The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

The Cask Diaries: The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience

There are some experiences we’ve added to our “amazing time” list and recently had the pleasure of adding another one. This latest experience was to celebrate the new era of The Macallan (world renown Scotish whisky) with an immersive experience that highlighted The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience. This visitor experience gave us an insight into the process, production, people and passion that makes The Macallan single malt whisky so special.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

The Weylin was transformed into a whisky-loving haven. As we waited to be alerted for our turn on the virtual tour, we indulged in a few cocktails and explored the gorgeous space. We started at The Macallan 1824 Bar, stood in awe of the collection of vintage Macallan Scottish whiskys, the oldest of which was from 1938.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor ExperienceThe Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

Continuing on with its history, we got to know the spirit more with the history of The Macallan wall, which featured a the timeline from the Easter Elchies House being built for Captain John Grant in 1700, all the way to the new product launches of today.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

We then journeyed to the next room which housed an interactive bar with cocktails made with The Macallan Double Cask 12 Whisky and highlighted the latest launch, the limited edition Edition No. 4.  It is said this new edition “embodies the craftsmanship and pioneering design of the new Macallan Distillery and demonstrates the mastery of whisky making on the estate since 1824.”

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

At this bar, your cocktail was determined by the glass you chose – a highball or an Old Fashioned glass. The cocktail choices were a Rooftop Rickey or the Easter Elchies Old Fashioned. We went the Rooftop Rickey.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

Halfway through our Rooftop Rickey cocktail, it was our turn for the virtual tour of The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience. We were ushered upstairs, handed Glencairn whisky glasses of the limited edition Edition No. 4 to get acquainted with. The copper-hued spirit is crafted from a combination of both American and European oak casks. It is a zesty, vibrant and invigorating single malt of rounded honey, sweet toffee, and citrus fruits. We were then ushered throw another door, given headphones and directed into a cube-shaped area for the final part of The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience virtual tour featured an audio and visual tour of the facilities and the entire collection. The complete immersive Distillery and Visitor Experience came to life for all to see at Grand Central Station’s Vanderbilt Hall for three days, following this event. After our tour, we ended the night in a grand hall where we ate and drank to our heart’s content, and took in another virtual tour at the VR Bar.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

We ended the evening enjoying several glasses of the beet juice-based The Ruby Queen cocktail and the equally delicious The Hillside Sour cocktail (both of which are featured below). They both paired perfectly with the delicious array of food that was made available at the event.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

As we stated at the beginning, The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience is definitely on our list of amazing times we’ve had and we hope to enjoy the real thing one day.

Iowa Takes The Reigns: Templeton Rye Whiskey

It should come as no surprise that I love a good cocktail.  I’ve been to some great venues in the city for (and written about) thought-provoking, complex and layered drinks that walk the line between ‘superb evening’ and ‘life-changing night out’.  What I find just as interesting as the rinds, the zests, the infused this, the pickled that, and the other dizzying array of garnishes are the complementing secondary alcohols. The liqueurs, the syrups, the dash of aperitifs and the splashes of digestifs all in the name of mixology harmony are just wonderful to experience and pinpoint as they blend with the star. For with all the glad tidings in a highball or flute, it’s the star that begins it all.  It’s the star that steals my heart (not to mention my taste buds). This star is Templeton Rye Whiskey.

templeton rye

So it was that time of year for a Friendsgiving in Brooklyn which meant some very important decisions.  Of course, I was bringing a spirit as part of my culinary participation, but what spirit should I choose.  I had a lovely Kentucky bourbon whiskey and a bottle of Templeton Rye Whiskey, the pride of Templeton, Iowa. Well, I brought both to the affair and clearly one was the star.


Templeton Rye Whiskey, the host-appointed star, captured that title for this very simple reason.  The presence of the rye takes away that sweet notes that can sometimes define the flavor of a bourbon whiskey.  Now while preference is always in the tastebuds of the beholder, on this day with all the sweet cranberries, candied yams, sweet potato and pecan pies and ambrosia salad remixes, the smoother rye-based Templeton offered up a more round and mellow flavor for a distinguished and crisp finish.  Interestingly enough, I enjoyed my glass of Templeton Rye neat and easily sipped away at delightful bursts of subtle spiciness with an herbal grain-like under-note as I laid back with a full belly and great cocktail in hand.  How also wonderfully fitting that Templeton Rye Whiskey also serves as a great digestif as well.

Templeton Rye Whiskey is available now at your finer Wine, Spirit and Alcohol retailers and as always please remember to drink responsibly!


Deliciously Dark Days Ahead: Alberta Rye Whisky Dark Batch

Deny it if you want to!  Your calendar can lie if you don’t flip the page but the weather, the lessening sunset and the crowded morning commutes are all testament.   The summer is almost over folks.  Now while that vacation you finally took is something you’ll probably bask in for a minute, all you’ll really be left with is the memory of what you did or didn’t do while laying on some beach in God knows where with whoever.  So, outside from that half used bottle of sunscreen, the “I Left My Dignity In Cabo” tee or those well-worn flip flops, why not create memories that could subsequently take you back to that oceanfront villa while lounging at your present domicile. What transports one to a better state of other-worldliness than an awesome cocktail with Alberta Rye Whisky Dark Batch?


With the official end of summer only days away, I began ‘jonesing’ for this delicious new whisky I discovered that happily made the days longer and the nights more welcoming.  Alberta Rye Whisky Dark Batch is a new dark whisky from renowned Alberta Distillers.  What’s nice about what they’ve done with this wonderfully aged whisky is all in its flavor.  It’s all at once a tad smoky & woodsy with a slight underlying note of sweet and a hidden, dare I say, spiciness that rounds out this whisky and makes it a great one to add handsome color and bold flavor to a cocktail.  Very necessary when you want the nuances, experiences and expressions of summer to last be they via the way of the tastebuds.


The way I had my experience was classic with a twist literally. I had an Alberta Rye Whisky Dark Batch as the star of my remixed Old Fashioned and then garnished it with slices of a lime, a Meyer lemon, sweet navel orange, a couple slivers of bruised ginger and a topper of seltzer. The garnishes were characteristically summer to me but they also allowed the flavor or this pleasant dark whisky to shine since it kept the heft of the drink within it robust flavor profile.


What more is there to look forward to after the autumnal equinox kicks in next week? A more delectable hot toddy perhaps? You can find Alberta Rye Whisky Dark Batch at your finer spirits retailers and as always please remember to drink responsibly.

A Toast to Summer’s End w/ Easy Labor Day Weekend Cocktails

Are you ready for more Labor Day Weekend Cocktails? Of course you are. We’re happy to bring you more cocktail recipe ideas to make your end of the summer celebrations a fun and delicious one. Whether you’re short on time, or just want to spend more time hanging out with  your guests, you can still blow them away with some delicious, quick, and easy to make drink recipes from The Famous Grouse Whisky, Skinnygirl Cocktails, Cynar Liqueur, Averna Liqueur, and Aperol Aperitif. We’ve even paired one of these cocktails, all of which boasts no more than four ingredients, with a culinary favorite, the Lobster Roll.

The Famous Grouse – Lobster Roll + Whisky Ginger Pairing

Famous Grouse and Burger and Lobster

“Whisky pairs beautifully with a lobster roll as the creamy mayo and melted butter combination with coat your mouth and then soften the alcohol on your palate. Specifically, The Famous Grouse pairs perfectly due to the zesty orange and citrus notes, which complements the freshness of the lobster, celery and lemon already in the recipe,” – Nicola Riske, The Famous Grouse Brand Ambassador

The Famous Grouse Whisky Ginger

1.5 oz The Famous Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky
4 oz Ginger Ale
Dash of fresh lemon juice
Pour the Famous Grouse and ginger ale over ice, add a dash of fresh lemon juice and stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge

The Lobster Roll:
4 cups cooked lobster meat, cut up into bite-size pieces and doused with melted butter
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped celery
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon of salt
Mix together and stuff into a grilled hot dog bun.

We’re continuing the fun with these deliciously simple recipes from Skinnygirl cocktails, and a few Italian ice cream floats with a boozy twist. These delightful cocktail recipes are made with Skinnygirl’s Bare Naked, and Cucumber Vodkas,  Cynar Liqueur, Averna Liqueur, and  Aperol Aperitif. With only 3-4 ingredients needed for each of these cocktail recipes, you’ll spend less time making cocktails, and more time enjoying your family, friends, and of course, a few drinks for yourself.

Summer’s Kiss Goodbye

Summer's Kiss Goodbye

2 parts Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka
2 large, muddled strawberries
3-4 pieces of basil
Splash of club soda
Pour all ingredients except club soda over ice. Muddle strawberries and top with club soda.

Summer’s End

Summer's End

1 ½ parts Skinnygirl Cucumber Vodka
3 – 4 parts soda water
Cucumber for garnish
Mix all ingredients over ice. Cut the cucumber into thin slices and garnish.

Cynar Ice Cream Float

Cynar Liqueur
Root Beer
Vanilla Ice Cream

Averna Ice Cream Float

Averna Liqueur
Black Cherry Soda
Chocolate Ice Cream

Aperol Sorbet Float

Aperol Aperitif
Lemon/Lime Soda
Strawberry Sorbet

As you can see, we’re in for a lot of fun this weekend as we enjoy these recipes. Do you guys have any go-to Labor Day Weekend Cocktails you’ll be enjoying?

From Dad To Tastemaker: Manhattan Moonshine

You may meander into your local Macy’s this week trying to make that dad in your life all the more cooler but the answer may not lie there. Peruse through the tie section at the local haberdasher and you may not find the result you want either. Spy inside that swanky mens groomer and momentarily ponder a great pampered shave for him, but then consider thinking deeper than skin. The modern man today is more in touch with his sense of style, why not appeal to his sense of taste with Manhattan Moonshine, a Prohibition-Style Whiskey.

So while you can always move along the lines of the more traditional this Father’s Day, why not move that dad down that pathway towards the life of an attuned tastemaker. Good style and great tastes are what an attuned tastemaker enjoys. So with its strong, familiar and classic looks along with its clean, smooth and crisp taste, Manhattan Moonshine is a spirit for the great tastemaker to be.

When you think moonshine you may tend to think illegal swill and 20th Century Prohibition. A common misconception is that moonshine was birthed in bathtubs and served up in mason jars during Prohibition. However, during that time moonshine was distributed by high class distilleries and secretly made its way into reputable speak-easies all across the U.S. Another misconception is that moonshine is a grade away from gasoline or rubbing alcohol. While it has gone through experimentation over the years from self-made alcohol ‘enthusiasts’, quality moonshine today is typically referred to as any un-aged whiskey.

When thinking tastemakers and now the taste and look of Manhattan Moonshine, think perfect blending. Take the make up of Manhattan Moonshine, which is free of all the colors and heavy flavors imparted by the barrel during the aging process as part one. This part makes it the perfect drink to make superb cocktails by infusing as clean yet bold alcoholic element on which to build everything from familiar classics like a ‘White Manhattan’ to new tasty mash-ups like the ‘Bessie Smash’ named after pioneer blues singer Bessie Smith. Part two of the Manhattan Moonshine appeal is the bottle. Classic as Manhattan’s definitive Art Deco architecture and tasteful as a posh bar’s elegant decanter, the chiseled bottle of Manhattan Moonshine is just as beautiful to behold as the taste is to savor.

I sampled this superb spirit over ice with a touch of ginger beer and a bit of fresh lime zest and was very pleased with how the texture almost seemed to enhance the flavors put into the drink while giving me that nice warm buzz of a mature relaxing cocktail. This is a great gift for any dad, modern or traditional, on Father’s Day or any day for that matter.  The universal blending ability of Manhattan Moonshine makes it a perfect addition to any man’s bar for that after work wind-down drink or that necessary weekend turn-down shot. Happy Father’s Day indeed!

Manhattan Moonshine is now available at their website here and at select liquor stores in your city. Please visit for cocktail recipes, liquor store and restaurant locators in your city and always remember to drink responsibly.

You’re Invited to the 2013 Holiday Buying Show Beverage Sampling Event

Are you someone who’s always on the look out for hot new cocktail ideas? Want to know what’s the newest trends in alcohol or what your favorite brands are launching? Then attending the Holiday 2013 Buying Show, the largest alcohol buying event for the bar, restaurant and retail industries, is an absolute must.

What can you expect to experience at the Holiday 2013 Buying Show? New York World Wine and Spirits Competition (experts from around the world of wine and spirits judge a wide variety of grade-A beverages, many of which are featured on the convention floor), seminars, amazing beverage and food sampling from some of the most delicious alcohol brands – over 400 vendors actually. With your show floor ticket, you can sample a very extensive selection of beverages both alcoholic and non alcoholic, domestic and imported. For a complete list of exhibitors visit

In addition, over a hundred new craft and artisan brands will be on display for sampling; other vendors being showcased include barware, legal services, photo workshops, a variety of 19 seminars (not included in show floor ticket). For information about seminars and pricing, visit

Along with the amazing show floor activities, attending guests will also enjoy parties, networking opportunities, drink-making demos, and specialty vendors. The regular cost for a ticket is $40.00 but with discount code 1951, you get 25% off – $30.00 for show exhibits and sampling only and $100.00 for seminars and show floor. 

The Royal Line Continues | Crown Royal XR

Whiskey lovers rejoice, Crown Royal has added a new addition to its regal and renowned stable of whiskies – Crown Royal XR, the second Extra Rare whiskey for the brand after releasing the original in 2006 is part of the brand’s Extra Rare Whiskey Series. Each Crown Royal XR blend is created using a batch of rare whiskies and will be distributed for a limited time. 

Developed by Crown Royal Master Blender Andrew MacKay, the exquisite 80 proof blend (40% ABV) is crafted with a small reserve of the final batch of LaSalle whiskies to create a refined fusion of dried fruits and honey in a harmonious balance with the spicy notes of Canadian rye. The Crown Royal XR is topaz and amber in appearance, with elegant aromas of aged oak, caramel and vanilla.

The unique bottle shape, deluxe glass stopper and iconic velvet bag will remain the same in shape and design, but will reflect a royal blue color to echo the regal nature of the product. The new Crown Royal XR is now on shelves nationwide for a suggested retail price of $129.99 for a 750 ml bottle. As with the inaugural installment in the Extra Rare Whiskey Series, the new Crown Royal XR will be available for a limited time.