The evening view was the sun setting off to the left, the road to the Clifton beaches winding up to the right, while in front, palm trees lined the beach, with white sands and an orange skyline framing the Atlantic Ocean.
My vantage point was upstairs at The Grand on the Camps Bay strip, one of Cape Town’s most iconic tourist hangouts. The event was the introduction of The Macallan Rare Cask, a special release from one of the whisky world’s most iconic brands.
Our host for the intimate evening was Candice Baker, the face of Highland Park and The Macallan in South Africa. Candice was nominated to take part in the Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky awards and was shortlisted for the World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the year award . It is a great achievement and deserved recognition for a truly passionate whisky person.
Amber, Ruby and Sienna from The Macallan 1824 series of whiskies made up the welcome drink and were paired with the outstanding meal, enjoyed in the company of an esoteric group. We had to wait for dessert for the reveal of the hero of the night, The Macallan Rare Cask. Firstly, it is a beauty to behold, for those for whom appearance is important. I’m far more interested in what’s in the bottle – and in true The Macallan fashion, was a superb dram. I don’t know the composition of the whisky but it is clear some very mature whiskies were used. How much and where? Available from R2999.00 in all major liquor retailers and online liquor stores. Here is some info, tasting notes and so on from the press release.
“Rare Cask is a truly individual Macallan whisky. It has been crafted from whiskies selected from 16 individually different casks profiles –the most ever used in a single Macallan whisky.
Less than 1% of the casks maturing are selected for Rare Cask, some of these are no longer available. Owing to the number of cask types involved and the length of time it takes to identify them, it takes longer to create than any other The Macallan. This is an extremely rewarding whisky owing to the complexity of flavour.
Rare Cask has been crafted from Spanish and American sherry seasoned oak casks, a high proportion of them being first fill, including some of the most precious and scarce casks. Collectively these factors have given rise to an exquisite whisky with a splendidly rich and resonant hue, and an unmistakably woody whisky.
Soft notes of opulent vanilla and raisin pique the nose, giving way to a sweet ensemble of apple, lemon, and orange. All balanced by a spicy quartet of root ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. On the palate this spicy quartet are unwavering. Oak resonates, timeless, polished and rich. Vanilla and chocolate lead the finale along with a light citrus zest. The finish of this naturally occurring mahogany-red spirit is full, warming and woody.”
Introducing The Macallan Rare Cask
Since 1824, The Macallan name has been a guarantee of unrivalled craftsmanship and quality. And now there is a new whisky bearing this name; a single malt born from this unwavering endeavour. This is Macallan Rare Cask, the embodiment of our obsession.
Rare Cask is crafted by our Master Whisky Maker from a small proportion of maturing casks at The Macallan distillery. These casks are handmade from Spanish and American oak; and are the best in the business. Wood defines the flavour of The Macallan, with over 60% of the character comes from the cask it is aged in. But as the name suggests, there is more to this story. Rare Cask is truly rare. This rarity comes from the fact that some of the casks used in the creation of this whisky will never be used again.
The Macallan Rare Cask captures a true decadence; its creation goes beyond any other Macallan whisky and its rarity is absolute. It is a single malt of such diversity and intricacy it challenges the very conventions of whisky creation. It is almost a reinvention by design, but yet The Macallan at its core.
Bob Dalgarno, the Master Whisky Maker is responsible for creating Rare Cask, testing his knowledge and skill to create a whisky worthy of The Macallan name. “Rare Cask is about firstly identifying a selection of casks which can truly be called rare. Each of the cask styles result in different character, so each imparts their own distinct influence on the final whisky.”
With a rich mahogany red hue, The Macallan Rare Cask showcases two of The Macallan’s greatest strengths, exceptional oak casks and natural colour, which are combined with knowledge, skill, passion, commitment and creativity. A whisky produced through meticulous dedication to wood. Some would call this an obsession. We call it The Macallan.”