We were greeted by Nicolas Villalon, Prestige and Brand Education Manager for The Macallan, in the VIP checkin room.
I immediately noticed the beautiful display of the four of the most prestigious expressions of The Macallan Master Series: Rare Cask, Reflexion, N.6 and the amazing M.
I’ve always been a whisky lover : The colors, the complexity. and the secrets around it. Everything is so appealing to me that I couldn’t miss this amazing tasting experience. Nicolas introduced us to the first bottle of the day: The Rare Cask edition.
How to taste Whisky?
First, tilt your glass for about 45 degrees and contemplate the color of the liquid. An intense ruby-red.
Then bring your glass to your chin and breathe in, with your mouth open for an introduction to the flavors. Bring it to your nose.
Soft notes of opulent vanilla and raisin give way to a sweet ensemble of apple, lemon, and orange. All balanced by a spicy quartet of root ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Beautiful !
The best part: take a sip. The spicy quartet is unwavering. Oak resonates, timeless, polished and rich. Vanilla and chocolate lead the finale along with a light citrus zest.
Chew on it (I didn’t know about this, thanks Nicolas for the tip!!) to develop the palate. And a warming and woody finish.
It was already time for the second tasting of the experience: The Reflection
A rich blood orange color. A nose with fresh zest of orange and citrus fruits. A slight intense note fades to fresh green apples. Robust notes of chocolate, thick fudge, boiled sweets, aniseed and caramel toffees with subtle white chocolate truffles. Fresh bananas and sweet oak arrives last.
A palate with initial light citrus zest with new oak gives way to the succulent sweetness of lemon and orange. Raisin, sultana and apple, with a hint of cinnamon and ginger, are subtle.
Boiled sweets add balance to a glimpse of toasted oak to give a medium and soft finish.
The appetizers were very welcome after these two glasses ! And then we were ready for the second (and even more exciting!) part of the experience: a helicopter trip over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, flying over and into the Grand Canyon, to our destination of the day: Valley of Fire.
Jimmy, our pilot, was very knowledgeable and told us so many stories about the different places we flew over. Valley of Fire and its red and gold colors at sunset set a perfect and invaluable background for the last leg of our experience.
Third tasting: The Macallan No. 6
Sunset colors matching perfectly the colors of Valley of Fire. Nose with raisin, dates and figs dominate whilst sultana and toffee apples add texture and depth.
The weight of flavour from the raisins is dark and rich with great viscosity. Dry ginger and soft cinnamon hint at the edges the edges. Dark chocolate is majestic, vanilla sweetness lingers in the background.
The palate is heavy and sumptuous. A rich fruit cake of raisin, dates and figs, apples, sultanas, orange then ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and hints of clove. Oak notes are like velvet, soft and chic. Silky smooth with a long and full finish.
And last but not least, our fourth tasting, the exquisite M. It’s. Just. Embodied. Perfection, The Macallan M
A bold rosewood color. The nose has dried fruits ripen, then soften. Vanilla accompanies green apple hand in hand. Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon create an ensemble in the background, with strong notes of polished oak and a depth of resinous, juicy oranges.
The palate opens rich in wood spices, slowly showing all their viscosity. Wood smoke flits in and out.
The heavier raisin and sultana flavours take over, meandering to a long full finish.
This last one is definitely my favorite by far
Of course, being given the opportunity to taste it in such perfect surroundings while being educated about the story behind each of these liquors was phenomenal.
Overall, The Macallan is a beautiful and high-end quality whisky brand. Learning about the amazing people behind it, the sharp methods, the exceptional casks and the passion that brings it all together was a one-of-a-kind experience.
The Macallan was founded in 1824 by Alexander Reid and is located on the Easter Elchies Estate in the Speyside region of Scotland.
The distillery was originally called Elchies and sits overlooking the River Spey and the village of Craigellachie.