Arriving at 6:45 for a 7:00 Macallan tasting my Uber dropped me off just out front, or out back depending on how you look at it, of Alley Lounge which as it’s name suggests is behind FIN in Culver City and you literally enter through the alley off Grandview. It’s an unassuming building but that just adds to the charm as, once inside, it’s gorgeous!
I eagerly walked up to the doorman and he checked my name off the list. I was early I had my pick of seating, so naturally I chose the seat that ended up being closest to our host for the evening, the excellent Mr. Brendan Reynolds, Los Angeles Specialist for The Macallan. The evening’s line up included Macallan 12 yr, Macallan 12yr Double Cask, Macallan Rare Cask and the most awaited pour of the evening Macallan Edition No. 2!
– Macallan 12 year: I’ve had 12 year on a few occasions before, it’s a solid expression and is on the younger side of what Macallan sells, but it’s good. The nose consists of subtle caramel aromas, as well as sweetness and creaminess. Flavor wise is really nothing special. It’s a sherry cask expression (like most of their lineup) with a subtle sweetness to it, and it’s smooth and has a peppery flavor consistent with most scotch.
– Double Cask: The Macallan 12 Year Double Cask is my favorite of Macallan’s lineup, at least of what I’ve had so far. It’s very dry on the nose, while still remaining sweet and creamy with subtle sherry and oak notes. The flavor is smooth and subtle with a slight wateriness to it.
– Edition No. 2: This was, for me, the most anticipated pour of the evening. For most people I’d venture a guess that it would be Rare Cask but seeing as I’ve had that particular expression about 7 times now, I don’t really care as much anymore. The nose was definitely different. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that. It had spices, a subdued sweetness, and some oak notes. Then there were also some light fruit aromas, perhaps apple, though I’m not entirely certain. Following that were notes of sherry, some very subtle malt, and a pinch of cinnamon. The flavor didn’t quite live up to the nose, but was still a solid pour. It’s sweet and heavy, with warming spices.
– Rare Cask: The infamous Macallan Rare Cask! $300 for a bottle of this beauty, and while there is nothing wrong with that, it’s no longer the best thing in their lineup (in my humble opinion). It has a strong and sherry forward nose, with a slight creamy aroma that is followed up a slight scent of hops. Yes, hops, like in beer (no, I had not had “too much to drink” at this point). It was finished by some malt. The flavor profile for this expression is sherry forward, with some subtle spices, and it’s very warm.
In all, it was a phenomenal tasting led by Mr. Reynolds, and Alley Lounge was kind enough to provide snacks while we enjoyed our Scotch. If you ever go to this venue make sure to get their bacon jam, it’s SOOO good! Chris H.M., who runs Alley with his team, put on a great event, and had excellent Macallan cocktails to order. I am very excited to go back there for another tasting event!
*As always allow me to add this disclaimer. I am still new to the world of Scotch, Whiskey and Spirits. Therefore my palette is still developing. As with Scotch and other Whiskeys, where there are usually some tasting notes from the distillery, more often than not, people find their own flavors.