I receive a lot of email and some of them I wonder how it ever came to be that I signed up for this or that club, but when I get invited to the free promotions for the various brands of alcohol, I always try to fit it into my schedule. After my first experience with this Guinness event, I learned they throw a good party and there is absolutely no obligation. They don't even sell anything at the events. So when I was invited to the Raise The Macallan event, I was sure to sign up.
The party was held at Ibiza, a huge nightclub in NOMA (what is it with naming DC neighborhoods these days? oh and if you were wondering that one stands for the obvious North of Massachusetts Ave-- which could be about half of the city). The old warehouse has plenty of room to throw a great party.
While the parties are free and require an RSVP, they recommend that you come early as your reservation does not guarantee your entry. The iPad has made registering and checking people into these types of events infinitely easier. You can check the crowd in before you even open the doors with representatives working the line. They open the door right on time and start the event with a full serving of the 10 year scotch and passed appetizers. After about half an hour they moved us to another room for the educational part of the event and a seated tasting.
One of the whiskey makers ran a presentation on the history and making of Macallan. He was quite the comedienne and it was very good time. Throughout the presentation we were giving tasting samples of the 12 year, 15 year, 17 year and 18 year scotch. It was a nice way to familiarize myself with the brand and get an idea of how the aging process affects the flavor of the product. While my preference is still for Irish Whiskeys, Macallan makes a quality product which might be a nice change every now and again.
Two random pieces of information that I remember from the presentation:
- Macallan spends double what the Scotch industry combined spends on its barrels. Made of Spanish Oak and seasoned with Sherry this is what they credit with the quality of their product.
- Color is not an indicator of how a scotch will taste.
(Do excuse the photos but the lighting was nightclub dark and these samples were the best I could get and they were lit from below making for difficult photography.)