They are well renowned across the world and create some of the most luxurious and expensive drams.
And while they have been around since 1824, they are not bound by tradition, opting instead to branch out and release new product and range extensions. One such extension comes in the form of their 1824 series, released to replace their fine oak and sherry oak expressions. Although since its release there has been a reintroduction of oak-led product releases, which are far, far better.
This range captures the essence of The Macallan Distillery while at the same time changing things up and paving a new way forward.
They are doing this, like a few other brands, by opting not to use an age statement. What makes The Macallan’s efforts different, however, is that they use colour instead, to indicate quality, although in this specific case I’m not sure it actually works too well.
Part of this range is The Macallan Gold, a malt that has been matured in American oak casks and then Spanish oak Oloroso sherry casks.
The nose opens with tangy citrus fruits and a warming vanilla. Lemon and orange take over, with a mouth-watering zest to them. They are refreshing and bursting with flavour.
The vanilla is more subtle, and melts into the background, with a little hint of cinnamon spice and oak wood to it.
Towards the end there is a rich dark chocolate and coffee bean note. This is thick and dark, adding a lovely depth to the dram.
The palate is just as full of flavour, with yet more fruit notes and luxurious hint of florals coming through.
Apple blossom, with some cherry notes appears. These go wonderfully well with the oak wood and vanilla from the nose.
The vanilla is especially good on the palate. It is thick and soft, with a little hint of honey to it. The warming qualities are still there as well, and add a nice sensation to the mouth feel, which is smooth and easy going.
The palate is sweet, with toasted white sugar and candyfloss coming through in the background.
The finish is long and lingering. The cinnamon of the nose comes back with some more fruits and a final note of oak wood and lemon peel.
In isolation, the whisky is nice, it does a job, and people the world over will like it as it is inoffensive and ‘accessible’ (the buzz word for soft and with less depth of flavour than other releases), but for me it does not capture what The Macallan is, or more to the point, should be. This is the whisky of James Bond, a classic, a high-roller’s whisky (at the higher end of the range) yet The Macallan Gold is just treading water being the bottle for the aspiring millions to buy in to, without adding any clout to the range or the brand. Shame really.