The Macallan’s Gems – 1824 Series – Unaged Single Malt Whisky Range
I love the variety of colours in which casks can lend to whisky, the colours can vary dependant on how long the whisky has been in the cask, with what the cask was seasoned with or in fact what oak the cask was made from. The shades of gold, yellow, amber, rose, ruby and even liquorice are all charted on a scale from 1 to 60 (ish), and it is using this scale that Macallan has decided to create a range of single malt whiskies based solely on this.
Over the next few weeks Macallan will be launching this brand spanking new series of 4 unaged and beautifully coordinated single malt whiskies. Imaginatively named after their respective colours, GOLD, AMBER, SIENNA, RUBY – (NB: Gold will only be available in the UK and Canada, Amber will only be available in Europe and Sienna & Ruby will be available in the UK and internationally) .
With no added colouring, all four whiskies (in fact every Macallan whisky) enjoy natural colouring coming ONLY from the casks. The Macallan’s expert whisky creator Bob Dalgarno, explained at last weeks media launch, the move to create a range of unaged whiskies has given him a huge, but enjoyable, challenge – enabling him to disregard the age of the liquid available in the many Macallan warehouses and select casks purely based on the whiskies characteristics and colour, disregarding age. Confident that a switch in mindset to colour over age should enable you to ultimately enjoy better whisky from superior casks.
The four new whiskies will be priced from £35 up to £125 – and YES you are correct, the darker the whisky the more expensive – Bob explained the reasoning behind this method – “it is purely based on the rationale that the darker the liquid the rarer the casks, so the more expensive the whisky” – not even a whimper of a hint at it’s age …
Do you want to know what they tasted like?
The Macallan Gold | 1824 Series | Unaged | 40% | approx £35
Nose: honey tea, vanilla creamed rice, lightly warmed tea cake, zesty marmalade, lemon sorbet.
Taste: spritely citrus marmalade,, fizzy lemon chews, bitter lemons
Finish: medium, fizzy
The Macallan Amber | 1824 Series | Unaged | 40% | approx £40
Nose: pear drops / stewed apples, dried wood shavings, spicy fruit stew
Taste: orange and honey cough drops, orange rind, bitter, botanical citrus notes
Finish: medium, zesty
The Macallan Sienna | 1824 Series | Unaged | 43% | approx £75
Nose: black and red fruits, cheek watering juicy, ginger spice, musky soapy, plump wet raisins
Taste: ginger snap biscuits, blackcurrant coulis, strawberry jelly/jam, sandalwood incense, bitter grapefruit
Finish: long, warming and spicy
The Macallan Ruby | 1824 Series | Unaged | 43% | approx £125
Nose: burnt Christmas cake, singed orange rind, dark chocolate, coffee syrup, plump fat dates, russian caramels, cloves
Taste: dark chocolate, smooth spicy caramels, espresso double, bitter
Finish: long, spicy, dark / bitter
I am sure Macallan are well aware of the challenge they have ahead of them changing the way we select and form opinions about what is in the bottle and how the pricing structure should work based on age – but the bottom line is Macallan have produced an outstanding Sherry matured single malt whisky range and before we form our opinions just give it a try.