Time for yet another The Macallan, this time a limited edition. Recently I reviewed The Macallan Edition No. 1, and found it to be very good indeed. In fact, it was the best The Macallan I’ve tried in ages. So what about the follow up?
The Macallan Edition range is another slick marketing series where, in the absence of details about the age, we need some hook to seize interest in a cluttered marketplace. Fair enough (though perhaps calling this limited edition ‘Edition’ is a little unimaginative). The Edition series is all about collaboration with partners, though I don’t believe The Macallan Edition No. 1 one was created in collaboration? Anyway, part two has been created as a partnership between Bob Dalgarno, Whisky Maker at The Macallan, and the Roca brothers of restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, in Catalonia. Fine restaurant, I’m sure. People with taste. People who know a thing or two about flavours.
The Macallan Edition No. 2 uses a combination of sherry puncheons, butts and refill hogsheads, using both European and American oak. Bottled at a healthy 48.2% ABV, it costs somewhere between £75-90 – Abbey Whisky have it at a very reasonable price. Tends to go in and out of stock so not easy to get hold of at the moment, so be prepared to pay more in the short term. I don’t believe the first edition was fetching particularly high prices on the secondary market, so you might be in luck with this at auctions. (I bet as soon as this review goes lives there will be plenty of places selling it.)
Macallan Edition No. 2 Tasting Notes
On the nose: tiramisu! Lovely mixture of sweet fresh mascarpone cheese, milk chocolate and muscovado sugar, with a drizzle of espresso. A little later: dried apricots, fresh berries – blackberries, raspberries. Golden syrup. Raisins. Maybe even lemon drizzle cake. Divine!
In the mouth: all of the above. Coffee-led woody notes that continually bring warming spices of cinnamon. Figs, prunes, and a touch of apricot. Then pears with a dusting of that muscovado once again. Slight tannic quality to balance out the heavy sweet flavours. Ginger. Faint fennel note. A little burnt wholemeal toast with a layer of strawberry jam. Blood oranges on a woody finish. Excellent!
The Macallan swaggers across the nearby hills into heavier Glenfarclas territory, bold as brass. Excellent stuff indeed and – for a The Macallan – superb value. Guess what? Better than Edition No. 1. This is one of my top whiskies of the year.
This annoys me largely as most whisky geeks, myself included, occasionally bang on about age statements being important. The Macallan brings back the age statement for a recent new whisky, the Double Cask 12 Years Old, and the whisky world rejoices at the number. Yet the whisky was fine, lovely on the nose, but as mildly dull to sip as listening to a speech by Theresa May. For the Edition series they still don’t have an age statement. And you know what? The Edition whiskies are better by a country mile. Isn’t that frustrating? To say that age does matter, except that it doesn’t? How cruel of them.
I’d buy four of these and it still wouldn’t be enough. Well done Roca brothers. Roll on No. 3.
Edit: now with Jason’s notes
Colour: burnt orange.
On the nose: initially is a sweet mix of rolled tobacco and cinnamon that rises out of the glass. This moves into orange peel, dried fruits, milk chocolate and a fig roll. Water delivers a floral note and revives the citrus appeal.
In the mouth: lighter than the nose suggested, more delicate and yet confident. The lasting finish is that of chocolate orange with a touch of dryness. Cinnamon bark, vanilla essence, brandy snaps and a touch of rubber before that finish kicks in. You have to return for more as deep down you know within the walls of Moria treasures await. Chinese 5-spice, cloves, a little toffee and maple syrup combine with cardamom and green pepper to give this whisky some luxurious body.
On the palate I felt this one was better without water, even just a small amount really sands it down to a disappointing experience. Without water, you have a cleverly engineered Macallan that for the money is a worthwhile purchase, particularly when assessing other brand releases. This one ticks the value box for what you receive, although I preferred the Edition 1.