Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Macallan 1824 Collection: Select Oak


For Travelers, Or Those Gifted By Them. 

I remember my first trip to Scotland in the early nineties. It was to Inverness, land of MacBeth, pink sandstone castles, a great French restaurant, and scotch. At times it seemed the fog might pull me in and back to another time.

It was in Inverness that a twenty-something fanboy of cigars and single-malt scotch whisky stepped into a small pub and stood stock-still before a wall of locally produced, hand-labeled-and-numbered bottles of Highlands' bounty. 

While my preferences run to Islay, each of Scotland's regions has given me pleasure over the years, and I don't discriminate between them.  I felt like a rockabilly fan in Memphis. This was the land that had nurtured greatness.

"Which would you like to try?" The barman asked.

"All of them."

Yes.

"All of them" wasn't going to happen on my budget back then, but, to the delight of this fanboy from Ohio, some of them did reach my tongue.

What is the magic of scotch that it creates its own warm place for you? As I sipped each variety my budget would allow, I was not taken to another time, but other times. It was a glorious afternoon of discovery.


Yes.

The Macallan line has served me well over the years. I've tasted a wide range of their aged scotch and have had my ass handed to me, deservedly, by the deceptively smooth cask strength release.

My latest encounter was with the gift of a bottle of their limited issue 1824 Collection's Select Oak single-malt whisky. Available only in select duty-free shops in airports around the globe, the oak refers to special bourbon and sherry seasoned barrels used to produce the whisky.

Low on smoke and high on sweetness, hinting at vanilla and butterscotch, that first sip took me back to my early days as a scotch fan. I've read, in fact, that others feel it would be a great introduction to the wonders of Scottish whiskies. It would seem that my palate concurs.

If you find yourself in one of the handful of locations where this fine whisky is available and either know someone who would appreciate an introduction to great whisky or would like a trip back in time yourself, take a bottle home.

As for the rest of my own bottle, it has a long future, a cigar or two, and perhaps some dabbling with scotch cocktails ahead.

Yes.