Archive for December, 2009
Over the weekend we hosted our annual whisky-tasting party, where we let our friends loose on more than 40 bottles of single malt whisky. This year we included a couple of bottles from The Macallan 1824 Collection, launched this summer, named for the year in which the distillery was founded and developed exclusively for the Global Travel Retail market.
My husband, Euan, and I are longstanding fans of this Speyside single malt and visited the distillery at Craigellachie on a recent trip back home to Scotland. What’s distinctive about The Macallan is that it’s traditionally aged in first-fill sherry oak casks from Jerez, Spain. This gives the whisky its natural and distinctive color and flavor.
There are four expressions in The Macallan 1824 Collection: Select Oak, Whisky Maker’s Edition, Estate Reserve and 1824 Limited Release.
Photo: The Macallan, The Edrington Group.
We tasted The Macallan Select Oak and The Macallan Whisky Maker’s Edition and compared it to our current bottles of The Macallan.
The Macallan Select Oak: Select Oak uses three cask types – American Oak seasoned with either sherry or bourbon and first-fill European oak casks seasoned with sherry. Bottled at 40 percent ABV.
Our verdict: Very pale, more than just a sherry aroma with hints of bourbon and toffee. The flavor is complex and less sweet than the more typical sherry flavor that Macallan is known for. Certainly a new twist, very complex aroma and one Bourbon drinkers may prefer.
The Macallan Whisky Maker’s Edition: Contains rare whisky distilled from the famous “golden promise” barley grown on The Macallan Estate and bottled at 42.8 percent ABV.
Our verdict: More of a honey color, sweeter smell with hints of fruit. The flavor is less multi-dimensional and more typical of the Macallan we love—definitely sweeter, smoother, fatter and longer. Very drinkable.
If you’re traveling this holiday season, be sure to stop off at the duty-free store and treat yourself or someone special to a nice bottle of The Macallan 1824 Collection—you won’t be disappointed!
If after you’ve sampled this fine single malt you’re left wanting more, I highly recommend planning a trip to The Macallan distillery itself; visit the Speyside Cooperage (the only working cooperage in the UK, where whisky barrels are made) and stay at the Craigellachie House Hotel—with more than 550 single malts in the Quaich Bar!
The Macallan 1884 Collection RRP Price/ litre: Select Oak $53, Whisky Maker’s Edition $99, Estate Reserve $165 and 1824 Limited Release $2,000.
(pron. “Slanj vaa”, Scottish Gaelic for “Your Good Health” or as we’d say “cheers.”)