For the first time this year, in July, the regional brand ambassador of Macallan, one of the most famous Scotch whisky brands, visited Budapest. The Black Swan Bar was packed with people who came to listen to Anna G. Metaxas’ presentation. Bar owners, bar tenders, gastro bloggers and journalists came to listen to the brand ambassador, and, of course, to taste some 12 and 15-year-old Macallan whiskies. According to Metaxas, the single malts of one of the oldest Scottish distilleries are certainly a good choice for those who like spending on a little luxury and unique quality and respect tradition.
Macallan is one of the most well-known single malt Scotch whiskies in the world, or even the most well-known, whose name has been associated with uncompromising quality, sophistication and tradition over time. Macallan was one of the first Scotch whisky brands to be registered in 1824. Today, it is offered to guests at fashion shows in Paris and luxury car exhibitions. -said Metaxas.
Macallan is typically matured in oloroso ex-sherry casks made of European or American Oak and custom-made for the company. The ambassador stressed the significance of flavour development during maturation; however, as she said, the quality and particular features of casks could be even more important than the number of years. Macallan whiskies are characterised by special multi-cask maturation techniques. Nothing proves this better than the 12-year-old Macallan Double Cask and the 15-year-old Macallan Triple Cask whiskies tasted during the course. The latter goes through an extra maturation process in an American ex-bourbon cask. This is why Macallan considers the cask maker an equally important and prominent figure as the Master Distiller. The Master of Wood controls the quality of casks, primarily imported from Spain, and even the trees selected as raw material for making them, which must be at least 80-100 years’ old to have the desired aromas needed to make a perfect casks. It is due to this special care that Macallan’s items have a golden to amber colour and a silky smooth taste, which are fully added by the casks. That is why Metaxas recommends drinking Macallan whiskies neat, given their complex and sophisticated taste; however, in her opinion, it is not wrong, either, to think of them as a cocktail ingredient. When used in cocktails, it is important that other ingredients should not cover the whisky’s taste, but rather emphasise its notes.
Premium-quality small-batch whiskies are becoming an increasingly good investment nowadays. Demand for them is the highest in the USA, Mexico, China, Japan and Taiwan. The world’s most expensive whisky bottle is also a Macallan: this rarity was sold for £825,000 at an auction last year. As a curiosity, Metaxas told the audience that she had met whisky collectors in Bulgaria and Cyprus who had very particular, almost breath-taking drink collections, and even had some Macallan bottles that she herself only knew by reputation.
Even if Hungarian buyers are not yet able to compete with Chinese dollar millionaires, single malt whisky, which is the queen of aged beverages, has several enthusiasts in the country, and Macallan’s core range is affordable even for average consumers.