The Macallan teamed up with Oakley on an impressive package that pairs (extremely delicious!) 22 year old scotch with a stylish, high-tech flask. There are only 400 packages available at $1,500 a pop (looks like you can get the flask by itself). I’m not going to go on and on about the price, because we all know that’s a lot of money. What I care about is what it tastes like, and luckily they sent me a small sample for review. You know what? Damn, it’s good.
(More on the flask itself after the jump, because … there’s 22 year old Macallan to talk about!)
The Macallan | The Flask
Facts: Single malt, aged 22 years in American oak seasoned with Sherry (a first for Macallan)
When it comes down to it, this was one of the best drams of scotch I’ve had.
The nose is nutty and malty with a lemon undertone. Once it actually hits the tongue, oak and a very mild smokiness come in with a hint of orange and honey. I’m trying not to wax poetic about it, but it’s hard. The Macallan 22 is smooth and harmonious–with an interplay between sweet and smoky that ends on just the right dry note. Not a long finish, but long enough to leave you wanting more. (Besides, I am getting annoyed by the peat attacks that take four toothbrushings to leave my mouth.)
Yeah, it’s expensive … and it tastes like it is. (Perhaps this would be Jeff Winger‘s scotch of choice.) The quality of the oak flavor is exactly what makes this stand out from other scotch I’ve had, including other Macallan expressions. I was a Macallan fan going into this, and this raised my esteem for them. I hope this flask combo isn’t the last we’ve seen of this maturation method.
I like that Tales of the Cocktail has a sense of humor about the tics and affectations of bartenders, mixologists, liquor industry people, and cocktail enthusiasts in general. (It was no surprise to me that I met two people at Tales who are in this “Mixologist” parody music video that gives self-serious bartenders a good ribbing.) I especially like when this cheekiness is accompanied by a good drink, which it usually is.
If you haven’t noticed, bartenders favor the facial hair, so I got a kick out of the “Whisky & Whiskers” service that Auchentoshan put together. (That’s pronounced “Okken-toshen,” which is super fun to say.) A pedicab whisked people to a fancy-schmancy barbershop for a shave and a whisky. I was about to complain about how gent-centric this was until I discovered that ladies get a massage, a far better accompaniment to whisky, if you ask me.
After I made my own allspice dram, I started looking around for ways to use it. It’s most well-known as a Tiki ingredient, but I was curious about ways to use it in other types of cocktails. This drink made with blended scotch and apple cider is just what I was looking for.
Liquor companies send me a lot of recipes using their products. Though many of them are quite good, I use them sparingly because it’s fun to make up my own and I don’t want to turn into a PR machine for a bunch of brands. However, this recipe from The Black Grouse was too perfect, considering that I was obsessed with using allspice dram. I whipped one up for myself, and it’s great for a rainy night.
The Black Grouse is a smoky blended scotch that’s good for mixing. You could sub in your favorite, but keep in mind that smokiness is key when you’re choosing one. If you don’t want to make your own allspice dram, you could buy St. Elizabeth’s, which is what the bartender who created this used.
This recipe was created by Walid Hamid of Sra. Martinez as part of the Distinctive Bartender competition.
The Grouse Dram
2 ounces The Black Grouse
1 1/2 ounces apple cider
1/4 ounce allspice dram
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Continue reading