You know The Macallan as the label behind some of the most expensive and exclusive whiskies in the world, but the exquisite single malt is so much more than punchy price tags, considerable prestige and some damn good whisky.
There’s an admirable path of sustainability in there too, bringing eco-credentials that date all the way back from 1824 to the higher end of the market. This has been achieved without compromising what makes The Macallan such a revered label amongst discerning single malt Scotch whisky connoisseurs and casual drinkers who enjoy sipping from the top shelf every once in a while.
Innovative and progressive, the label is expressing the next step in its sustainability journey via the newly conceived The Macallan Harmony Collection, which has now launched in Australia with the annual series’ first expression: The Macallan Rich Cacao.
For this unique release, The Macallan worked closely with virtuoso pastry chef and long-standing collaborator Jordi Roca of Spain’s famous three-Michelin-star restaurant El Celler de Can Roca and the acclaimed Roca brothers. That alone should tell you that this single malt is best aimed at the after-hours crowd, presenting the perfect expression to bring the worlds of lusciously rich chocolate and whisky closer together, threaded by an admirable dedication to sustainable packaging.
The Macallan whisky maker Polly Logan crafted The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao from a harmonious combination of sherry seasoned European and American oak casks following her visit to Roca’s famed chocolate boutique factory, Casa Cacao in the Catalonian city of Girona. Uncovering the distinctive flavour profiles necessary to shape such a dynamic and delicate whisky, Logan was dipped into the chocolate-making process by Roca and master chocolatier Damian Allsop, equipping The Macallan’s whisky maker with an unparalleled education on all things chocolate.
The result? Polly Logan was able to successfully identify rare, indulgent chocolate notes from sherry seasoned oak casks maturing at The Macallan Estate, using these to patch together an exceptionally rich single malt whisky defined by its deep, dark chocolate profile. Needless to say, you’d want to pair the sumptuous Rich Cacao with the richest chocolate available, unlocking those nuanced waves of flavour for a luxurious sensorial experience that highlight a vastly different side to scotch. The profile is a testament to how inventive The Macallan distillers can be.
“I went on a journey of discovery, learning of the craftsmanship, passion and creativity which goes into making chocolate,” said Logan of her time with Roca and Allsop. And it’s this time spent with such notably creative pastry chefs which armed her with the kind of skill necessary to balance the slightly bitter chocolate note and the vanilla note imparted by ex sherry casks.
“As I immersed myself in this world, I uncovered a great synergy between the whisky-making process and that of chocolate. Both take time and exceptional attention to detail, with even the slightest changes to the process encouraging different aromas and flavours to emerge.”
With a nose of chocolate fondant blended with honey, oak, zesty lime and ginger, The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao is a true one-of-one when compared to the whisky trends of today. While dark chocolate is a common note in whisky, rarely does it blanket the palate with honey, dates, vanilla and cinnamon. Round that out with a rich, lingering chocolate finish and it’s no surprise the carefully balanced Rich Cacao was chosen as the statement to kickstart The Macallan Harmony Collection.
Aside from presenting an elevated tasting experience, the first limited edition whisky from The Macallan Harmony Collection is also the first look into The Macallan’s tireless work in sustainability. The label has always placed its connection to nature as paramount to the whisky’s identity given its Speyside distillery sits deeply rooted in nature – a connection to the vitality of land that dates back almost 200 years. That indelible connection is honoured by Rich Cacao’s sustainable packaging, which has the bottle encased in a fully recyclable and biodegradable presentation box that has been carefully cobbled together using discarded husks from cacao pods, transformed using contemporary packaging techniques specifically aimed at minimising waste.
With sustainability centred as a constant guiding principle for The Macallan, expect this new annual release series to continue paving the way forward for the world of premium single malt whisky. Given the ingenuity on display, it’s going to be fascinating to see how the new collection challenges ideas of what premium whisky can be, in terms of both presentation and palate.
The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao is now available across leading venues and liquor retailers in Australia for an RRP of $275. For more information about the entire process behind this delightful whisky, chocolate pairings, and a specific breakdown of the sustainable packaging head on over to the link below.