Matchstick Marketing invited me (thanks guys!) to Toronto’s only 5-star hotel, The Hazelton, for an evening of scotch tasting with The Macallan – they’re like… the Ferrari of scotch.

Click here and here for two little videos of me tasting tonight.  Some of it is 18 years old, and that’s not even considered that old.

Some interesting facts:

– “neat” means straight-up, no water or no ice added
– scotch and whiskey are the same thing, and this has confused me for 12 years.  Confusion over.
– don’t swirl it around in your glass, that’s for amateurs
– a sphere has 25% less surface area than a cube, that’s why that machine in the photo top right is making the cube into one
– the company, based in Scotland on the River Spey, is very set in tradition.  That’s why on their bottles there’s that little house… that’s the original house and they’re very good at adhering to the ways of the company from it’s founding date, 1824
– if you drink ethanol you’ll go blind
– their factory looks outrageously clean
– Macallan is the only scotch maker that gets that golden colour naturally (from their Spanish Oak Casks) 
– there are no rules to this all… add water, ice, nothing, it’s as you wish, nothing is incorrect

That’s our host for the evening Mark Laverdiere, classy French guy who is the Scotch Whisky Ambassador for Macallan.

It’s hard to hear us over the fun happening, but what Mark is saying is that “it’s a catalyst for a good time”.  And then when we clink glasses we’re saying is ‘Slainte Mhath!’ (‘Good Health!’ in Gaelic), that’s what you do.

What Mark said though, about it being a catalyst, got me thinking because I used to have a ritual where I’d have a scotch with an old friend of mine, (the one who was giving my stuff away that time), and I’ve decided this holiday season she’s getting a bottle of Macallan because I want to continue, and enhance, our tradition.

Casie and I went together, read her blog post (and see a nice photo of me) here, and read here a detailed write-up by David who went the night after, he’s a scotch pro.

EDIT Nov. 4 – Please fill out this survey to help out Matchstick and Macallan, thanks.