Whisky Review – The Macallan, A Night on Earth in Scotland – in collaboration with Erica Dorn
Welcome to 2022! We hope you had a lovely evening seeing in the new year with your loved ones, and hopefully some delicious whisky. A Night of Earth in Scotland is the first in a new limited edition gifting series from The Macallan Distillers, specifically for celebrating the Scottish tradition of Hogmanay. True to design, the other half of The Dram Duo gifted this to me for Christmas! We felt that it was only appropriate to open it on New Years Eve, and celebrate the change of year with a dram.
The Macallan Distillers …
One of the first distilleries in Scotland to be legally licensed, The Macallan Distillers was founded in 1824. Located in north-east Scotland over the river Spey, they sit in a 485 acre estate.
Macallan have firmly cemented themselves in the mind of the consumer. If you ask a non-whisky drinker to name a Scotch brand, they will nearly always pick Macallan. In part because of their age, but also their place in popular TV shows and movies.
If you’re interested in learning more about Macallan specifically, a full distillery history and mission statement can be found on their website!
In Collaboration with Erica Dorn …
The playful celebratory nature of this whisky has been perfectly captured in the box design by Erica Dorn. An acclaimed Japanese-French illustrator, Erica Dorn has created a multi-layered packaging design, with vibrant colours and patterns; each layer representing elements of the Hogmanay story. The packaging truly made this an exciting present to open on Christmas day – like peeling back layers of a pass the parcel game as a child!
Externally the box is a deep red colour. Stated by Macallan as representing “fire, created by the coal traditionally gifted during the Scottish custom of first footing, as well as providing connotations of good fortune, success, happiness and vitality”. The middle removable section of the box is a wonderful mid-blue, to represent both the blue of the Scottish flag, and the night skies of New Years Eve. Finally, the internal layer is a beautiful rich amber colour which almost shimmers in the light! This is stated as representing shortbread consumed on Hogmanay – which also happens to be a prominent tasting note in this dram.
If it is not abundantly clear – we are HUGE fans of this packaging. It really does add to the grandiose of the occasion, and feel like you’re opening something truly special to welcome in the new year.
This expression has been created using a combination of first fill American ex-bourbon barrels, with European and American oak sherry seasoned casks. Created by Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker at Macallan, she drew on childhood memories of Hogmanany as the inspiration for this whisky. On the box she states “I wanted to create a unique whisky. One which captured the sweet, comforting buttery flavours of shortbread”.
A dram to enjoy with your eyes – it immediately draws you in. A glistening golden colour great you in the glass. An oily coating coats your Glencairn as you swirl – just delightful.
“Soft velvety sweetness reminiscent of shortbread with a rich mouth coating, vanilla sweetness, with lightly toasted marshmallow, dried oranges, fig and cinnamon.”
Nose: buttery apple crumble, malt biscuit, vanilla sweetness, Bakewell tart, red fruit compote, brown sugar, caramel, dried fruits, orange zest, porridge
Palate: soft and creamy, orange oil, vanilla sweetness, burnt caramel, burnt orange peel, buttery texture – we can understand the references to shortbread!
Finish: baking spices like clove and cinnamon, light sweetness lingers, black pepper, burnt orange peel
Overall a comforting dram. Lots of familiar warming flavours, are balanced nicely with sweetness, and a gorgeous buttery texture. We’ve not had many other Macallans to compare this to, but we’re definitely happy to have a bottle sat on our shelf.
What a dram to enter 2022 with; definitely the right call to save it between Christmas and New Year! A great present, with the small box designs, including an “out with the old and in with the new motif” really bringing this all together. There really is a sense of occasion with this whisky.
We started The Dram Duo at the beginning of 2021 as a lockdown project to help ease our boredom, and hopefully experience some tasty whisky! It’s crazy to think of how far we have come in the first twelve months, and how many lovely people we have met along the way. We can’t wait for all that 2022 has to offer, and have already been brainstorming so many different posts that we would like to write here. Including continuing with our ‘Single-Cask Saturdays’, ‘Comparison’ and ‘#BottleKill’ series.
All that is left to say is HAPPY NEW YEAR! With all our love The Dram Duo (Mike & Rach) xx