Marc Laverdiere is Canada's own Brand Ambassador to The Macallan and Highland Park. I've had the pleasure of attending a few of his events and interviewing him a few years back, and each time I learn something new. That's rare, because whisky isn't always an interesting topic in a mixed audience, but Marc is a storyteller that brings out a unique experience each time.
For Marc, it's not about which whisky is the best, but rather which whisky is ideal for a particular situation. The Macallan 10 or 15 year old are perfect for a summer afternoon, while the 12 is more of an early evening drink. Highland Park 18 is saved for special occasions, but usually in the evenings. Marc Laverdiere describes The The Macallan Cask Strength (bottled at 60%) as, "Every whisky has a mission. This one is to cause pain."
We enjoyed a fantastic dinner at The Barberian, with delicious food paired nicely to the scotch had. The evening even included Laphroiag 18 Year Old which was paired with Oysters Rockerfeller. For those that find Laphroiag far too overbearing, the 18 years of aging has a calming affect on the scotch rounding it out with some added sweetness.
For me, though, Highland Park 18 was the highlight. Peaty, but not overbearing; the perfectly balanced. The 18 was paired with a bone-in filet steak cooked perfectly at medium-rare. If you ever have a chance to attend an event featuring Marc Laverdiere, take the opportunity. He's a fantastic speaker and you'll always learn something new.