The Macallan Inspired by Intense Arabica is the second release in the Harmony Collection. After Rich Cacao, this single malt wants to show roasted hints of coffee. Even the packaging has a coffee connection and is made partly from recycled cascara. It is a collaboration with Jordi Roca, the pastry chef at El Celler de Can Roca.
Macallan The Harmony Collection – Inspired by Intense Arabica (44%, OB 2022, European + American sherry seasoned casks)
Nose: very nutty and rather buttery sherry, with hints of cold coffee indeed. Not immediately attractive. Latte. Hints of chocolate ganache and praline. Then some caramel toffee. I’m mostly picking up the European oak. Refinement is never its biggest quality, but it does improve with airing. Later some raisins and blackberries appear.
Mouth: starts slightly brighter than expected, on vanilla and apricot. Rather oily but also rather thin, lacking some body in the middle. Dark cocoa nibs and a combination of caramel and cinnamon. It keeps growing darker, showing plenty of baking spice (clove, nutmeg) and indeed hints of roasted coffee beans.
Finish: not too long, mostly on oak spice, hints of leather and quite a bitter char note.
Mixed feelings. On the one hand I was positively surprised by how well it evokes the coffee theme. On the other hand getting one aroma right is not enough: I simply don’t find this roasted / spicy profile particularly tasty, so I wouldn’t want a whole bottle. Still available from Whiskysite.nl for instance.