Exceptional casks in the Lion City
THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee (The Philippine Star) - August 20, 2015 - 10:00am

The Macallan, known as the world’s leading single malt whisky, introduced The Macallan Rare Cask in Singapore recently. I, together with some members of the Philippine media, was invited to attend this exciting launch.

Founded in 1824, The Macallan was one of the first distilleries in Scotland to be legally licensed. Its creation draws on the vital contributing influences of Spain, North America and Scotland and of their respective natural raw materials, combined with traditional methods and craftsmanship.

The Macallan Rare Cask captures a true decadence, with an absolute rarity since some of the casks selected in the creation of this whisky will never be used again, with less than one percent of the casks maturing at the distillery identified by the Master Whisky Maker as fitting to bestow the Rare Cask name. It is a single malt of great diversity and intricacy.  Wood defines the flavor of The Macallan, with over 60 percent of the character coming from the cask it is aged in. Rare Cask draws from the broadest spectrum of cask profiles, with a total of 16 different cask styles. The range of casks covers different wood species — handmade Spanish and American oak casks.

We first met the charming David Cox, director of fine and rare whiskies, at Justin Quek’s Sky on 57 at the Marina Bay Sands. We talked about the brand and Scotland over a light and delicious three-course lunch meal. That same afternoon, we headed to the “White House” for a short presentation on how the Rare Cask is made.

We also had a chance to try Macallan cocktails. The Macallan Rare Cask has soft notes of vanilla and raisin that pique the nose, giving way to a sweet ensemble of apple, lemon and orange. All balanced by a spicy quartet of root ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Oak resonates as vanilla and chocolate lead the finale along with a light citrus zest. The finish of this naturally occurring mahogany-red spirit is full, warming and woody.

Master whisky maker Bob Dalgarno is responsible for creating the Rare Cask, putting his knowledge and skill to the fullest to create a whisky worthy of The Macallan name. He says, “Rare Cask is about identifying a selection of casks, which can truly be called rare. Each of the cask styles result in different character, so each imparts its own distinct influence on the final whisky.”

The Macallan Rare Cask showcases two of The Macallan’s greatest strengths: exceptional sherry-seasoned oak casks and beautiful natural color. Drawing inspiration from The Macallan’s iconic triangle with the intention to showcase the whisky’s rich natural color in a resplendent mahogany hue, it comes in a stunningly sculpted, heavy glass decanter, reflecting the peerless spirit that defines its brand.

The Macallan’s master of wood Stuart MacPherson says,  “Wood sits at the very heart of what we do at the distillery, and this brand embodies our unquestionable commitment to exceptional wood management, demonstrating the vital role of our casks in the production of superb whiskies. It is a culmination of our knowledge, skill, passion, commitment and creativity, showcasing The Macallan at its very best.” Certain photos by Pepper Teehankee on a Canon PowerShot S120

(For more information, visit www.themacallan.com.)

A celebration of visions & smiles

Essilor Vision Foundation is focused on the importance of healthy vision in sports and in helping individuals with intellectual disabilities work towards generating acceptance and inclusion in the community.

True to this commitment, the foundation, under the Essilor Group supports the 2015 Special Olympics Social Impact Summit. The summit, formerly known as Global Youth Activation Summit, is a six-day international convention that enjoins 120 youth leaders from 30 countries to generate critical social change around the pressing issues facing people with intellectual disabilities.  It will be held in conjunction with the Special Olympics World Games held in Los Angeles, California.

Philippine representatives Brina Maxino and Sashi Montaña shared their experiences as delegates in the 2013 Global Youth Activation Summit in South Korea. Through the summit, they learned how to educate and motivate people into advocating acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. Because of their active involvement in this advocacy for years, they have been elected as co-chairs for this year’s Social Impact Summit. Brina said, “Every person with disability can change the world, and I am very excited to be part of this journey.”

Sashi added, “We look forward to meeting other young people whose ideas can help people with intellectual disabilities develop their abilities, nurture their talents, and live with dignity and respect.”

Brina and Sashi’s presentation “Eye Can Play: A Healthy Eyeffair” uses an “edutainment” approach to help Special Olympics athletes, their caregivers and their families learn more about the importance of healthy vision. Supported by Essilor Vision Foundation, Eye Can Play notched the Top 5 spot in the summit, granting $3,000 for the Philippines and earning accolades from the organizers and sponsors of the 2015 Special Olympics.

Essilor marketing manager Jinky Navo said, “Essilor Vision Foundation has been a proud sponsor of Special Olympics for more than a decade by providing prescription eyewear, protective eyewear, as well as visual counselling for Special Olympics athletes.  We are honored to be supporting the 2015 Social Impact Summit particularly with our Filipino co-chairs in the lead.”

It’s MaArte time!

On its seventh year, the Museum Foundation of the Philippine’s (MFPI) annual fundraiser, the MaArte Fair, is set for next weekend. MFPI president Maritess Pineda and chairpersons Cedie Vargas and Armita Rufino lead the way by challenging our community of artisans to revisit their past designs and come up with a fresh line of exclusive items to be launched at the MaArte 2015: A Craft, Design, Food and Arts Fair on August 28, 29 and 30, Friday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

MaArte showcases talent from a broad spectrum of Filipino craft traditions including hand-woven and hand-embroidered textiles, clay, basketry, pieces of glass and metal sculpture, mosaic tiles, precious metals, jewelry and fashion accessories from over 70 artisans. The MaArte Fair has been dedicated to promoting and engaging artisans in a dialogue. As MaArte continues to grow its programs, it is evolving into a full-fledged platform for empowering Philippine design initiatives, not-for-profit community livelihoods and start-up entrepreneurs.

MFPI organized a product development workshop with PJ Aranador, international consultant for craft and decorative merchandise geared towards helping artisans refine their concepts and design applications.

A must-see is a section of the fair devoted to limited edition items from design ateliers and museum shops dubbed MaArte Finds. MFPI also continues its partnership with creative local purveyors under its food market banner MaArte Eats. It will be a haven for beautiful and well made-pieces, a weekend of wonder, a visual feast guaranteed to provide the visitor a unique cultural shopping experience.

(For more information, call 404-2685 or e-mail inquiry@museumfoundationph.org.)


There is a certain sense of longing that can be felt from the figures of Miguel Paulo Borja’s paintings — a sort of bittersweet irony that is a reflection of the human condition.

 Psychonaut is Borja’s realization that man is meant to plunge himself into the depths of darkness, embracing moments of uncertainty and fear. It is, after all, man’s nature.

Borja was featured in this year’s Philippine Art Fair with Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery. Since then, he has done a group show with Mizuma Gallery in Singapore and will be joining the Jakarta Art fair this month.

Catch Borja’s second solo exhibition at Vinyl and Vinyl on Sunday, Aug. 23. 

(Vinyl on Vinyl is located at second floor, Warehouse 2, 2135 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.)

(Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.)

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with