The Macallan reveals partnership with Mandalay, a premium whisky bar in Makati City
Makati City, Philippines — Words have it that there’s a wardrobe next to a loo that has no earthly business in an otherwise openly rowdy The Belle and Dragon Bar in Makati. It’s not one in particular; nothing close to your grandma’s oak dresser or china cabinet.
The savvy and the elite who dress to the nines and head up to this classier juice joint for some “tiki drink” open the closet and disappear in the decoy entrance. The armoire is not a passage to an alternative cabaret circuit, nor a magical portal in Professor Kirke’s House that links Earth to the world of Narnia, but a speakeasy bar one who is otherwise sad would go to if he wants to put on his doll rag, get drunk and yak it up until he runs out of money.
The Mandalay Whisky and Cigars—stumbling into this sneaky gentleman’s domain feels like stepping into one of Al Capone’s gin joints, a dimly lit space where patrons don’t have to speak in a hush, and bartenders don’t have to wear mangy beards, orphan hats, and Dust Bowl trousers for one to be at once reminded of the era of semi-public drinking.
There’s nary a period and replica bric-a-brac like a stuffed jackalope or a phonograph; all one needs to feel that the “risk” is part of the fun, as with every speakeasy bar, is Asa Martin’s “Jake Walk Papa” and a glass of Macallan 12.
Really, you are here for the Scotch, and because average is not Mandalay’s demographic, every discerning whisky drinker who visits Mandalay for luxury malt brands visits Mandalay for the Macallan, which has its own dedicated fancy nook laced with the rarest and most elusive bottles from the ultimate luxury spirit brand.
The space encapsulates the brand essence of The Macallan. Inspired by its distinctive design elements and bold new look, it is characterized by a triangular pattern—The Chevron—found on the brand’s new packaging, as well as visual influences drawn from the new The Macallan distillery above the river Spey.
The lounge is pensive and tranquil, lined with large, comfy leather chairs and an extensive selection of The Macallan bottlings, what with the 12-year-old age statements of Sherry Oak, Double Cask and Triple Cask Matured—The quintessential Macallan Trilogy.
Inverse of most other distilleries, Macallan’s cask cost is twice as much its malt cost, this, while most other distilleries say malt is the key. Factor in the right oak origin, the kind of sherry, the toasting time, the right temperature, and the technology that blends innovation with tradition, and you get a spirit that is embodied by the 12-year-old The Macallan expressions, each cask selection individual; flavor, distinctive.
Exclusively matured in Oloroso sherry-seasoned oak casks from Jerez, the classic Sherry Oak is fruity and full of body, distinct with hints of spice, dried fruits, and mature oak.
The Triple Cask, meanwhile, is complex but light, a merry mix of different whiskies matured in three cask types: European Sherry Oak, American oak seasoned with sherry and American Bourbon.
The Macallan Double Cask, on the other hand, balances the quintessential Macallan style with American sherry oak’s sweet influence.
I was equally deeply enamored by the four stunning decanters—Rare Cask, Reflexion, No. 6 and M—which are a part of the1824 Masters Series, a collection that exudes the brand’s commitment to the mastery of wood and spirit. Each one magnificent in status and appearance, the bottles are designed by Lalique in celebration of Macallan’s new distillery.
Aligned with the brand’s values, an ode to the single-malt, The Macallan Lounge at Mandalay is the second of its kind in the country, one being in a bar of old-fashioned charm and sophistication at Solaire Resorts & Casino.
Here, bartenders do not have to wear mangy beards, orphan hats and Dust Bowl trousers to treat whisky with respect, one that doesn’t go down to merely handling the liquid appropriately (say, what kind of ice to use, how to pour, how to price properly), but by knowing why everyone loves the Macallan: You anticipate an experience, and you know it’s a quality experience.
The Macallan Lounge @ Mandalay
Address: 100 Carlos Palanca St., Legazpi Village, Makati
Operating Hours: Monday – Saturday 6:00pm to 2:00am / Sunday 4:00pm to 12:00am
Contact Number: +639176258818
Social Media: Instagram.com/MandalayPh,
Also Read: Drink like a sir: The Macallan Edition No. 4