I had a great time at the Celebrate the Macallan whisky tasting last night.* Led by "Macallan Ambassador" Graeme Russell (@LivingTheDram), it was entertaining and informative, with a couple of lovely expressions toward the end.** You can check to see if it's coming to a town near you.
A highlight of the evening was the time spent talking about Macallan's relationship with Charity: Water, a nonprofit that builds water wells in Africa. According to their website:
Almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean drinking water. Unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all disease and kill more people than all forms of violence, including war.
Since "whisky" means water, and water means life, it's a natural partnership.
* Truth be told, I'm not a big fan of Speyside single malts. Dollar for dollar and year for year, I'll generally go with an Islay. Unless you're buying.*** I've never tasted a bad free whisky.****
** "Expression" is the term whisky distilleries use to refer to different bottlings. Last night, they served five Macallan expressions: the 10, 12, and 18 year old sherry oaks; and the 15 and 17 year old fine oaks. When I first walked in, they were handing out samples of the 10 y.o., and I could only get as far as, "Do you have any other...?" I wasn't quite pretentious enough to drop an "expressions" on the poor waiter,***** and I didn't have any other words at the ready.
*** If you follow the @LivingTheDram fellow on Twitter, you'll find out where he's pouring free drinks. He'll probably be returning to the rooftop of the W Hotel in DC tonight, if you're not doing anything.
***** The one time I tried to be pretentious, I mispronounced "Islay." I've tasted a bunch of different whiskies, and my tasting notes are generally along the lines of "hmm" and "oh yes that's nice." My palate seems to comprise "spicy," "some sort of candy, isn't it?," and "dirt." (Oh, and there was that Ardbeg that might as well have just said "BACON" on the label.)