“You’re not a number, you’re a whisky.” Or at least, that must have been part of the debate at Macallan HQ with Gold, as it’s one of the releases in the 1824 Series – where Macallan have abandoned the age statement, believing it’s all about the colour of the liquid in this case. The other whiskies are called Amber, Sienna and Ruby, all of which makes this sound like an escort agency as much as a range of whiskies, but a marketeer I am not.
Macallan – sorry, THE Macallan, definite article required – needs little in the way of introduction. It was founded in 1824 in Moray, Scotland, and is owned today by The Edrington Group Limited. It’s very well-known, and generally well respected. Three bottles appear in the film Skyfall, should you be interested, one of which is spilled on the floor after some generic and unnecessary on-screen sexism.
So, onto the Macallan Gold. This is made of different whiskies that have been sitting in first fill and refill sherry casks for between 9 and 15 years. According to Macallan: “Using colour to drive and define a whisky differs dramatically from the conventional age approach, creating The Macallan Gold allowed us to explore different casks and base our choices on aromas and flavours”.
Colour: GOLD. Well, almost. A dark gold, I suppose. I’m not rich enough to have ever seen a bar of real gold, but from the pictures on the Internet, it’s pretty close. On the nose: that’s a pretty lovely sweet aroma, right off the bat actually. Creamy, buttery sugar. Toffee. Marmalade on toast. Sultanas, raisin, mince pies. A little dash of citrus. Not massively complex, but delicious for the price.
In the mouth: again, really lovely. Silky texture, medium weight liquid, and just sits in the mouth wonderfully. All of those dried fruits come in waves one after another, then a Christmassy note of orange, and cinnamon. Distant briny notes, moving in to citrus. Hardly any peppery spices coming through, which keeps this rather gentle, and the finish is a little on the short side but lingers on a bold note of barley. All in all, it’s a remarkably precise whisky, very easy drinking, and very well-balanced.
As an entry level whisky, at £35, this is superb value for money. Delicious and very approachable for an entry level whisky, and especially the start of a distillery’s core range. Pour this for people who think they don’t like whisky, and see where that gets you. I’m also chuffed that I got to the end of this review, without mentioning Spandau Ballet.