On Friday evening, I had the opportunity to attend Raise The Macallan, a unique private scotch tasting hosted by The Macallan. The event was held at The Foundry at Puritan Mill, located on Atlanta’s westside.
As we approached the venue, svelte hostesses dressed in black cocktail dresses and stilettos welcomed our arrival. They checked ID’s, scanned QR codes from our emailed invites, provided our drink ticket and then guided us along the black velvet rope that lead inside.
In the reception area, we were greeted again, but this time by the waitstaff who offered a glass of The Macallan Fine Oak 10 Years Old in exchange for our drink ticket. From this point, we were free to mingle with other guests and interact with the brand engagement stations. The stations included a photo booth, display case featuring some of The Macallan’s finest bottles, smelling station showcasing the various scents that naturally complement the taste of their single malt scotch whiskey and, of course, a bar offering more cocktails.
After about 20 minutes, we were escorted into the tasting room and seated at tables set for 8 to 10 people. Each table was outfitted with two swivel-based iPads loaded with interactive trivia questions about The Macallan brand and products.
The hosted program began with an announcement and video introduction, followed by “The Macallan Man” greeting us from the main stage. I didn’t catch his real name, but he was a great host and represented the brand exceptionally well.
Over the next 45 minutes, he took us on an interactive video tour around the world, starting at The Macallan Estate, located in the Speyside region of Scotland. From the breathtaking rolling hills to the pristine distillery lined with their trademark curiously small copper stills, the estate was as beautiful and impressive as the taste of their distinct small batch, single malt whiskey.
From Scotland, we traveled south to Spain to learn how oak tress are carefully and deliberately selected to craft their Sherry Oak and Fine Oak casks. Next, based on iPad voting, we journeyed to the beachside city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio was selected by the audience as the place we would most like to enjoy a glass of The Macallan. Our tour concluded in Toyko where we learned that the Japanese technique of hand carving ice for cocktails serves as the inspiration behind the The Macallan Ice Ball Maker.
Of course, as we traversed the globe, we were treated to a variety of The Macallan’s spirits, including The Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Years Old, The Macallan Fine Oak 15 Years Old and The Macallan Sherry Oak 18 Year Old. As a beer drinker, I prefer a brown ale or stout over scotch, but I could definitely appreciate the rich and delicious flavor that swirled around each glass that was delivered to our table. If I had to select one, it would be The Macallan Fine Oak 15 Years Old. For me, though lighter than the Sherry, it’s taste was exceptionally smooth and it stood out slightly from the rest.
After the final toast, The Macallan Man bid us farewell, but instead of hurrying backstage to prepare for the next tasting event, he took the time to speak with guests as we exited the venue – the mark of a gracious host and entertaining brand ambassador.
Overall, Raise The Macallan was flawlessly executed, from online registration to exiting the building. As a guest, I could tell a lot of detailed planning went into the event’s run of show, logistics and brand engagement components. I left with an understanding of why The Macallan brand is different from its competitors and how it has earned its premium reputation. Never once did I feel as if they were presenting me with a hard sales pitch. After an experience like this, if I do decide to enjoy a whiskey cocktail, I’ll be much more likely to select The Macallan.