My very first scotch tasting

by sunnyfong

Men’s style isn’t just about clothing and accessories. I don’t just go to fashion shows and ironic bars to stay hip. Please. Toronto is a mecca for vapid events. Mostly corporate shindigs with the same ol’ marketing execs mingling with b-list celebrities and media. David, a Scotch Blog writer friend of mine, knowingly invited me to a Macallan event so that I could scoff about it online afterwards. He knows me so well!

Anyway, walking in to One at The Hazelton, I really didn’t know what to expect.

I mostly thought I was going to have a lot to snicker at. So you can understand my surprise when I found myself completely engrossed by this 2-hour Matchstick event. I found the whole thing to be sophisticated, informative and unpretentious. What have I become!!?? Optimistic? Joyous? Normal!!!!!??? The meds are working apparently.

This was the Macallan Ice Ball Press. You put a cube in and in 25 seconds, it turns it into a sphere (less surface area so it starts to melt after 20 minutes for those who like ice in their scotch). I want one (just to make ice balls for other drinks).

At first, it seemed like I was sitting back at work, enduring a staff meeting. But Marc Laverdiere, an Ambassador for Macallan, was amazingly entertaining, intelligent and engaging. I learned a lot about scotch.

Goodie bags included a leather keepsake box, two bottles of scotch, information cards and a pen. FREE BOOZE. You had me at “free.”


Mushroom tempura. They were amazing and I could’ve eaten 40 of them.

I have been drinking fine scotches for about 5 years now but never took the initiative to learn more about it. I know I like my single malt whisky neat or with a few drops of water (as suggested by Liz’s father), I also tend to prefer full-bodied scotches with a smoky flavour, not too spicy. Here are my amateur scotch notes scribbled in David’s Hugo Boss notebook (from left to right):

Macallan 12 – Nutmeg, gasoline, high tannins, not as sweet as I like it but has a sweet aftertaste

Macallan 15 – Sweet and smooth, light aftertaste, cilantro, smoky, vanilla, love it

Macallan 18 – Very spicy, syrupy but better viscosity than the 12… w/ a piece of dark 65% chocolate = bitter and even spicier

Macallan 21 – Not as sweet as all others, citrus rind, woody, not as spicy, smooth, best initial smell

After 8 scotches (the people in front of me didn’t show up), it was time to call it a night. First of all, it was extra stuffy and hot on the subway so I had already sweated through my cashmere. And second, this event was right after work so I was starving.

I’m going to take a trip to Wild Wings tonight so that I can have more of a balanced week.

Read an actual review here.