Sunday, 4 April 2010


Prior to our annual visit to Hawksmoor in London, I tried to find out which single malts they had available. Their website lists the wine list and cocktail list, but no spirit list.

Needless to say, I didn't find out. However, I did stumble over a post about a 'new' way of serving Macallan. As previously stated on my introduction, I am not a fan of Macallan, but was willing to revisit it. 

So, I thought, this was my opportunity. 

Macallan have supplied some of the best bars around the country with a new gizmo which turns a square piece of ice into a ball. So I promptly ordered two Macallans, one for me and one for a friend, along with ice balls. Sadly, the server didn't have a clue what I was talking about, despite when walking past the bar I noticed the copper machine sitting in the middle of the bar!

We therefore sat patiently waiting for the drinks to arrive. However, the barman came over instead and informed us that they did not have any Macallan 10 year old left. I thought, this might be the end of the opportunity to try the ice ball. Instead, we were informed that we could have any whisky with an ice ball.

Having had a quick look at the available single malts as we entered the restaurants, I promptly ordered two Highland Park 12 year olds. 

The Highland Park's arrived with a large sphere of ice contained within the tumbler. Now, I know the purists view on drinking whisky with ice, but it was a gimmick that I wanted to try out.

I have to say that I am not sure what the ice ball brings to the experience. It doesn't, for obvious reasons taste any different and it doesn't enhance the whisky in any way. I read that the ice takes longer to melt due to the shape, but mine still melted fairly quickly, I ended up fishing it out the whisky and put it in a glass of water I also had.

In conclusion, I would say that whilst a nice gimmick, it certainly is not worth going out of the way to hunt one of the bars that has this available. The Highland Park cost me £15.50, which I have to say is far too much, as much as I enjoy this particular whisky. It represents, by my estimates, a 1000% mark-up on a supermarket bottle! I felt a tad ripped off when I saw the bill, especially when a Johnnie Walker Blue costs £25.00! 

Below, I have included comments from a press release by Macallan. 

Macallan’s Marketing Assistant, Pat Lee, explains the science part: "The Ice Ball Press was inspired by Japanese cocktail culture where artisans hand-carve ice balls from massive slabs to create an uninterrupted surface that cools spirits quickly and evenly.  The ice ball melts slowly to preserve the integrity of the spirit.  We have updated this process, by developing a copper press that instantly trims a block of ice into a flawless ice ball.  This, combined with our masterful single malt Scotch whisky, is The Macallan Perfect Serve."

"The Macallan’s liquid excellence is continuously defined by its unprecedented elegance and versatility. The ice ball balances these qualities. As global cocktail culture has evolved, ice has become central to the modern-day spirits experience.  With an eye on this trend, we created The Macallan Perfect Serve, to modernise the way single malt can be enjoyed and appeal to a wider range of consumers."

Information about the Hawksmoor restaurant can be found here -

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