Today is Papa Jolie‘s birthday and I’m back home in Atlanta with him to celebrate. His favorite whisky has always been The Macallan, so I grew up with the single-malt scotch as a legend in my own mind. When The Macallan invited me on a night out last week to celebrate their new Masters of Photography bottles featuring Grey’s Anatomy star Kevin McKidd, obviously I didn’t even hesitate before I said yes.
The Masters of Photography is a project with four shots taken by Annie Leibovitz: the photos will adorn four special-edition The Macallan whiskys aged in different casks and crafted by Bob Dalgarno. Here are two of the Leibovitz shots above and below; pretty sexy, no?
LA’s public transportation is the pits, so to ensure we all made it there and back home safely–don’t drink and drive, kids!–The Macallan sent cars for us and also hired a party bus to transport the writers between bars. We hit up three of my all-time favorite LA spots: Ten Pound at The Montage, Bar Marmont and Roger Room. (Seriously, it was like they created this scotch crawl just for me.) Kevin McKidd was at the event in the flesh, as was The Macallan Ambassador Charlie Whitfield, who regaled us with behind-the-scenes tales of The Macallan and treated us to drams of various The Macallan expressions.
Kevin used to work at the The Macallan distillery in Craigellachie, Scotland when he was young–apparently, he swept the floors!–so as he addressed the group, his thrill over being used as The Macallan’s face was evident. It’s not hard to have a passion for such an iconic brand.
We tasted several amazing expressions, including The Macallan 12 (an easy-drinking, slightly spicy single-malt that I don’t think anybody could find fault with), the Skyline liquid from the new Masters of Photography project (with citrus, vanilla and cream notes), The Macallan 15 (fruits, wood, spice and oak), The Macallan 18 (which is smokey, with a touch of fruit and a hint of sherry, and best enjoyed with a little water or ice) and also what I believe might have been a new 22 year old The Macallan (1988) that was aged in American Oak for an Oakley flask collaboration–a first for Macallan.
Note: by the time we got to Roger Room and dug into the exquisite The Macallan 18, I was several drinks into the evening and it was all just scotch. Delicious scotch. Likely very, very expensive scotch. But after 6 or 7 drams, Jolie’s not really savoring the notes and examining the nose, you know? As you can imagine–if you can’t, do–it was a hell of a night.
Thanks to The Macallan for a delicious evening. And to you, my dearest readers, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. As they say in Scotland: Sláinte!