It is Whisky Advent Day 3, and today’s malt, both bottle and box slid out of the advent calendar a fair bit more easily than yesterday’s! I have to say this miniature is pretty impressive, you don’t often see 50mls with actual corks… and this one even has an etchings of the distillery logo on cap! Someone in the marketing department at Macallan has an eye for detail.
Today’s whisky is the Macallan Gold, is a part of the Macallan 1824 Series released by the distillery in Canada, in 2014. The series was the distillery’s attempt to offer their customers good quality whiskies, at a range of price points, without being hamstrung by an age statement. Macallan like many whisky companies in Scotland and Japan, was trying to cope with sky rocketing demand which was outstripping their supply of mature stocks. The bottom line is, if you didn’t lay down enough whisky 12, 15 or 18 years ago, for your current range of 12, 15 and 18 year old expressions, there is nothing you can do about it for another 12, 15 or 18 years!
So Macallan, controversially, but also bravely, took the step of doing away with their age statements in most markets and launching a whole new range of whiskies named for their natural colours, the 1824 Series. Named for their colours the 1824 range consists of Gold, Amber and Sienna, progressively older, darker and more expensive as you go up the range. Even though some people were not happy with the change, the reality is the range has been well received. So much so in fact that the Ruby, formerly at the top of the range, was so popular that they had to discontinue it.
Macallan is one of Scotland’s most respected distillers. Established in 1824 on the bluffs above the Spey river in the heart of the Speyside, it was one of the first licensed distilleries in the area. The distillery has some of the smallest stills in Scotland and is very proud of the lengths it goes to to ensure its quality. It spends more on oak than any other distillery and its middle cut is one of the industry’s smallest. Today Macallan is part of the Edrington Group along with Highland Park, Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark.
Macallan 1824 Gold - 40% – Matured in 100% Ex-Oloroso sherry, mostly 2nd fill with some 1st fill American Oak Sherry Casks – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: honeyed with leather saddles, wet hay, musty earth and cracked nuts; milk chocolate and service station jelly beans (the kind you pay a quarter for a handful of); malty with goat cheese and lemon slices; Palate: big, round and and very chewy; loads of grassy malt, more hay, crystallized honey and wet horse saddles; becomes nuttier and drier as the Oloroso sherry notes kick in with crisp earthy spices; some dark fruits and more jelly beans with vanilla and loads of sweet citrus; Finish: medium long, clean and honeyed; fading leather, spices and fruits; Comment: I know there are some NAS haters out there, and they don’t like the concept of the 1824 range; my personal mantra is that if you like the juice, and you feel the price is justified, does the age really matter? I think this is a decent malt for the price.” - $80