We don't often look at OB releases from Macallan, so let's check out two from the last few years.
Macallan A night on Earth in Scotland 1st Release
This is first expression in The Macallan’s festive whisky series, whose release is meant to mark the changing of the season and year. It’s a NAS whisky produced from First fill American Ex Bourbon barrels and European and American Oak Sherry seasoned casks.
Young spirit notes, bakers yeast, slightly varnishy with a hint of eucalyptus and menthol towards the latter part of the nose. We're also finding some lemon and hay bales. There's quite a prominent note here that reminds us of a young grain which we're not enjoying, alongside a slightly more approachable caramel filled pastry tart. Is there sherry here? Maybe a little red fruit but it's mostly young and boring.
Orange... but if you were to chew only on the pith. It's horrifically bitter with an overlay of raw sugarcane, it's like a battle between overly bitter and overly sweet. The spirit shows it age, or lack thereof, metallic, grain, more of those barley sugars and a fair bit of white pepper spice coming through towards the finish. The mouthfeel is flat, and the finish is short, which is a good thing as it's mostly vodka flavours that linger on.
Nose (with water)
Younger spirit notes. A little vanilla, slightly sweeter now, We're still finding the lemon, caramel and pastry, but all a little less vibrant than before.
Palate (with water)
Slightly less bitter, chocolate orange, wood spice, toffee and walnuts. The water has helped considerably more than we expected, but we're still ending with a vodka flavour on a very short finish. Slightly less offensive than pre-dilution.
The nose is fine, bland and uninteresting, but fine. The palate is offensive. We wish we could find a redeeming feature about the flavour but it's just not nice. Water does help, but why bother in the first place? It would be a 2/10, but because the nose is bearable, we'll go with 3/10.
Macallan Concept 3
The third and final release in the Concept Series. Released in mid-2021, Concept Number 3 is a collaboration between the Macallan and graphic designer David Carson. The bottle was made available at Global Travel Retail outlets and The Macallan Airport Boutiques. Again it’s a NAS that was produced from a mixture of Sherry Butts, Ex-Bourbon Barrels, and American Oak casks.
We're finding milk chocolate, a little cinnamon, freshly peeled nectarine, maybe some peach hiding in the background too. There's a bit of an industrial aroma going on, engine oil, rubber gloves. Going back after some air and we're finding some honey sweetness and potpourri. The nose isn't bad, perhaps slightly flat though.
The palate is sweet. Very very sweet. Honeycomb and chocolate, it reminds us of a Crunchie. It continues into more of a spirit-forward taste, ethanol, young spirit and spiced cardamom custard. It's a dry palate, removing the moisture from your mouth, following into a short to medium length finish of mainly raw alcohol and spice.
Nose (with water)
More sherry influence, cinnamon sugar, caramel biscuit, but we can't help feel that the overall nose has been muted compared with the pre-diluted version.
Palate (with water)
Oh, it's bitter. Burnt nuts, burnt caramel, burnt wood. The initial palate still has some vanilla and honey sweetness, but as the palate progresses, it becomes more unpleasantly bitter.
The nose had some promise, but the palate let us down. A disjointed journey through overly sweet, to overly dry, to overly alcoholic. It's not offensive, but not particularly enjoyable and we can't really see a reason for spending the money on this release.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.
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