“Chocolate Whiskey”. The very phrase conjures up bile in many lovers of the ancient Uisge Baugh. This is mainly because of the image it engenders visions of young twenty-somethings piling out of a strip-mall liquor store gripping a plastic bottled, bottom shelf rot-gut splashed with some artificial chocolate flavoring and Blue #2, Red #3, and Yellow #6 to get that ‘Coco drink brown’ color resembling what should leave your body rather than what should enter it (Feel free to vomit at this point, I know I did.) Don’t worry that is not what we’re talking about today. No, today we’re looking at a collaboration between The Macallan and Chef Jordi Roca to bring a true cacao influence to a beautiful, single-malt whisky.
A Cacao Influenced Single Malt, Not “Chocolate Flavored”
-There’s a Difference
On The Macallan’s website, they are celebrating the release of the new harmony collection with ‘The Harmony Collection Rich Cacao’ “An exceptionally rich single malt whisky characterized by its deep, dark chocolate profile.”
The question on all of our tongues is: How did they pull it off? According to The Macallan, “The Macallan Whisky Maker Polly Logan embarked on a unique journey to Girona, Spain, where she immersed herself in the world of chocolate, exploring the chocolate-making process and uncovering the distinctive flavour profiles at Casa Cacao.”
Polly worked with Jordi Roca, owner of the famed chocolate boutique and hotel, Casa Cacao and the youngest of the acclaimed Roca brothers. As part of the exploration, she also spent time with master chocolatier of Casa Cacao, Damien Allsop.”
“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.
By exploring The Macallan’s maturing casks to seek those with rare indulgent chocolate notes, using what she learned from Casa Cacao Polly was able to create a whisky that pairs with the finest chocolates in perfect harmony. Through this process Polly was able to work out the finest vanilla notes from The Macallan’s sherry seasoned European oak casks and combine that with bitter chocolatey notes from the American sherry seasoned oak casks.
The tasting notes that Logan describes in the Macallan Harmony’s launch video, she describes “whisky with chocolate fondant, honey, oak, lime, and ginger aromas with a palate of dark chocolate, honey, dates, vanilla, and cinnamon and a long finish of rich chocolate.”