So…after tackling some malts from the Fine Oak range and the Sherry Oak range – not to mention a brief detour to check out the new 1824 series – let’s move on into a few of the more ‘out there’ Macallans. Think Duty Free, foreign market, one-offs, etc. If and when you get the opportunity to try any of these, do not necessarily expect to recognize many of these as typical of the Macallan profile. There’s a familiarity, sure, but these are by no means typical of the core range (or what used to be the core range, for that matter).
As with the FO and SO features, let’s start here with notes on the Macallan New Make spirit. Sort of a benchmark, if you will:
Macallan New Make
Notes: 63% abv. Crystal clear.
Nose: Slight nuttiness. Malty. Fresh bitter fruit. Rubbery acetone. Metallic note somewhere in there. Oh yeah…and some cereals.
Palate: Fire water. With a bit o’ citrus. Estery. Please put this waxy young thing into the rock tumbler (ahem…a fine sherry bucket) and knock those edges off.
Thoughts: Unrecognizable as a Macallan really. Shows you what the distillery’s wood policy really means. Cool as hell to see this as a new make.
Macallan 12 Elegancia
Notes: 40% abv. Fino and Oloroso casks. 1L for Duty Free.
Nose: Malty and caramel sweet. Sugary sherry and a bit of marzipan. Toasted Marshmallow. Yeasty rye bread. Darkest roasted grains. Peppery spice.
Palate: Malty and not nearly as sweet as I’d expect from Oloroso influence. Bit of an oaky nibble. Some wine-ish notes.
Thoughts: Maltier than I expected for something called ‘Elegancia’. Slightly disappointing, but bad by no means.
Macallan 1851 Inspiration
Notes: 43.3% abv.
Nose: Malt. Kinda dank and dusty. Citrus and leather. Fruit and nut. Clove and potpouri.
Palate: Wham! Thar’s that old school charm. Made the hair on my wife’s arms stand up. Grains are large. As is the malty charm.
Thoughts: Completely out of sync within the Macallan range. This is not a comment regarding quality…simply an observation. Good? Meh. Drinkable? Absoloodle! Weird? F*ckin’ right!
Macallan ‘Whisky Maker’s Edition’
Notes: 42.8% abv.
Nose: Vaguely yeasty and faintly malty. Creamy and caramely. Almond. A heft of spice and smooooooooth chocolate. Sweet…sweet…sweet! Almost red licorice sweet. Without knowing yet…this must be Oloroso. And perhaps a smidge of florals in the background.
Palate: Oaky…fruity…spicy. Exactly what I’d expect. Oh…and did I mention sweet?
Thoughts: A whisky that just can’t quite deliver to the palate what the nose promises. Comes out closer to a Balvenie than a Mac. Odd, I know. Not bad at all though. I could happily revisit this one a time or three.
So, what’s next? Think we’ll move on into the Macallan Travel Series. Stay tuned…
– Words & Tasting Notes: Curt
– Photos: Curt