The Macallan Releases the World’s Toughest Flask and a Tasty 22-Year-Old Whisky to Put In It
"You’d better pull over for a minute, you’ve got about five cones stuck under the car," said Nick the racing instructor, after I’d just annihilated the last gate of the slalom course. It was embarrassing, but only a little. I wasn’t there for a leisurely drive. I was there, along with a handful of other journalists, to test out the new Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, and I figured I’d push the car’s limits, and my own. A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for, right? And so I threw that 400 horsepower beast into the course as hard as I could, and hung in there pretty well until the end, where those five poor cones told me where the limit was. After pulling them from the car’s undercarriage, I tried it again, ever-so-slightly slower, and holding a tighter line. This time, flawless. The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate how the design of a new flask made by Oakley for Macallan scotch whisky parallels the design of the 911, and I came away armed with the knowledge that, well, they’re both pretty amazing.
That’s why I found myself in a massive parking lot at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on the first full day of spring, putting these amazing cars through their paces. I knew our time was limited, and I don’t get many opportunities to drive $100,000 sports cars, so I decided to ball the jack from the start. I have no regrets, even after my first lap around the speed track, when my passenger, Alyson, insisted on getting out of the car and shivering in the cold rather than taking another lap with me. I didn’t take out any cones on that lap, either, though I did make the tires squeal around just about every turn. It’s all because I kept hearing the voice of a racing instructor from Mustang school last year, who told us that we were being too damn timid on the track. "You’ll run out of talent long before you run out of car," he said. And so I threw that baby into the curves like I was on the last lap at Le Mans. Why the hell not?
But the car was just a metaphor. This is really about a flask and some whisky, both of which figured into the picture after we’d left the cars behind. Driving first, then drinking. And so we headed to the Hotel Americano in Chelsea, where Neil Ferrier, an engineer from Oakley, explained what The Flask is about. It’s tough as nails, as the above video demonstrates. It’s made of a food-grade stainless steel inner flask wrapped in a carbon fiber composite shell, clad in black anodized 5-axis machined aerospace grade aluminum, which is the most bad-ass kind of aluminum. And it looks really cool, with perfect grips for your hand and a mouth near the corner, rather than in the center, which makes it easier to pour. It’s also a bit of a departure, stylistically, from what the Macallan brand has represented in the past, but it’s the same in spirit. As Ferrier explained, Macallan simply asked them to make the best, most amazing flask imaginable, a directive similar to the 189-year-old distillery’s approach to making whisky. (Scroll down.)
As far as whisky goes, Macallan’s releasing a very special one to sell with The Flask. It’s a 22-year-old, single cask whisky, aged in American oak barrels that were seasoned with sherry in Spain before making the northward trip to the distillery in the village of Craigellachie in Scotland. It’s also quite delicious, with an aroma of citrus and leather and a note of pepper on the palate before mellowing into vanilla, butterscotch, and dried fruit flavors. Brand ambassador Charlie Whitfield took us through a tasting and had us all share our interpretations. We learned that there are no wrong answers. If you taste toffee, grass, or Funyuns, that’s just your palate. Nothing to feel bad about.
And so we sipped and smiled and bragged about our racing prowess before fading into the night. Hopefully I’ll get another chance to drive a Porsche like that 911, and if I do I’m going to be even more aggressive with it, orange cones be damned.
The Flask is sold as a set with the 22-year-old whisky for $1,500 at select retailers. You probably won’t find the whisky in too many bars, but places like the Brandy Library in New York have a few other great bottles you can try, including the Macallan 18-Year Sherry Cask and the elite Macallan 25-Year-Old Sherry Cask.