Macallan unveils chocolate-inspired whisky

Edrington has combined the worlds of whisky and chocolate to create a Macallan single malt as part of the new Harmony Collection.

The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao is the first whisky in a new ‘innovative’ series of single malts. Inspired by the brand's link to nature for nearly two centuries, the Harmony Collection explores the world of sustainable packaging. The brand will combine innovative techniques with natural materials that are at the end of their lifespan. To create the new bottling, The Macallan whisky maker Polly Logan visited Girona, Spain, to discover the chocolate-making process and its flavour profiles. Logan said: “As I immersed myself in this world, I uncovered a great synergy between the whisky-making process and that of chocolate. Both take time and exceptional attention to detail, with even the slightest changes to the process encouraging different aromas and flavours to emerge.” Logan teamed up with pastry chef Jordi Roca from three Michelin-starred restaurant El Celler de Can Roca on the new whisky. Logan continued: “Working in collaboration with Jordi Roca, acknowledged as one of the best and most creative pastry chefs in the world, and with exceptional chocolatier, Damian Allsop, I went on a journey of discovery, learning of the craftsmanship, passion and creativity which goes into making chocolate.” Logan searched Sherry-seasoned oak casks maturing at The Macallan Estate to identify ‘rare, indulgent chocolate notes’. Roca said: “Our collaboration with The Macallan allows us to challenge our own creativity, and in this project, we have been allowed to play with cacao, which is one of my passions. Being able to inspire a whisky and to create a unique tasting experience has been wonderful.” The whisky is made from a combination of European and American oak casks, and is said to pair perfectly with rich chocolate. The resulting liquid offers an aroma of chocolate fondant, honey, oak, zesty lime and ginger, while the palate brings hints of dark chocolate, honey, dates, vanilla and cinnamon. The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao comes in a fully recyclable and biodegradable presentation box, made using natural by-products in the chocolate-making process. The box is crafted with discarded husks from cacao pods. “For this expression, I sought out a specific chocolate note in The Macallan’s traditional Sherry-seasoned European oak casks and combined this with a vanilla note imparted by Sherry-seasoned American oak casks to sweeten the slightly bitter chocolate note I had found,” explained Logan. “This exquisite single malt offers a delightful whisky and chocolate pairing experience and the chance to elevate The Macallan experience to a new dimension.” The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao (44% ABV) will be available globally from October 2021 for US$160. The Macallan has also collaborated with chocolate brand Compartés Chocolate to create a whisky and chocolate pairing tasting set. The pairing tasting set includes a bottle of The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao, a 10-piece box of custom-made chocolate, a pairing guide and two Macallan Glencairn glasses. To pre-order the tasting kit, which is limited to 200 sets, visit Reserve Bar on 8 November 2021. Last month, The Macallan added a 30-year-old whisky to its Double Cask range.