The Macallan’s Latest Release is a Coffee-Loving Whisky Drinker’s Dream
The Venn diagram between coffee aficionados and those with an appreciation for the finer side of whisky has considerable overlap, so it makes a lot of sense for makers who inhabit one of those worlds to draw inspiration from the other. Recognising this, The Macallan has looked to Arabica coffee beans from Ethiopia – the birthplace of coffee – when crafting a new edition for The Harmony Collection, its limited annual release series, which this time takes the form of a whisky that’s designed to pair perfectly with a cup of Joe.
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Working closely with five experts who specialise in the coffee ecosystem, The Macallan’s whisky maker Steven Bremner looked for synergies shared between whisky and coffee, ultimately crafting a dram that doesn’t contain any elements of coffee but enhances the flavour of coffee it’s paired with and vice versa.
Those consulted by Bremner sit among the who’s who of the coffee world, including Ethiopian coffee grower Kenean Asefa Dukamo, Scottish coffee roaster Lisa Lawson, award-winning American barista Andrea Allen, UK-based coffee artist Dhan Tamang, and coffee historian (yes, apparently that’s a thing) Professor Jonathan Morris.
“Exploring the world of coffee with our masters in the industry, who shared their knowledge, creativity, and love for their art, was both an education and an inspiration, “ says Bremner. “There are many parallels between the approach to creating incomparable whisky and coffee. Each requires unique skills and craftsmanship to achieve depth and complexity of taste and both worlds aim to deliver an extraordinary consumption experience.”
Having experienced the Speyside whisky favourite’s The Harmony Collection, Inspired by Intense Arabica, alongside a Genovese Specialty Division coffee, we can testify that the pairing certainly enhances both beverages. The whisky serves up a butteriness followed by the sweet sherry oak on which The Macallan has made its name. This is followed by layers of tiramisu and dark chocolate, which is all as delicious as it sounds.
Bremner further explains how coffee-inspired flavours swirl throughout the experience while tasting the latest edition of The Harmony Collection: “In the Inspired by Intense Arabica expression, on the nose there are characteristics like tiramisu, cappuccino, gingerbread, raisins, almonds, sweet oak and vanilla. On the palate, it will turn into espresso, dark chocolate and raisin, with the tiramisu note coming back again, some blackberry, vanilla, Brazil nut and into sweet oak, while the finish imparts a long, dark roast coffee style, but is balanced and sweet.”
While The Macallan’s The Harmony Collection, Inspired by Intense Arabic, had an original RRP of AUD$299, demand is so high that it’s already selling for north of AUD$700. Saying that, if you get the chance to taste it, we highly recommend you seize that opportunity. Discover more about this special release from The Macallan via the link below and if you want to learn more about the spirit, check out our complete guide to whisky.