How To Attend A MACALLAN Scotch Tasting Without Drinking It


Sometimes it really does suck to be on a nutrition plan.

What do you do when you are on a 21 day diet plan that involves absolutely no alcohol and you are invited to a tasting event to sample one of the worlds best Scotch Whiskeys? You use one of your lifelines of course and phone a friend to come join you. Of course it helps to go to a MACALLAN tasting with someone who knows and likes Scotch. As a restaurateur well on his way to building an empire, El Matador + The District + Little District, Paul will be the perfect date. Besides he is one fine looking man and his wife has no problem lending him to me for the evening. 30 Days To A Better Me means saying no when sometimes I want to say yes but this way at least I get to spend time with a friend as well.

Marc and Paul Mon Kau of The District restaurant

Moolala Guide to Rockin' Your RRSP

I should admit right off the bat that I am not a Scotch drinker. In my day I’ve consumed lots of Rye (mostly Crown Royal) but it always was mixed with either ginger beer or coke. Of course I’ve never been to an event thrown by Crown Royal so I may have to switch my drinks because this event was off the charts popular! Held at the Terminal City Club it was staged in four parts. Every hour was a new batch of attendees ready to sample and savour. If the numbers during my time are any indication I think close to 1000 attended in total.

A crowded room enjoys a MACALLAN cocktail before the tasting

The MACALLAN Amber 1824 Series

To start the evening off Paul was treated to the nights signature cocktail, MACALLAN Amber with Fentimans Ginger Beer. Apparently this was tasty enough that he went back for mine as well Smile

Paul getting anouther cocktail from Renee our server

With that as a warm up it was time to get serious and head downstairs to the ballroom for some serious Scotch tasting. Just like a wine tasting I’ve enjoyed on a previous occasion the set up is perfect, a “place mat” with all the tasting flights identifies and set in order. Of course I moved my flights directly over to Paul. He didn’t look that unhappy I thought.

The MACALLAN 1824 Series

The MACALLAN tasting flight series

Paul with all his samples

Before we actually sample the Scotch our hosts walk us through a brief history and definitions. Apparently to be called a Scotch Whiskey, it must be made in Scotland and aged there for at least three years. On top of that Single Malt is defined as coming from 100% malt grown on one estate, this would explain the premium price. Another interesting fact we learned is that MACALLAN does not age their spirits in used Bourbon barrels which is the norm, instead they age their spirits in Sherry Casks which helps to give their Scotch it’s unique flavours and natural colour.

Now onto the tasting. With four different Scotches to sample Paul gets serious, a swirl, a sniff and then a taste. This man is a pro. Each one is different and from our hosts and Paul this is what I picked up. Gold is a perfect Scotch to enjoy on a sunny summer afternoon, it’s the lightest and freshest of the four. Amber on the other had is a great Scotch to enjoy with a meal (apparently good with crab cakes) and is reminiscent of the Fall. Sienna, Paul’s favourite, is complex with tropical notes. Our host says this is the Scoth he reaches for when he has a bad day, or a good day to celebrate. Last but not least is Ruby which really packs a punch. Left to age for approximately 22 years this Scotch is manipulated the least, just set it and forget it.




Of course I feel great after the tasting, I drank only water after all, but Paul was definitely feeling no pain. While I would have loved to taste at least one of the Scotches on offer this way I got to enjoy the event, take notes and treat a friend to something special.

The tasting after math

So my advice for the next time you are invited to something you want to go to but you feel you can’t because you are abstaining take a friend who can enjoy it for you. Make a date out of it. I did and it was a great chance for Paul and I to catch up plus enjoy something special that doesn’t happen every day.

Marc 1 vs Cheating on Diet 0 = WINNING!

Something I don’t want to cheat on is my retirement plan which currently is at 0. Eek! Thankfully I have the assistance of Bruce Sellery and his latest book the Moolala Guide To Rockin’ Your RRSP as my guide. I’m almost finished the first section which is all about Laying the Foundation. We all know that no matter how well a house is built if the foundation is week it will eventually collapse and I certainly don’t want that to happen. Check out the book and follow Bruce on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Moolala Guide to Rockin' Your RRSP

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About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.


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