As I type this, an exclusive state-side preview auction is concluding at Sotheby’s Beverly Hills for a one-of-a-kind Lalique “Cire Perdue” Decanter containing the oldest and rarest Macallan ever bottled, a 64-year-old Macallan Single Malt Whisky.
Reportedly “history in the making,” the event, hosted by The Macallan Brand Ambassador Eden Algie (yes, he’s really Scottish), gives the winning bidder the chance to be the first person in the U.S. to own The Macallan 64. (And, can we just note how gorgeous the crystal artisan bottle is?)
For a scotch connoisseur, this is a big deal. For a gal like me who likes to watch “Mad Men,” sit in vintage leather wingback chairs and engage in witty conversation with scotch connoisseurs, this is a thrilling pipe dream. And for charity: water, a nonprofit organization that brings drinking water to people in developing nations, it means more than $100,000 of support collected at auctions throughout the world over the course of eight months.
Discerning New Yorkers out there who want to contribute to this great cause and catch a glimpse of the bottle above before it ends up on someone’s private bar can still attend the charity: water grand auction event at Sotheby’s New York on November 15. Interested in bidding? Send an email to email@example.com. Or for more information, go to http://www.charitywater.org/themacallan/. For the rest of us, here’s a quick scotch lesson:
Scotch is the sexiest classy drink you can order this side of the ocean; it’s no longer for stodgy old men, despite its tendency to draw global real estate bankers, lawyers and (yawn) people who “network” over a game of golf. Thanks to a growing appreciation for all things vintage, it’s making a rather stylish comeback as a drink of choice by both sexes, whether at the neighborhood Irish pub or at a swanky hotel bar. Having sampled The Macallan 10-year Fine Oak, 12-year Sherry Oak, 15-year Fine Oak and the 25-year Sherry Oak single malts, I must say, the stuff has grown on me (and I don’t mean hair). Each has its own flavor, from light, smooth and buttery to spicy, woodsy and smoky. (If you like wines and fine fragrances, scotch tasting might be your new hobby.) I, being new to the game, generally prefer the 12-year “on the rocks” … plus I like drinks you can sip slowly throughout the evening.
Now, what’s the difference between scotch whisky and whisky whisky?
Whisky is simply a spirit distilled from malted grain, such as barley or rye. Scotch is whisky made in Scotland, but it must meet several requirements such as being matured in an oak cask for three years minimum and bottled at a minimum strength of 40 percent alcohol by volume. “Blended scotch” whisky is scotch whisky distilled at more than one distillery from a combination of malted barley and other cereals. And so on and so forth. (Can you use scotch as a mixer? Purists cry foul. I say, why not? In fact, this recipe looks delicious.)
And best of all, scotch makes for an amazing time, whether you’re unwinding with a friend or living it up with a group. It also works as a can’t-go-wrong gift … stodgy old men included (wink).