4 months ago
As the cold sets in, and we cozy up next to fireplaces, perhaps with a Hot Toddy in hand, there may come a time in the thick of the oncoming winter season when we need to take a page from our beloved snowbirds: Head South.
In these bastions of warmth you’ll find plentiful sunshine, sea breezes, shimmering pools, and an altogether quick fix for your seasonal depression, but rather than schlepping there with the masses, why not opt for prestigious passage?
Enter: The Macallan, the purveyor of fine Scotch whisky, which has devised a “Rare Journey” to do just that. As the name indicates, this travel package is an opulent one, produced in partnership with Monarch Air Group and Golden Yacht Charters. But for you, dear reader, I had the tough assignment of sampling the experience first-hand, all for the sake of journalism.
Coming from New York City, the journey begins at nearby Teterboro Airport aboard a privately chartered, 12-passenger Embraer Lineage 1000 jet. Just ahead of our 11:00 a.m. takeoff time, we’re met with a “Smoked Oak New-Fashioned” cocktail, along with canapés in the shape of a small plane topped with Beluga caviar.
Upon boarding, we’re greeted by Raquel Raies, The Macallan’s national brand ambassador and the first woman to assume this role in the brand’s 194-year history. She lives and breathes the world of whisky, and is on-hand to lead us through The Macallan’s Master Series.
This series of four coveted spirits, tasted by few throughout the world, includes The Macallan Rare Cask, The Macallan Reflexion, The Macallan No. 6, and The Macallan M. Collectively, they’ll set you back a hefty sum—$12,087 to be exact—largely thanks to The Macallan M, which is presented in a Lalique crystal decanter designed by director and fashion world darling Fabien Baron. Its cost alone? $5,356.
“If No.6 is the Mozart of The Macallan’s Master Series, then M is the [Mick] Jagger,” Raies explained aboard our flight, as we soar a mile above the Eastern seaboard. “It begins with some rich wood spices with some smoky flavor flitting in and out. This is the true rockstar of our collection, and I even cried the first time I tried it.”
After disembarking at Miami’s Opa-Locka Executive Airport and snapping a plethora of Instagram content on the tarmac, we make the fitting transition from luxury jet to 100-foot yacht. Docked in Hallendale Beach, a short ride form downtown South Beach, the yacht offers amenities that include even more whisky along with an unlikely pairing: cheese, which serves as an amuse-bouche ahead of a dinner served on the yacht’s open-air upper deck.
Referred to as Mac & Cheese (a witty shortening of The Macallan), three whiskies—Double Cask 12 Years Old, Sherry Oak 12 Years Old, and Triple Cask Matured 15 Years Old—are served alongside a selection of three cheeses sourced directly from the iconic Murray’s Cheese Shop in New York City. The crowd favorite is, according to both Raies and our fellow travelers, the 15-year paired with a creamy, tangy blue cheese.
“The whisky beautifully cuts through the fattiness of the cheese,” Raies tells us as our vessel glides into the sunlit water. “There’s notes of citrus, so it’s light and bright. It’s the Miami-friendly member of our collection.”
It comes as no surprise that this experience, available from December 2018 to March 2019, doesn’t come cheap. The Macallan’s “Rare Journey” starts at $46,000 for a group of 7 guests, and can escalate from there depending on your preferred plane capacity, boat size, and, most importantly, the rarity of the whisky being served throughout. Schedule permitting, Raquel Raies herself will also be there to offer her expertise.
“We can really build this experience up until your heart’s content,” she quipped. “We’ll even pull out a bottle of 50-year aged for you.”
Tread lightly, though. A bottle of The Macallan’s “50 Years Old” will come with a price tag right around $35,000.
One can reserve The Macallan Rare Journey by emailing its private concierge service at TheMacallan@MonarchAirGroup.com.