An Evening At The Macallan Manor

Ah, whisky, my nemesis.

I’ve talked before about my love/hate relationship with whisky: mostly that I’d love to love it but usually end of hating it. It takes a really specific brand of whisky to actually make me go, “Yes,” and want to drink it all night.

Macallan is one of those brands.

It also helps that every time I’m invited to a Macallan event, it usually involved something amazing, like pairing it with unbelievably expensive chocolate or doing a themed dinner with paired whisky dishes. If I see Macallan in an email, I know the night is going to be interesting, if not amazing.

I knew, then, when I was invited down to The Macallan Manor for an evening of whisky tasting and experiential adventures, well, it was going to be a night worth talking about.

THE MACALLAN MANOR


Here is the invite that I received:

The Macallan Manor invites you to journey through four distinct worlds, each created around an expression of The Macallan whisky, paired with storytelling and multi-sensory explorations.
Within the grand entrance hall you’ll meet your guide and companions for the journey ahead. You’ll feast on oak in the forests of distant lands, examine extraordinary Scotch with a master in Speyside, tell tales in a Himalayan mountain tent, and swing to jazz in the speakeasy at the heart of the manor.
Prepare your imagination and your palate for a feast of sensory delights. Experience The Macallan in a way you never thought possible at The Macallan Manor.
Well, how could I say no to that?

AWAY WE GO…

NEEDLESS TO SAY, IF THE MACALLAN MANOR IS COMING TO YOUR TOWN AND YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED, READ NO FURTHER, FOR IN THE NEXT SECTION THERE WILL BE…

We entered into the gloriously gigantic Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs (a name that still throws the grammar nerd in me) and we’re separated into groups. I have zero idea what the red team did (I imagine the same experience, just held a little after we went) but the gold team got pulled outside,  through a different set of doors and into… a forest?

Yes, we were in an indoor, outdoor Spanish forest what was supposed to capture the feeling of where Macallan gets their wood for their legendary casks. We were treated to a speech from a jolly woodsman about this very process, while sipping very expensive and seriously delicious whisky.

 Now comes to the part of the story that contradicts everything I said above. I don’t know if it was the experience or the Macallan or both but goddam did I enjoy this whisky. I still probably wouldn’t go out and order it straight but sipping on it in the forest was everything and mode.

We also got a chance to try the different sensory experiences that come with Maccallan. They had scene bubbles with perfume nozzles attached to trees to capture the aroma of the experience, honey for tasting along with your whisky and tree bark to feel what the casks originally felt like. Not a bad way to begin.

THE REST OF THE EXPERIENCE

There we’re three more rooms we had a chance to try after the forest. From there, we went into the cooperage, the spot where the casks are made, and got a lesson in caskdom from a very surley cooper who’s mode of getting your attention was banging a gigantic mallet down on the table. We sampled mystery whisky and had to guess the cask and the version. It was not as easy as it looked, although in the end, I was able to pick out the sherry (I might have just guessed and gotten it right).

 We also sampled delicious cheese, bread, grapes and spread, each section paired with a different glass of whisky. I honestly could have eaten delicious cheese and drank whisky all night, but sadly, we had to move on (remind me though to do that again in the future, it was delightful).

Next, into a parlor, where we learned about the whisky history of using the drink as a chance to tell stories to strangers. We also got to sample The Rare Cask, a single malt made up of the top, top quality of Macallan. Less than 1% of casks at the distillery are identified as Rare Cask quality. I am literally looking up how much this bottle costs right now and you can buy it for… $250. I mean, if you’re ever looking for a present to get me, you could do worse than that.

Finally, into the ball room, where they had cocktails (delicious), a brass funk band (awesome) and a photo booth, where my friend Chris and I could be ridiculous (perfect).

As you’ve seen from this blog, I’m a sucker for experiential events. Yes, this really was one long Macallan ad but who cares, it was filled with whisky and food and sights and smells. I had a blast and loved experiencing each room and building the excitement to see what comes next.

Plus, all that delicious scotch. I can’t stress this enough, for someone who usually can’t stand the taste of whisky, I happily drank Macallan all night. That alone says something about this whole experience.


You can learn more about Macallan at themacallan.com.