DRINKS/ COCKTAILS Whisky Connoisseur


Written by Aksel Ritenis


Back in December 2020, I received for an “indulgent evening of decadence” as a guest of  Scotland’s The Macallan Whisky partnering with Sydney’s Aria restaurant for an indulgent evening of exquisite Whisky matched with sublime gastronomic creations!

And what a fine evening it was with The Macallan brand ambassador, Josh O’Brien, alongside Aria’s award-winning executive chef, Joel Bickford, as they took us through   “a decadent sensory experience pairing exclusive and rare The Macallan whiskies with the best of Australia’s dining experiences.”

Throughout the night guests were treated to tastings of four of The Macallan double cask range as well as their exceptional Rare Cask. To help bring out these exceptional and complex flavours, the Aria team  prepared a six-course meal to accompany.

Rare Cask is crafted from the finest and rarest sherry seasoned oak casks, unearthed by The Macallan Whisky Mastery Team using their knowledge, skill, passion, and creativity in their quest to harness a distinctive and complex flavour profile. This luxurious expression highlights the magic and science in The Macallan’s intricate whisky making process.

The Double Cask range tells the story of a journey which brings together two different worlds. The green forests of northern Spain and new oak from the lush forests of Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky in America.

Once seasoned from the sherry, the casks are shipped to The Macallan Estate on Speyside. Following years of slumber, The Macallan’s Whisky Mastery Team use their skill and expertise to select the best balance of spirit from both the American and European oak sherry seasoned casks to create Double Cask.

Whisky connoisseurs and novices alike enjoyed this rare opportunity to taste some of the best Macallan whiskies with Aria’s sensational menu.

The price of the ticket went  directly to the charity Thankful4Farmers of which Aria’s owner, Matt Moran, is an ambassador. The Thankful4Farmers initiative aims to celebrate the important and significant contribution of farmers and agriculture to both the economy and culture of Australia. The money raised will go towards supporting Australian farming and regional communities.

Moran is a fourth-generation farmer who still owns and operates a farm to this day. With his strong connections to the land, Matt’s many restaurants champion the very best in Australian produce.

For further information on The Macallan whiskies visit www.themacallan.com

Tasting Notes 

Whisky Maker’s Notes: The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old

ABV: 43%
Colour: Harvest sun.
Nose: Creamy butterscotch with a hint of toffee apple, candied orange, vanilla custard and newly felled oak.
Palate: Deliciously honeyed, wood spices and balanced with raisins and caramel.
Finish: Oak lingers, warm, sweet and drying. ABV: 40%

Whisky Maker’s Notes: The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old

ABV: 43%
Colour: Golden butterscotch.
Aroma: Dried fruits, toffee and vanilla with smooth oak and baked apple balanced with notes of honey and chocolate.
Palate: Sweet raisin and sultana builds with hints of vanilla, wood spice and citrus. Finish: Warm ginger turning to caramel and citrus with a creamy mouth feel.

Whisky Maker’s Notes: The Macallan Double Cask 18 Years Old

ABV: 43%
Colour: Amber honey.
Aroma: Dried fruits, ginger and toffee with rich orange and hints of clove with nutmeg. Palate: Rich raisin and sultana with notes of caramel, vanilla and ginger balanced by wood spice and zesty citrus.
Finish: Warm oak spice with ginger turning to sweet orange.

Whisky Maker’s Notes: The Macallan Rare Cask

ABV: 43%
Colour: Ruby
Aroma: Soft notes of vanilla with rich raisin, followed by a sweet fusion of fresh apple, lemon and orange.
Palate: An intense sweet raisin dominates before giving way to vanilla and dark chocolate, with layers of light citrus zest.
Finish: Long, rich and velvety

Please savour responsibly.

About The Macallan

Founded in 1824, The Macallan is one of the worlds’ most admired and awarded single malt whiskies. The reputation of The Macallan is based on a product of outstanding quality and distinctive character. An obsession with excellence has been the hallmark of The Macallan since its founding, by Alexander Reid, on a plateau above the river Spey in north-east Scotland.

In 2018, The Macallan unveiled its new £140 million distillery and visitor experience on its Speyside estate, increasing investment in whisky, warehousing and in The Macallan’s signature sherry- seasoned oak casks. The striking contemporary architecture, cut into the slope of the land, takes its cues from ancient Scottish hills. It stands nearby Easter Elchies House, the Highland Manor built in 1700 which has been The Macallan’s spiritual home since 1824. The new distillery marks an important milestone, recognising the significant journey of The Macallan since 1824 and marking an exciting new chapter in the evolution of the luxury single malt.

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

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