A friend invited me to a Raise The Macallan event last Wednesday at the Book Bindery in Culver City. I’m normally a gin drinker but far be it for me to turn down a free alcohol tasting. After registering online, everyone received a smartphone bar code that was required for entry, which I suppose automatically disqualifies people without smartphones (like my parents, who do drink whiskey). We all received a drink ticket and stepped inside the lovely brick space with its high ceilings, to join the other happy drinkers. The drink ticket was for a class of the Macallan 10, but we were later given a taste of the 15, 18 and 21. There were two bars, a photo corner where you could take pictures holding a bottle of Macallan, and a side table bearing different scents in glass carafes; at the latter you were supposed to pick three favorite scents and then let a computer match you with the perfect Macallan. I picked vanilla, chocolate and fruit and it told me to go with the 10, which I was currently drinking, so that worked out.
After mingling for awhile, the crowd was directed into a larger room in the back of the building for a presentation about how Macallan is made with “curiously small stills”, among other pleasant-sounding things. You can read about them on the Six Pillars section of their website. We got a little virtual trip to Scotland and then Shanghai, where people apparently sometimes drink green tea with their whiskey, so we got to try that as well. Waitresses came by to deliver each glass and the different levels did steadily taste better and better. One girl at our table said she could taste chocolate in the 15 but sadly I couldn’t. I liked whichever one was the Sherry Oak the best; you can check out the Portfolio to see them all.