What do quality coffee and fine Scottish whisky have in common? Whisky-maker Steven Bremner of The Macallan has the answer: “There are many parallels between the approach to creating incomparable whisky and coffee. Each requires unique skills and craftsmanship to achieve depth and complexity of taste, and both worlds aim to deliver an extraordinary consumption experience.”
Taking inspiration from the Ethiopian Arabica bean, considered the first species of coffee to be cultivated, Bremner crafted two phenomenal whiskies with distinct coffee notes for The Macallan’s limited-edition Harmony II Collection: Inspired by Intense Arabica and Smooth Arabica.
Both of these sublime single malts lend themselves to enjoying unique coffee and whisky paring experiences — pour yourself a dram of Inspired by Intense Arabica and try the following tasting ritual at home.
‘It’s Coffee Time at The Macallan’ tasting ritual
While doing so, he discovered that in Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, popcorn accompanies the coffee as part of a ritual that’s an integral part of social and cultural life.
Inspired by Intense Arabica tasting notes
Nose: Tiramisu, cappuccino, gingerbread, raisins, almonds, sweet oak, vanilla.
Palate: Espresso, dark chocolate, raisins, tiramisu, blackberry, vanilla, Brazil nut, sweet oak.
Finish: Long, dark roast coffee, balanced and sweet.
As a result, Bremner included salted popcorn in this tasting ritual, which pairs Inspired by Intense Arabica with two different varieties of Ethiopian coffee: Harrar and Guji. The flavour profiles of these coffees complement the dry fruitiness and winey characteristics of the whisky when enjoyed side by side.
There are five steps to creating the perfect multi-sensory Inspired by Intense Arabica tasting experience at home:
- Where possible source Harrar and Guji coffee beans, otherwise use any two varieties of ground coffee.
- Prepare the cupping apparatus: a serving glass and two coffee cups.
- Brew the two varieties of coffee separately. Pour in individual cups.
- Pour a serve of Inspired by Intense Arabica whisky. Enjoy your dram, while you sip on the different coffee types and appreciate the unique tasting notes present.
- Pair with salted popcorn; enjoy this savoury snack alongside your dram and carefully selected coffee types.
This article was sponsored by The Macallan.
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