If you’re lucky enough to have a sneaky bottle of Macallan lurking in your drinks cabinet, you’ll want to drink it in the right way to properly enjoy it. The best way to drink Macallan is either straight and to really savor the experience.
If you are new to drinking single malt Scotch whisky straight, many experts recommend that your try the Macallan. Single malts can often come across as very peaty, which may deter new drinkers. Macallan, although complex, is fruity with hints of nuts and toffee too.
Macallan is one of the finest Single Malt Scotch Whiskies out there. It has a history as rich as its flavors and is a treat for any whisky lover. It’s a luxury single malt traditionally aged in oak sherry casks, although the Fine Oak Series is actually aged in both bourbon and sherry casks.
The Macallan is such an amazing brand, every whisky enthusiast should taste it at least once in their lifetime. That is why we’ve included The Macallan Gold in some Whisky Tasting Boxes we sent to our customers in the past!
Table of Contents – Sip this Article!
- So, What’s the Best Way to Drink Macallan?
- Drinking Macallan: The Process
- Can I Mix Macallan?
- The Best Way To Drink Macallan – Final Thoughts
So, What’s the Best Way to Drink Macallan?
The Purists Way: Drink Macallan Straight
Purists will argue that the best way to drink The Macallan is straight. No frills. No fuss. Just as it is. As Macallan is a single malt and incredibly smooth serving the drink straight will allow the flavors to volatilize so you can identify and savor them during your Macallan sipping experience.
Make Sure You Drink It At Room Temperature
Before diving straight in, you want to make sure that your bottle is not chilled. The best way to drink Macallan is at room temperature, again, to optimize the drink’s complexity. To extract more of the complex flavors, some professionals recommend that you heat the drink up with your hand.
To do this, cup your whisky glass and hold it in the palm of your hand, allowing your fingers to curl up the side of the glass. The heat from your hand will transfer to the glass and raise the temperature of the drink to just above room temperature.
The slight increase in heat will uncover more flavors perhaps not identifiable when drunk at room temperature. Although heat brings out more flavors, you won’t want to have your Macallan warmer than your body temperature.
Make Sure You Have The Correct Drinking Glass
Okay so although having the correct glass is not necessarily essential for sipping on some fine Scotch, it is Macallan at the end of the day and it deserves some respect. Experts say the best way to drink Macallan or any good single malt Scotch is out of a tulip-shaped glass.
The logic behind this is that you can swirl the whisky around the glass easily and without spilling it. Because the sides of the glass curl in, it also means that the aromas from the Macallan combine at the neck of the glass. This allows you to fully engage with the richness and intensity of the nose.
To Add Water or Not To Add Water?
Adding ice or water to your Macallan is entirely up to you. If you’re a true purist then we know you’ll probably think that whisky should only ever be drunk straight without anything added. That’s completely fair and with a drink like a Macallan Scotch, there really is no need.
However, if you want to unlock some of the hidden scents within the Macallan, experts say that adding ice or water to whisky can actually intensify the aromas. If you’re a single malt enthusiast, adding water or ice is definitely worth trying to see if your experience or preference changes or not.
However, someone who considers themselves to be some kind of connoisseur will tell you that adding water or ice is not the best way to drink Macallan.
Drinking Macallan: The Process
So you’ve got your drink at the right temperature, figured out whether or not to add ice, and treated yourself to a tulip-shaped glass. Sit yourself down in a nice comfy chair and pour a single or double shot into the glass. Now get ready to start your Macallan journey.
Observe The Colours
Sometimes a whiskey’s color is used to gauge the depth and complexity of the liquor. To achieve that stunning golden brown hue is actually really difficult. Some distilleries have in fact been caught adding dye to their whiskies in order to achieve darker colors.
Macallan, on the other hand, got there all on its own. The Macallan distillery says that the spectrum of color in their range of beautiful whiskies is what sets each one apart from the other. The color comes from the wood and is dependent on the length of time the whisky ages in the barrel.
The color tells you the manner in which your whisky was matured. For Macallan, you can tell by the darker colors that it was matured in sherry casks, and the lighter, more golden colors stemming from oak casks. It also depends on what the casks were previously used for.
Check Out Your Macallan’s Legs
While keeping your glass in the air, give your Macallan a swirl and observe the way the liquid returns to the bottom of the glass. The remaining liquid on the side of the glass are the legs of the whisky and it helps you determine the age of the drink.
If you want to compare Macallan 12, 15, 18, or an even older vintage, you’ll notice that the older the whisky, the longer the legs stick to the side of the glass.
Take In The Aromas
Smelling your Macallan before tasting it is the best way to drink Macallan as it prepares your senses for the flavors that will come through on the palate. Sniffing Macallan before allows you to pick up some other undertones you may not necessarily get from the taste alone.
People’s sense of smell and taste are very closely linked so alternating between smelling and tasting the Macallan will enhance the experience when you drink it. Hold the glass slightly away from your nose and take a deep breath while swirling the drink. This process is called nosing.
And, Finally, Tasting Your Macallan
The best way to drink Macallan is to do it slowly and embrace the textures and flavors that hit you on the first sip. Hold the whisky in your mouth and allow it to sit there. Roll the spirit around your palate and engage with the flavors you experience.
This method of tasting will help you differentiate between other whiskies and vintages. We’re not saying you have to become an expert or anything, but it is interesting especially with a whisky as special as Macallan.
Depending on the age of the Macallan, you should pick up immediate sweet flavors on the palate that will eventually evolve into more spicey tastes, such as cinnamon, apples, and ginger. Basically an alcoholic apple pie!
Can I Mix Macallan?
Okay so we’ve given you the full rundown on why the best way to drink Macallan is straight, but in truth, yes, Macallan does make a really good cocktail. Even the distillery has a couple of recommendations on how to use their range in delicious cocktail recipes.
A classic Old Fashioned will go down a treat when you use Macallan whisky. The Macallan distillery has also come up with an all Scottish cocktail as a tribute to their great Scotch. The Rob Boy is still very whisky-heavy and perhaps not for those who prefer sweet cocktails. Nevertheless, it’s delicious!
The Best Way To Drink Macallan
The best way to drink Macallan is neat, perhaps with some ice or water. Drinking a good Scotch has to be an engaging experience. However, if the experts recommend certain cocktails to mix your Macallan into, there surely won’t be any harm done!
Will like to try soon
Thank you for your comment. Share your thoughts with us when you try. Cheers
I received a bottle from a vendor as a holiday gift. I have encountered Scotch whiskey before, but it isn’t my usual go to for social drinking. It was glad to find some tips on the best way to experience Macallan 12. I look forward to the experience.
Learned a lot, tyvm.
As a Language Nut, found it intriguing to see both UK (whisky, its actual name/spelling cuz Scotland) and US (whiskey) spelling in various places throughout — also true wrt colour and color — quite apart from the fact the name hasn’t a capital A.