TOP SCOTCH

Whiskey from untraditional locales have been all the rage in recent years. The classics, however, never go out of style for long.

For those who need a reminder on why scotch historically has been considered one of the finest whiskeys in the world, a handful of local spots are offering liquid history lessons in some of the most exceptional spirits the Highlands have ever produced.

The experiences that follow are guaranteed to impress even the most seasoned whiskey connoisseurs.

The Dalmore distillery has been focusing on aged whiskey’s since long before Scottish law required that whiskeys be aged for at least three years. By the time that law was passed in 1915, founder Andrew Mackenzie already was producing 20-, 30- and 40-year-old whiskeys. Some of his stills are in use by the company today, one dating back to 1874.

Now that the rest of the scotch world has caught up to them on age statements, however, The Dalmore relies on Mackenzie’s recognition of quality casks to set it apart. Their older offerings began their lives in white oak, were transferred to sherry casks from prized producer Pedro Ximinez, and moved to tawny port casks to finish. How long they spend in each drastically affects the taste. Those differences become obvious when you enjoy a so-called 100-year flight featuring pours of the company’s 25-, 35- and 40-year age statements.

Available at only a handful of bars, you can enjoy it at Picasso in Bellagio for $1,200. The 2-ounce pours are offered in flutes of Baccarat crystal, and brought to your table on a custom-engraved sterling silver serving tray.

Scotch connoisseurs who want to experience a century in three pours aren’t limited to The Dalmore. Over at Caesars Palace, the Lobby Bar recently added a 40-year-old to it’s collection of Macallan. While you can buy it on its own for $1,500 per 1.5-ounce pour, the addition has also allowed the resort’s beverage director Andre Teixeria to offer A Century of Macallan featuring the same 25/35/40 breakdown. The price for three 1.5-ounce pours is $2,200.

All of this is just a part of Lobby Bar’s Macallan Experience, which features nine labels total: 12-, 15-, 18-, 21-, 25-, 35- and 40-year age statements, as well as the M and No. 6 from the distillery’s 1824 Master Series. If you order the M, ask to see the beautiful Lalique crystal bottle. After all, it’s part of the experience, and built into the price.

If that isn’t enough of a journey into the Macallan legacy, check out Scotch 80 Prime, the new steakhouse set to open at The Palms early this month. The distillery will be one of the main attractions of its signature scotch program. While offerings such as a 65-year-old in a Lalique crystal bottle, which retails for $35,000 to $65,000 may get most of the attention, the true rarity will be the Macallan Fine & Rare Vintage Collection.

While scotch has traditionally been prized for how long it’s aged before bottling, a new trend is to seek out bottles created in a certain year. Every year, Macallan picks out a single cask to set aside, which the distiller feels best represents the company’s product. Scotch 80 Prime is promising the largest selection in the world of these extraordinarily rare bottles, representing at least 33 different years from 1937 to 1990.