Jour­ney of the senses The sweet and fruity Macallan Edi­tion No. 3 is the re­sult of an ex­traor­di­nary col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the Scot­tish sin­gle malt maker and Bri­tish mas­ter per­fumer Roja Dove. Chris Han­ra­han re­ports from Sin­ga­pore

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asked a re­cent ar­ti­cle in a magazine for afi­ciona­dos of what the play­wright Ge­orge Bernard Shaw called “liq­uid sun­shine”. It cer­tainly seems to be that way at the 390-acre Macallan Es­tate in Spey­side in north­east­ern Scot­land.

The renowned High­land sin­gle malt dis­tillery’s lat­est re­lease, The Macallan Edi­tion No. 3, is the re­sult of an ex­traor­di­nary col­lab­o­ra­tion in­volv­ing Ken Grier, Cre­ative Di­rec­tor of The Macallan at The Edring­ton Group, and two masters of their re­spec­tive trades: Bob Dal­garno, Whisky Maker at The Macallan, and Roja Dove (pic­tured over­leaf), the Bri­tish mas­ter per­fumer dubbed by Tom Ford “the fra­grance con­nois­seur’s con­nois­seur”.

The story be­gan 10 years ago, as Dove re­called dur­ing an in­ter­view held shortly be­fore The Macallan Edi­tion No. 3’s launch in Sin­ga­pore. “The first time I met Ken was in a ho­tel in Lon­don,” he said. “We were both part of a group and we talked about many things. It was a very en­joy­able con­ver­sa­tion. Even­tu­ally some­body, and I re­ally don’t re­mem­ber who it was, said wouldn’t it be great if we could work to­gether and cre­ate a unique whisky?

“It was just a throw­away line as far as I was con­cerned and my an­swer was that I hated Scotch! It was a very strange be­gin­ning to the re­la­tion­ship, but that was what I hon­estly felt. It all went back to my mem­o­ries of the first time I ever got drunk. It was on whisky when I was only 15. I’d never felt so ill.”

Grier did not give up on the idea, how­ever. “He per­suaded me to go up to Scot­land to meet Bob Dal­garno,” said Dove. “Ev­ery­body was con­cerned about how he and I would get on. He is a typ­i­cal gen­tle­man from the whisky world. I’m from a very dif­fer­ent place, the world of fra­grances, and I turned up at the dis­tillery in an an­kle-length mink coat – well, it was the mid­dle of win­ter.”

The two masters bonded quickly as Dove put aside his mis­giv­ings about Scotch and set about sniff­ing ex­am­ples from Dal­garno’s huge col­lec­tion of whiskies. “I nosed 16 to 20 bot­tles to be­gin with,” said the per­fumer. “I smelled cit­rus in one, roses in an­other. I was blown away. I couldn’t be­lieve that whisky could have such aro­mas. I tried more and more bot­tles. On the first day alone, I ended up nos­ing 100 or more whiskies. It was a jour­ney of the senses. Even­tu­ally, I re­alised I could do The Macallan project af­ter all.”

Ten years af­ter that fate­ful meet­ing in Lon­don, The Macallan Edi­tion No. 3 is the lat­est re­lease in an in­no­va­tive an­nual se­ries of spe­cial whiskies. Dove pro­vided his re­mark­able sen­sory knowl­edge and

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