True Scotch whiskey is something that evokes passion and strong arguments, but you should be doing more than just imbibing the stuff. Ideally, you should be attending the launch party for each new premium series of masterful Scotch. And when you do, you should be dressed in all-imposing black, and you should allow the glitterati to observe closely as you lift the lid from your nosing glass for an exploratory whiff. Your first reaction to the elixir is of the utmost importance. You indulge in the fantasy that a single eyebrow arched in surprise could spell doom for a distillery ten generations old — such is the import and magnitude of your taste.
I attended the launch for M by The Macallan, which made its debut atop Manhattan's Hudson Hotel — a building that was once a YMCA and retains its impossibly small rooms. The interior of the penthouse space didn't offer much in the way of views, either, though one could sneak out to a balcony for a private moment of coldly spoken business or cool pleasure. The decadent array of hors d'oeuvres was meant to evoke the subtler accents of The Macallan's whiskies; one worried that, once unveiled, the newest expression would bear a hint of shrimp ceviche. In preparation for the worst, some nervously sipped the 12- and 18-year-old varieties.
The true connoisseurs, of course, had sampled and grown weary of such fare decades ago, even if they do keep a bottle of the 50-year for sentimental reasons. Their eyes instead drifted to a piece of art that any villain would love: a gleaming 6-liter decanter, filled with the mahogany-and-gold M, courtesy of legendary designer Fabien Baron and the world's leading crystal house, Lalique. The thing loomed with a sleek, architectural menace and cut like a gem.
However alluring, it's a receptacle too unwieldy for a customary pour (unless you want your marble floors to smell of peat for days). And so the Scotch is extracted in a manner sure to please the mad scientist in you. A massive glass pipette is lowered into the mouth to siphon out a healthy dose of drink, to be dispensed into the goblet or chalice of your choosing. Then it's time to savor the hints of rich wood spices and the unctuous way the whisky has of oozing down the sides of the glass; it's tempting to slick your hair back with the stuff. It explodes onto your palate, a rocket-powered vehicle sonic-booming across the blasted desert in search of another land speed record.
And though it sells for $4,500 a bottle, with just 1,750 bottles in the series — 355 of those in the United States — it's almost too good a deal, if you consider the upside. Say you have a rendezvous with your innermost circle. What else is there to serve them apart from M by The Macallan? It's time to carefully pick Christmas gifts, so pick up a bottle for each of your closest associates.
[Photo credit: Getty.]
Miles Klee is a reporter for The Daily Dot and author of the novel Ivyland, a finalist in the 2013 Tournament of Books. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Lapham's Quarterly, BlackBook, The Awl, Salon, The Village Voice, The New York Observer and elsewhere.