Middle East and North Africa
Patsie Christie: The Macallan Brand Ambassador
How did you come to work for The Macallan?
There is a wide misconception that single malts shouldn’t be mixed in cocktails; nothing could be further from the truth. Most Mixologists adhere to the principal that a cocktail can only be as good as its worst ingredient. As such, they are always eager to incorporate premium spirits, particularly single malts. My background of mixing drinks, lead me to create The Macallan libations at the distillery for special events and guests. I’m pretty sure that constant pestering, volunteering and uncontained enthusiasm for the brand got me the job as The Macallan Brand Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa (and Turkey this year).
Your role at The Macallan
It really is a dream job. I travel to all the markets in my territory to entertain and educate consumers, trade professionals and the media on the heritage, production and sometimes mixology of/with The Macallan. I also support each market’s brand team in developing a strategic brand plan for the upcoming year, such as customer appreciation events.
The Macallan in The Middle East
This is an exciting time for The Macallan in the Middle East. We have set ourselves ambitious goals, to which I’m confident we’ll succeed. The Macallan has a strong, credible reputation throughout the region with both Scotch consumers and the trade. I’m very proud to boast of co-hosting the world’s largest The Macallan collection for retail in one venue at Le Clos Finest Wines and Luxury Spirits, Dubai which includes the complete ranges of Fine Oak and Sherry Oak, Masters of Photography: Annie Leibovitz Edition, near complete Fine & Rare, two Lalique variants and numerous limited editions and collectable old bottlings. This sums up the vibe in the Middle East, where nothing seems unattainable.
Popular serves and drams
I spent almost four years based in Edinburgh, Scotland soaking up what could be considered the traditional methods of enjoying single malt scotch. Neat, stemmed tasting glass, drop by drop of water. In many of my favourite Edinburgh watering holes you risk being ostracised for adding ice, let alone a mixer to your whisky. But there’s one major difference in enjoying a dram in Scotland compared to the Middle East; the weather! Last summer I experienced 54˚C and all of a sudden enjoying The Macallan on the rocks or with soda made perfect sense. It’s exciting to see a handful of bars in Dubai with single malt classically styled cocktails on their drinks menus. There’s a clear European and American Mixology influence here and I predict this creative endeavour will continue to gain momentum. My personal favourite The Macallan cocktail is The Macallan Maple Old Fashion with The Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Year Old (I think it has something to do with my Canadian heritage).
- The Skyview Bar in the 7-star Burj Al Arab, Dubai has a great range of both The Macallan Fine Oak and Sherry Oak, and a spectacular view of the city and gulf. This bar once held the Guinness World Record for the most expensive cocktail using The Macallan in Lalique 55 Year Old.
- The Macallan 1824 Lounge in Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi is a chic The Macallan haven for any whisky enthusiast. The lounge offers both the Fine and Sherry Oak ranges, several variants from the Fine & Rare range, as well as a Lalique by the dram.
- Bar ThreeSixty in Le Grey Hotel, Beirut caught my attention with a cocktail menu featuring single malts, a massive rarity for the city. The talented Bar Manager was able to fix me up delicious bespoke The Macallan cocktails that won me over. Not a vast range of The Macallan, but what’s missing in quantity is definitely made up for in quality.
What’s your favourite thing about working for The Macallan?
I couldn’t possibly pick just one favourite thing; I’ve fallen in love with my friends at the distillery, my local team, and everyone who promotes the brand in my markets; meeting new people from different walks of life, spirit novices to whisky connoisseurs; access to the world’s most precious whisky; sharing my passion for a brand I truly believe is peerless in production and accolades; helping a whisky rookie take their first steps.
What’s your signature dram?
How can I pick just one?! This is like asking a parent to pick their favourite child. I think The Macallan Sherry Oak 18 Year Old is classically perfect, Fine Oak 15 Year Old is the best bang for your buck, the Laliques are just simply sublime, and Fine & Rare offers us the ability to time travel throughout The Macallan’s glorified history.