The Macallan1824 Series
Global Brand Ambassador
Recently Terry and I had the opportunity to taste the four new expressions from The Macallan; the 1824 Range. The Macallan distillery has taken a bold and innovative step by moving away from their core age statements and replacing them with four expressions based on a colour and flavour profile. The new releases are called; GOLD; AMBER; SIENNA AND RUBY. As you might expect, the names reflect the colour of each expression. Canadian Brand Ambassador Marc Laverdière introduced Joy Elliott, the newly appointed Global Brand Ambassador for The Macallan 1824 Series, to a small, but influential group of Montréal industry professionals. The tasting was held at the trendy resto-bar Le Local in Griffintown.
As quoted from the tasting notes: “The 1824 Series brings together natural colour and exceptional sherry seasoned casks – two of The Macallan’s “Six Pillars”, the starting points from which The Macallan is crafted. Together these traits create a signature character, embracing all of the defining elements that make The Macallan one of the world’s truly great single malt whiskies.”
The Macallan has always been know for their attention to quality and detail, especially when it comes to cask selection and sherry maturation. The 1824 Series highlights this exceptional approach.
Our first taste was GOLD, which had light citrus notes one the nose, as well as spice and a “woody” characteristic. The palate defined the citrus notes and oak, with a drying finish. I suspect that this is the younger of the foursome. Interestingly, Gold will only be available in the UK and Canada.
Next, we sampled AMBER, which turned out to be my personal favourite. The nose was similar to Gold, with citrus notes, but I found it to be a little bit sweeter. I enjoyed the sweetness of dried fruit on the palate, with a delicious hint of grain that continued into the finish. I found this expression very refreshing. Both Gold and Amber are served at 40% alcohol strength.
The third sample was SIENNA, which true to its name, seemed to deepen the flavours with the warmer colour. Sienna had a sweeter nose, moving from dried raisins to dates, a hint of citrus, more orange. A more complex mouthfeel with vanilla, citrus, and fruit throughout the palate, with a deep, lingering hint of vanilla in the finish. The alcohol-by-volume (abv) is 43%. This was Terry’s favourite of the four.
Last, but certainly not least, was RUBY. As the name suggests, this had a deep red colour, reminding us of The Macallan’s sherry roots. This obviously was the more mature of the four expressions, with the dried fruit, spicy-sweet nose and big, full, well-balanced mouthfeel. A deep, lingering finish reminded us of the quality and craftmanship of this incredible dram. The abv is 43%.
The Macallan Gold, will replace The Macallan’s 10 Year Old permanently as the brand’s entry level whisky. The Series as a whole will also replace The Macallan’s fine oak and sherry oak expressions from 10 Year Old to 17 Year Old, making the 18 Year Old the youngest whisky in its portfolio with an age statement.
Some purists may say The Macallan has taken a wrong turn and are moving away from their original commitment, but I say it works. While other companies are “finishing” their whiskies with a mixture of cask types and alcohol flavours, The Macallan continues their commitment to high quality ex-sherry casks. The distinct colour and flavour profiles of the 1824 series will win admirers, and it won’t be long until we hear the call: “a dram of RUBY please!”