocked by taking part in a series of online challenges dedicated to each sense. Using a suite of interactive digital tools, whisky lovers & novices alike can explore the unique flavours of The Glenlivet range through look, smell, taste and feel.
Master Distiller Alan Winchester comments: “Flavour is a multi-sensory experience: one that combines the subtleties of sight and feel, in addition to taste and smell. By withholding information on the casks used to create The Glenlivet Alpha and encouraging people to use their senses, I hope they will gain a greater appreciation of its particular flavour, and expand their understanding of the great complexity and depth of our unique single malt whisky. I can’t wait to hear people’s reactions.”
Following the launch, insiders from The Glenlivet Distillery including Master Distiller Alan Winchester will be on hand to offer clues to The Glenlivet Alpha’s secrets and directly answer questions within the online community created to host the global discussion about this product.
Challenges may be taken and shared on The Glenlivet website and Facebook page during a six week period. The secrets of The Glenlivet Alpha, including all tasting notes, will be finally revealed by Master Distiller, Alan Winchester at the end of this period.
The Glenlivet has left an inspiring legacy to single malt enthusiasts all over the world. Its exceptional product quality and rich history have flowed through time, remaining popular across generations whilst always staying true to the spirit’s essence. The Glenlivet Alpha is an exciting release for The Glenlivet distillery that will help consumers to unlock their understanding and appreciation of single malt.
For further information please contact David Netherton at Bacchus PR:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8968 0202
Notes to Editors:
- The Glenlivet Alpha will be available to purchase from selected retailers including the Whisky Shop, The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt from 8th May 2013 for the price of £95
- The sense challenges will go live on Facebook and The Glenlivet website www.TheGlenlivet.com from 7th May 2013
- The identity of The Glenlivet Alpha will be announced on The Glenlivet website with a live reveal video in w/c10th May June with a reveal video
About The Glenlivet:
The Glenlivet is currently the No. 2 single malt whisky in the world and the No.1 single malt in the US – the world’s largest malt whisky market. Crafted in the remote Livet Valley since 1824, it is the only whisky with the unchallengeable right to be called The Glenlivet.
George Smith set up a distillery to capture the character of the wild, isolated hills and ferocious climate of Glenlivet valley. His whisky was demanded by King George IV and enjoyed by aristocracy north and south of the border, who had heard of an illicit dram so smooth they had to taste it themselves. George Smith’s whisky became renowned as the smoothest, imitated far and wide and even recognised in the writings of Charles Dickens. Yet it was only after years of legal wrangling that his son, John Gordon Smith, finally prevailed in 1824, to establish The Glenlivet as the first licensed distillery in the Parish of Glenlivet, henceforth known as the single malt that started it all.
About Pernod Ricard
Created in 1975 by the link-up of Ricard and Pernod, the Pernod Ricard Group is the world’s no. 1 premium and prestige spirits company and world co-leader in wines and spirits. Pernod Ricard services 75 market companies, and has proudly built a unique and comprehensive portfolio of brands including Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, Absolut, Beefeater, Havana Club, Martell, Champagnes Perrier-Jouët and G.H.Mumm, and many more.