Legendary whiskey distillery Macallan It has announced two specific releases single barley Whiskey was created entirely around the idea of pairing whiskey with coffee. The newest two bottles from the Macallan Harmony Collection – ‘Inspired by Intense Arabica’ and ‘Smooth Arabica’ – are a pair of never-before-seen Macallan whiskeys designed with the help of an international team of coffee connoisseurs from around the world.
Of course, there is a good story behind these packaging. It started with Macallan Whiskey Maker Steven Bremner by bringing world-renowned coffee connoisseurs to the Macallan Estate for an immersive master class. Representatives included Ethiopian coffee grower Kenin Asifa Ducamu, Scottish coffee roaster Lisa Lawson, American barista Andrea Allen, UK-based coffee artist Dan Tamang and coffee historian Professor Jonathan Morris.
From this meeting these two bottles were finally created – and from the appreciation that coffee and whiskey actually share many traits: both drinks require careful preparation of their main ingredients; The delicious dark flavors are common in both great coffee and great whiskey; And at least as far as Irish coffee is concerned, they can coexist very well in the same cup.
Macallan has plenty of stock to play with for projects like this, and while the distillery is largely known for its European sherry finishes, its use of American sherry-infused oak barrels adds brightness and sweetness to the carefully crafted drama. Bremner chose both American and European oak barrels for this whiskey.
“I looked for intense notes in traditional European sherry-spiced oak casks from The Macallan that would deliver rich, satisfying elements of coffee—while the influence of sherry-spiced American oak casks add sweeter, smoother vanilla notes for a balanced and well-rounded experience,” Bremner explains. In an official statement: “Exploring the world of coffee with our masters of the industry has been an education and inspiration.” “There are many parallels between the way whiskey and coffee are made unparalleled. Each requires unique skills and craftsmanship to achieve the depth and complexity of taste, and both worlds aim to offer an extraordinary consumption experience.”
Macallan has done it—not just once, but twice with this latest version.
The intense Arabica is said to have a creamy colour, with notes of tiramisu, cappuccino, gingerbread and raisins, and hints of sweet oak and vanilla. On the palate, dark espresso and many of those aromatic notes blend with blackberries and nuts, before a long, balanced and sweet roast finish.
Soft arabica is sweet in color, and notes from the distillery describe the aromas of hazelnut, dark cherry, vanilla, oak, and ground coffee. On the palate, it has flavors of Americano, with hints of raisins, cherries, soft spices, and vanilla. The finish is sweet and creamy, with a hint of coffee beans.
These are the third and fourth bottles in the Macallan Harmony range, and the first to have coffee. original version, Macallan Harmony Rich Cocoa Collection, similarly inspired by the world of chocolate. It was followed earlier this year by “fine cocoa”.
Everything is connected to the coffee world of these two newer versions of whiskey, right down to the can they come in. The packaging of these bottles includes a display box made of reused coffee bean husks by paper expert Michele Bosocco of Italian paper mill Favigne.
Condensed Arabica is released at 44 percent ABV, while Smooth Arabica is packed at 40 percent lower ABV. For about $185 (depending on taxes and other variables), both whiskeys are definitely in the “affordable” category today.
However, tracking them down may require a little extra work. Intense Arabica enters the US market in November. As for Smooth Arabica, it is available exclusively at select duty free and Macallan stores at the airport next month.
So, yes, you may need both types of “red-eye” to get your hands on these single malts inspired by coffee. We doubt that with the right coffee maker, you’ll end up with one hell of a kettle maker.
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