On the wings of a Dove
Here’s a secret for you: for most of his life, Roja Dove – one of the world’s most sought-after fragrance experts and noses – hated whisky. After getting horrifically drunk on it as a teenager, he resolved never to touch it again, which – as it turns out – would have been a great loss for the world of whisky, had it not been for The Macallan.
Following a fruitful 10-year collaboration with one of the world’s most admired and awarded single-malt whiskies, which has seen him working intimately with The Macallan’s master whisky maker, Bob Dalgarno, they’ve reached what Dove calls “the inevitable endpoint". A fascinating exploration of whisky and aroma, the unveiling of The Macallan Edition No. 3 – the third release in the innovative Edition Series – reveals the extent to which The Macallan has been willing to push its boundaries and challenge convention.
“For me, this was about smashing a stereotype," Dove explains during the launch of Edition No. 3 in Singapore in mid-October. “I wanted this whisky to surprise people in the same way that The Macallan has shown me that whisky has an incredible diversity, which I didn’t believe at first. It’s an incredibly refined brand with enormous finesse, so the emotion this whisky should evoke is one of surprise because you keep discovering elements you don’t expect to find."
Despite its deceptively light barley-gold colour, Edition No. 3 (from RM550, with an ABV of 48.3 per cent) is full of personality, bearing the fingerprints of both Dove and Dalgarno in its complex, distinctive flavour. Notes of vanilla, fresh-cut oak, delicate florals and rich fruit cake toy with the palate, along with standout aromas of buttery toffee and warm, intense green apple. “Everyone has remarked that it is ‘so typically Macallan, but totally unlike any Macallan we’ve drunk before’," Dove notes.
“I was so happy to hear that – after all, if Edition No. 3 tastes like another Macallan, what’s the point of working with me? They’ve also pointed out how extraordinarily smooth and multilayered it is: when you drink it, you think you taste something and then one more startling flavour comes along. What will upset everybody," he adds wryly, “is that it’s a limited edition, so if you get hooked, it’s a doomed love affair." Hopefully, Dove can be coaxed into a few more projects with The Macallan in the near future.