The Macallan’s new Edition No. 2 is the result of a perfect pairing with famed restaurateurs the Roca brothers
When a giant of the whisky world teams up with the Spanish brothers behind one of the world’s best restaurants you know you’re in for a treat. Single malt Scotch whisky distiller The Macallan decided to try something new when it came to choosing the casks that would shape the flavour of its Edition No. 2. Master whisky maker Bob Dalgarno collaborated with the Rocas—joan, Josep and Jordi, of famed restaurant El Celler de Can Roca—to choose the seven cask types that would be used to make the latest release in The Macallan’s Edition Series.
El Celler de Can Roca, who topped the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2015, is located in Spain—the source of the whisky distiller’s casks. These casks are particularly important to the Edition Series, which is all about the complexity of the whisky-making process. The choice of wood contributes up to 80 per cent of a whisky’s flavour and for The Macallan, the quality of its casks is everything— from the provenance of the oak to seasoning and size.
Dalgarno and the Roca brothers chose casks from four different bodegas in Spain in three different sizes—butts, puncheons and hogsheads. Some of them were new and some second-hand, some European and some American.
It’s possible to see something of the men’s characters in their diverse choices. Dalgarno chose European oak Tevasa casks, which give Edition No. 2 its rich, dried fruit and sherry notes. Complementary flavours of green wood and toffee come from the Diego Martin casks, in both European and American oak, selected by head chef Joan Roca. The European oak Jose Miguel Martin casks chosen by sommelier Josep Roca add notes of ginger and allspice. And the American oak Vasyma casks selected by pastry chef Jordi Roca contribute light vanilla and citrus flavours.
The resulting whisky, with a punchy ABV of 48.2 per cent, is the colour of golden syrup and has a complex aroma and flavour profile led by apples, oranges, toffee, dried fruit and vanilla. There’s also treacle, ginger and tropical fruit on the nose, while the palate is spicier, featuring black pepper, cloves, chocolate, brown sugar, oak, nuts and liquorice.
Knocking on the door of El Celler de Can Roca has paid off for The Macallan in the complex flavours of Edition No. 2. The restaurant in Catalonia has three Michelin stars and a stellar reputation based on its highly creative cuisine that draws on the rich food traditions of the northeastern region. It’s this heady mix of tradition and innovation that has made the Roca brothers and The Macallan such a perfect pairing.
sweet and spicy The Macallan Edition No. 2 has an intriguing flavour profile that includes notes of apples, oranges, toffee, dried fruit, vanilla, ginger, chocolate and more