There are many similarities between coffee and whisky. Of the many congruities, the most poignant affinity would probably be the robust culture that has accompanied the drinks for over 1,000 years. The act of consuming these reinvigorating drinks itself could be treated as a ritual of sorts where an elaborate process is observed. In appreciation of tradition and craftsmanship, The Macallan has released the second of its Harmony Collection: Inspired by Intense Arabica. This new release celebrates the coming together of coffee and whisky while also appreciating the tradition and dedication associated with the drinks.
The press release says the new collection is “inspired by the Ethiopian Arabica coffee bean”. For many coffee connoisseurs, Ethiopia is known as the cradle of coffee and the beverage is more than just a quick perk-me-up. “Buna tetu”, which translates to “come to drink coffee” in the local language, is a famous communal tradition in Ethiopia and a binding thread of the society. This draws parallels to how whisky is consumed in the western world and the significance it holds. For Scottish Highlanders, whisky represents traditional values of “egalitarianism, generosity and virility” and to refuse a dram would be akin to rejecting these values.
With such concepts in mind, The Macallan Whisky Master Steven Bremner attempts to unite these seemingly disparate drinks through The Macallan Harmony Collection Inspired by Intense Arabica. Exploring the “incredible journey from bean to cup, uncovering the unique process and distinct flavour profiles at each stage”, Bremner consulted several coffee masters for this new release.
Bremner meticulously picked a combination of sherry-seasoned American and European oak casks to achieve the distinctive notes of this new whisky. The former helps to add sweeter and softer vanilla notes, while the latter “offers the rich and satisfying elements of coffee”, as per the press release. When looking at the whisky, the crema-coloured liquid resembles an espresso that has been added with water. On the nose, aromatic coffee scents from tiramisu and cappuccino take over before giving way to raisins, almonds, sweet oak and vanilla. Upon sipping the whisky, the coffee taste is more pronounced and akin to savouring a cup of espresso. Slowly, the layered flavours peel off to reveal hints of dark chocolate, blackberry and Brazil nut. After letting the whisky thoroughly coat the palate, its finish is long, balanced with a touch of sweetness and dark roast coffee.
Sharing more about the creative process behind The Macallan Harmony Collection Inspired by Intense Arabica, Bremner said, “Exploring the world of coffee with our masters in the industry, who shared their knowledge, creativity, and love for their art, was both an education and an inspiration. There are many parallels between the approach to creating incomparable whisky and coffee. Each requires unique skills and craftsmanship to achieve depth and complexity of taste and both worlds aim to deliver an extraordinary consumption experience.”
To fully enjoy the experience, Bremner recommends tasting the whisky with a cup of coffee so that the unique tasting notes of the whisky are accentuated. Furthermore, this provides a one-of-a-kind sensory experience to enjoy the best of both whisky and coffee.
In continuation of the brand’s commitment towards sustainability since the first Harmony Collection, Rich Cacao, where unwanted cacao husks were incorporated into the packaging, Inspired by Intense Arabica also utilises repurposed and recycled materials such as coffee bean husks. References to coffee fruits could be seen through the rich red Pantone colour in the design of its presentation box.
To celebrate the launch of the Inspired by Intense Arabica launch, The Macallan will welcome whisky and coffee lovers to its boutique at Raffles Hotel Singapore between 9 and 18 December 2022. During this pop-up, guests not only relish the drinks but will also learn more about The Macallan’s sustainability initiatives through journeying along its zero-waste production process. “For both whisky and coffee aficionados alike, the experience is an innovative blend of the best of both worlds, recognising the craftsmanship and detail that goes towards producing artisan coffee, as well as a rich glass of whisky.”
The Macallan Harmony Collection Inspired by Intense Arabica Event — It’s Coffee Time at The Macallan
The Macallan Boutique
Raffles Arcade, 328 North Bridge Road
#01-07 to 10, Singapore 188719
Operating hours: 11:30am – 8:00pm
Book your slot now: https://www.themacallan.com/en-sg/the-macallan-raffles-hotel-singapore
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