August 31, 2015

Recent Event: Finding Gold In A Cherry Wood Cask


According to the Senior Alcoholic Drinks analyst at Euromonitor , probably someone all of us would like to meet (if not work for !), the value of Scotch whisky exports dropped 7 % last year, but you wouldn’t know it from the turnout at the cross-university alumni event held last Wednesday at whiskey emporium, “Toast the Macallan” in the Shanghai Kerry Center.

The more than 50 alumni from Columbia, Northwestern, and MIT who attended the event learned what distinguishes single malt from blended Scotch[1],  discovered the secret to making premium  whiskey (it’s all in the cask), and tried their hand at evaluating premium whiskey.

The highlight of the evening was an executive presentation on the history, culture, and business of whiskey accompanied by a sampling of three different whiskeys, each of which had its own distinctive flavor and aroma.  

The presenter, who admitted that he originally was turned on to whiskey by a friend who took a Mixology course while at MIT (now we know what people at MIT really study …), explained that whiskey has a history that goes back nearly five hundred years and that Macallan – located in Craigellachie, Moray, Scotland -  is one of the oldest single malt Scotch whisky distilleries in the world.

Judging by the enthusiastic reaction of the participants, it looks like the whiskey business is poised for a turnaround in 2016.

[1] Premium single malt is made of malts from one particular distillery. Blended Scotch is made of malts from different distilleries

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