This past week The Edrington Group announced that work has begun on Macallan’s new £100 million distillery. To honor that, I’ll dedicate this week to Macallan. But I’ll start with a disclaimer: I’m not a huge Macallan fan and have never been. The Macallan isn’t even in my top 10 distilleries, nevertheless, Macallan used to be a standard bearer of the industry. Both the Sherry Oak and Fine Oak series were excellent ranges, and Macallan achieved the number 3 spot in single malt sales world wide, chiefly with the introduction of the Fine Oak series in 2004. Macallan have now abolished age statements altogether, and gone back to 100% sherry matured whisky, and I’m not even going to get into the NAS debate once more. I will be clear, though, about never judging an expression based upon its label.
I have had the the Sherry Oak range up to the 25 and the Fine Oak range up to the 21 and several of the other non core and travel retail expressions, and most were very well crafted, even if not being squarely up my ally. In fact, as I mentioned, the 1824 series sees the distillery coming back to its sherry exclusive origins. Sadly, however, the 1824 series just isn’t what I’d come to expect from Macallan. A great philosophical question would be, of course, had I not known it was a Macallan, would I have liked the whisky or not. My honest answer is that I would have liked the Sienna and would have found both the Amber and the Ruby flawed but drinkable. Sadly, I can’t say that about the Gold.
The Macallan has extensive stocks of sherry matured whisky, allowing them to consistently create s specific color and flavor profile just by vatting casks without the use of artificial coloring. The Gold is a vatting of first and second refill sherry casks, both from American and European Oak casks.
Appearance: Gold, very thin legs.
Nose: Warm cereal, cinnamon, sweet light lemon, custard, warm corn bread, very light sherry notes and honey, which becomes more dominant as time goes on.
Palate: Notes of lemon, nutmeg and vanilla. Some honey sweetness.
Linger: Long on the inside of the cheeks with light peppery notes.
Drinkable, if rather simple and one dimensional. I”m skeptical of the “color as the new age statement” approach considering that if your stocks are big enough, you can pretty much create any color combination.
This expression isn’t impressive. I do wonder if less of the sherry would get lost at a higher ABV.