As mentioned yesterday, executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith did a dessert tasting last Wednesday with The Macallan brand of single malt Scotch whisky. The evening was led by Randy Adams, its Brand Ambassador to the southeast region. Randy joined the company in February 2011, and enjoys a long history with the spirit, sharing his knowledge as Bar Manager/Whisky Specialist Upstairs Private Reserve at The Gator Club in Sarasota, Florida, his home base.
According to The Macallan’s website, in order to be classed as a ‘Scotch’ Whisky, the spirit, made from a mash of cereals, must have been matured in an oak cask in Scotland for a minimum of three years. It must also be bottled at a minimum strength of 40 percent alcohol by volume. ‘Blended’ Scotch Whisky is Scotch Whisky distilled at more than one distillery from a combination of malted barley and other cereals. Blended ‘Malt’ Scotch Whisky is Scotch Whisky distilled at more than one distillery entirely from malted barley. And ‘Single’ Malt Scotch Whisky is Scotch Whisky distilled at a single distillery entirely from malted barley. Nothing lost in translation here (for a laugh, here’s the translation of the fictional Suntory Whisky commercial scene from Sophia Coppola’s 2003 oscar-nominated film.)
So what does a brand ambassador actually do, and what’s with that haggis stuff? Find out in Randy’s QA below, and start your day with an unhealthy dose of Scotch-laden dessert porn on our Flickr.
May we call you Randolph?
Of course! It’s my given name. Randy is just for casual chats.
We are jealous of your regular trips to the motherland. Where do you stay and what do you like eat when you take trips to Scotland?
I stay with family in Edinburgh and at The Macallan Estate of Easter Elchies when in The Highlands. Although I must give a shout out to The Highlander Inn across the river from The Macallan. The scotch bar is manned by the most knowledgeable barmen in Scotland (ironically he is Japanese!). As for food, I love Aberdeen Angus steak, smoked salmon, mussels, and for dessert ‘sticky toffee pudding’ (Hedy would approve of the decadent ‘goodness’). Oh, and the mandatory haggis with my Aunt Agnes (shudders).
What’s Scotland’s best export? Besides The Macallan, of course!
Edinburgh has a huge financial district that rivals London, Aberdeen has massive petroleum reserves with offshore platforms in the North Sea, and Scottish woolen mills make the finest cashmere. But for me, scotch whisky is Scotland’s greatest gift to the world.
Do you like a good Scotch egg? We had one on the menu on Sunday.
Deep fried hard boiled egg wrapped in breaded sausage…What’s not to love?
Kilt or no kilt?
As a Scottish American I proudly wear my family tartan kilt (Clan Gordon) on numerous occasions. However, keep in mind that you don’t need kilts or bagpipes to enjoy a glass of The Macallan anymore than you have to be French to enjoy a glass of champagne.
What is your ideal way to drink your favorite expression? With food or without? And if with… what?
The Macallan 15 Years Old Fine Oak on the rocks before dinner
The Macallan 12 Years Old Sherry Oak with water during dinner
The Macallan 18 Years Old Sherry Oak neat after dinner
The Macallan 25 Years Old Sherry Oak at the end of an especially rewarding day
You mentioned having no qualms about using a dixie cup if that’s all that’s around. We love you for that Randy! So… What’s the most “interesting” way you have imbibed The Macallan?
I’ve always preferred substance over style. While a beautiful crystal glass has it’s merits, it’s The Macallan’s liquid that makes the sip memorable, no matter what vessel it’s being held in. As for the most ‘interesting’ I would have to point out the reference above to my Aunt Agnes’s Haggis. I’m not a big fan of haggis, but I’ve found if I pour my glass of The Macallan over it the flavor instantly improves.
If you were executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith’s sous chef for the day, what would you like to learn? Would you be a good student?
I would need at least a month with a great chef like Hedy. I would love to pick her brain on how she can orchestrate the symphony of flavors to match so perfectly with The Macallan. But I’m afraid I would be a terrible student (I would eat all of her profits…literally)