How The Humble Acorn Is Crucial To Making One Of The Best Christmas Gifts This Season
From acorn to barrel, wood is one of the most important materials needed to craft great whisky.
As the Christmas season rapidly approaches, we are often faced with the arduous task of finding the perfect gift for our loved ones. In our opinion, one of the more universally appreciated and oftentimes personal gifts you can give a loved one is a bottle of their favourite whisky. But before you head out to the shops and grab a random bottle off one of the shelves, here’s something to consider: the secret to making the best whiskies in the world doesn’t lie solely in the liquid but in the wood casks they are aged in.
People often harp on the distillation process when making a spirit, but in the whisky world, the experts know that a whisky doesn’t become a whisky until it is aged in a barrel. Sure, the colour infusion is apparent, but did you know that whisky also gets its flavours from the wood itself? By sitting in these wooden barrels, whiskies take on the qualities of the wood, including the char of the barrel and flavours from what used to be stored in them. It is said that up to 80% of a whisky’s character comes from the wood. The wood is what gives the whisky its soul.
And the choice of wood makes all the difference. Take The Macallan as an example. Unlike most other whisky producers, all of the casks made to house the precious liquid from the house is selected from the best oak forests in the world. The whisky house uses a total of 16 different cask styles hand crafted from the best Spanish and American oak by some of the best manufacturers in the world, including Tevasa, Vasyma and Hudosa, and bodegas such as Gonzalez Byass and Williams & Humbert. And of all the casks made to house The Macallan, only 1% of those casks are used in its special The Macallan Rare Cask, all of which are handpicked by master whisky maker Bob Dalgarno for their unique qualities and flavour profiles. Because the character of barrels change with each use, some of the casks used to create this particular expression will never be used again.
But a Christmas gift isn’t really a proper present unless it is beautifully wrapped and The Macallan Rare Cask comes in one of the more lavish looking bottles and packaging. The Macallan Rare Cask is bottled in a hefty glass decanter that showcases the red hue of the whisky with its light refracting cuts. The bottle itself is also housed in a deep red double-door box that echoes festive Christmas colours and makes the process of unwrapping such a lovely gift a ceremonious affair.
Follow @themacallan.sg on Facebook and @themacallan_singapore on Instagram for the latest updates. The Macallan Rare Cask is available at 1855 The Bottle Shop, La Casa Cubana, The Oak Cellars and The Whisky Distillery at a suggested retail price of $525.