Why The Macallan Is Flying Whisky Fans to a Hudson Valley Retreat

You can now take a quick helicopter trip upstate to experience a day full of mindfulness, nature and great Scotch

July 25, 2023 4:56 pm
Three bottles of The Macallan on a table outside at Wildflower Farms in Hudson Valley. The Scotch brand is now offering luxury relaxation trips upstate.
Your potential Thursday: Helicopters, relaxation, nature, lots of Scotch

The most relaxing day of your summer could involve a beautiful upstate retreat, helicopter rides and sips of some very coveted whisky.

Plus, a “sound bath.”

We’ll explain — the luxury helicopter company BLADE just launched a day-long immersive experience with The Macallan, a Scotland distillery that’s aiming to recreate the calm and beautiful natural landscape of its 485-acre Speyside estate over here, in upstate New York.

Dubbed The Macallan x BLADE: Nature Meets Mastery at Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Collection, the initial excursion takes place on Aug. 10 for just 12 people. Attendees depart from a Manhattan helipad and take a 25-minute ‘copter trip up to Wildflower Farms, a retreat/resort in the lush Hudson Valley. From there, they’ll enjoy a day of “immersion, exploration, mindfulness, botanical mixology and culinary delights.”

If that doesn’t quite sound like your normal Scotch drinking experience, well, that’s the point. Yours truly was able to get a sneak preview of the trip in mid-July. After the thrill of flying over Manhattan and the surrounding suburbs (helicopters: loud but offer stunning views), you’re suddenly in this natural oasis and presented with an afternoon and evening of thoughtful relaxation. And plenty of exceptional food and drink.

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You’ll forage for cocktail ingredients (it’s easier than it sounds). You’ll take a walk in the woods and experience Shinrin-yoku, a Japanese therapeutic practice that’s basically spending time in the woods and mindfully reflecting (it’s also called “forest bathing”). And speaking of bathing, you’ll experience an hour-long sound bath, an audio experience that’s somewhere between yoga and meditation.

It sounds new age-y. Yet, as someone who’s usually indifferent to well-being practices (which is my bad), my daylong journey ended up with me feeling the most relaxed I’ve been in months — perhaps, admittedly, aided by a couple of Macallan tasting and cocktail sessions scattered throughout the day. It’s all capped off by a beautiful group dinner (drinks included) and by the time you leave 10 hours later, you’ve experienced the equivalent of a long and leisurely weekend holiday, sans the crowds or travel hassles.

  • Our branded BLADE ride (yours may look different)
  • BLADE x The Macallan helicopter
  • The Wildflower Farms resort
  • A tasting of three Macallan expressions
  • A "sound bath" relaxation and meditative experience at Wildflower Farms

Admittedly, the experience is not cheap: There are just a dozen tickets available and they’re $2,750 each (which is still far cheaper than some prior Macallan luxury travel experiences). The companies did hint to me that additional dates might be lined up if this first excursion proves to be a success. 

The itinerary is below. The first (only?) date of the Macallan x BLADE excursion takes place Thursday, Aug. 10.

  • 10:45 AM: Group departs NYC (Location: BLADE East Side Lounge)
  • 11:15 AM: Group arrives at Skydiving Ranch
  • 11:30 AM: Group arrives at Wildflower Farms/Welcome Cocktail
  • 12:00-12:45 PM: Farm Tour & Foraging
  • 12:45-1:15 PM: The Macallan Demo at Maplehouse
  • 1:15-2:30 PM: Lunch in Maplehouse
  • 2:30-3:30 PM: Forest Immersion
  • 3:45-4:45 PM: Soundbath
  • 4:45-5:30 PM: Property Exploration
  • 5:30 PM: Botanical Mixology in the Clay Patio
  • 6:15 PM: Cocktail Hour in the Green Room
  • 7:00 PM: Dinner in the Green Room
  • 9:00 PM: Depart Wildflower Farms. 


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