The Macallan wants you to drink its new whiskies with coffee
The second edition of the The Macallan Harmony Collection is about to make your coffee ritual a whole lot more luxurious.
In partnership with The Macallan
Coffee and whisky are two beverages that share much in common — complexity of aromas and flavours, their place at the end of a meal, the impassioned fanbases — but are rarely thought of as things to be enjoyed at the same time. The Macallan would like to change your mind with the second release of its Harmony Collection, which has built its two new whiskies around the world of coffee.
The Harmony Collection is a limited annual release that celebrates innovation and sustainability, and it debuted last year with the chocolate-driven duo, the Harmony Collection Rich Cacao and Fine Cacao, which were delivered in packaging made from the discarded husks of cacao pods.
In time for 2022’s festive season, The Macallan is launching The Harmony Collection Inspired by Intense Arabica and The Harmony Collection Smooth Arabica — both of which are meant to be paired with coffee made from Ethiopian Arabica beans.
To prepare for these unusual expressions, whisky maker Steven Bremner invited a diverse team of coffee experts for a masterclass on the world’s other favourite bean, comprising Kenean coffee grower Asefa Dukamo, Scottish coffee roaster Lisa Lawson, award-winning American barista Andrea Allen, UK-based coffee artist Dhan Tamang, and coffee historian Professor Jonathan Morris. With their input, Bremner was able to select the ideal combination of casks for the new whiskies.
“To create the coffee-inspired second edition of The Harmony Collection, I sought out intense notes in The Macallan’s traditional sherry seasoned European oak casks that would offer the rich and satisfying elements of coffee, with the influence of sherry seasoned American oak casks adding sweeter and softer vanilla notes for a balanced and rounded experience,” he explained.
The Intense Arabica comes in strong at 44 per cent ABV with the intention of having it complement the strength of espresso. Balanced and sweet, this single malt has aromas of tiramisu, cappuccino, gingerbread, raisins, almonds, sweet oak and vanilla. It expresses dark chocolate, raisin, blackberry, vanilla, brazil nut and oak on the palate, with a persistent background of dark roast coffee. Because of its relative strength, Bremner suggests pairing the Intense Arabica with Harrar and Guji coffee beans to complement the whisky’s dry fruit and wine characteristics. Just like the Fine Cacao was to the Rich Cacao, the Smooth Arabica is this edition’s travel retail exclusive, and is the milder of the two with a standard 40 per cent ABV. “On the nose there is ground coffee, hazelnuts, sweet raisins, dark cherries, a lovely toffee note with vanilla and sweet oak,” described Bremnan. “The palate leads with an americano, followed by raisins, cherries, soft spices, walnuts, vanilla and oak. And the finish leaves a lingering coffee bean profile, which turns sweet and creamy.” For this expression he recommends a pairing with the delicate flavours of Yirgacheffe and Limu beans.
Both bottles are presented in boxes designed by Michele Posocco of 286-year-old Italian paper mill Favini, and are made of organic by-products like coffee bean husks. The warm red label of the Intense Arabica resembles the colour of the coffee fruit, while the green of the Smooth Arabica drew inspiration from unroasted coffee beans.
The Intense Arabica will be available at The Macallan Boutique at Raffles Hotel Singapore, The Macallan Online Boutique, and selected premium retailers. But if you drop by the hotel boutique from now till Dec 18 2022, you can enjoy a pop-up experience that includes creating your own blend of coffee beans and enjoying the Ethiopian ritual of having popcorn with coffee. Drams of the Intense Arabica will also be on sale during this period to heighten the magic of the drinking experience.
The pop-up is open to public and bookings can be made here.
For more information of The Macallan Harmony collection, click here