It’s another night on Earth and we’re sipping single malt whisky, Macallan style. As it just so happens, the iconic distillery has a perfect dram for the occasion. The second release in an ongoing series, A Night on Earth—The Journey imparts the spirit of reunification and the special moments we share with loved ones, arriving just in time for the gifting season. Mixed-media artist Nini Sum brings the theme further to life by way of a multi-layered packaging design, a fitting companion to the liquid’s complex flavour profile.
The Macallan’s exceptional output is a gift unto itself, but ‘A Night on Earth’ takes the concept to a glorious extreme. Whereas the first release in the series—A Night in Scotland— celebrated Hogmanay (Scotland’s version of New Year’s Eve), The Journey culls inspiration from the Chinese Lunar New Year. Every aspect of the packaging is thereby loaded with symbolic meaning, unfolding in layers as you journey from fireworks and mountain landscapes to an urban terrain to a warm lantern glow to the whisky within.
Speaking of the whisky, it’s pure Macallan all the way but with plenty of additional nuance. Aged in a combination of sherry-seasoned European and American oak casks together with American ex-bourbon barrels, it opens on a nose of toasted oak, steamed rice, coconut milk pudding, citrus fruit, vanilla, and oat biscuits. The palate offers a superb balance between bright citrus fruit, sweet vanilla, and toasted coconut as it flows into a sweet finish of toasted oak and vanilla.
According to Chinese collaborator Nini Sum, The Macallan’s A Night on Earth—The Journey conjures some of her fondest Lunar New Year memories. Its aromas of toasted oak and steamed rice pudding take her back to the streets of Shanghai and their bevy of rice popcorn vendors. Its effervescent character is reminiscent of fireworks in the night sky, the same kind that adorn the outer packaging. Its sweeter notes are like the milk candy Sum used to carry in her pocket while its subtle nuttiness reminds her of the sunflower seeds she shared with her family during New Year’s celebrations.
“The collaboration with Nini Sum focuses on the idea of bringing something special back to your family when you return home: the coming together of old friends and family, with reflection on the past year, and hope for the coming one,” The Macallan global creative director Jaume Ferras explained “This is the perfect whisky to savour at special moments, best enjoyed with friends, family and loved ones while reminiscing of the year past and looking to the future.”
Artist and collaborator Nini Sum added that during the Lunar New Year, “People who work in big cities go through the world’s largest annual human migration to go back to their hometowns for that moment of reunion with their families and friends. When the fire is lit inside and paper lanterns hang from the roof, you know there is someone there waiting for you to come home so they can welcome you with a hot meal and a hug.”
You should be feeling all warm and fuzzy right about now and you haven’t even tried this stuff yet. It has “perfect gift” written all over it with the collectable packaging and delicious liquid to match. Should you pick up a bottle for yourself instead, don’t forget to share it with friends and family during the holidays (as that’s pretty much the point).
The Macallan’s A Night on Earth—The Journey is bottled at 43% ABV and currently available in Australia (and around the globe) for a suggested retail price of AUD$235.
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