It may just be the start of the new year – yes it’s mid-January though some of us are *still* nursing our festive season hangovers – but to their credit our whisky friends at The Macallan are already at work bringing more whiskies to market. This time the Craigellachie, Moray-based distillery has launched the vaunted 1824 Masters Series, which feature their signature brown spirit that’s been aged in sherry oak casks and encased in beautiful crystal decanters by French luxury glass maker Lalique.
The 1824 Masters Series, which include the new Reflexion and No.6, as well as the previously available M (launched in 2013), are a range of non-age statement whiskies (NAS) that is more premium part of 1824 Series – which comprises the Amber, Sienna, Gold, Ruby and Rare Cask expressions – but are housed in Lalique decanters rather than in regular bottles.
The Macallan Reflexion is positioned as the entry-level SKU of the 1824 Masters Series, with the Macallan M sitting at the pinnacle. Its dark rich mahogany hue comes primarily from the influence of first-fill sherry oak casks, matured as it is in hogshead casks that are smaller and hence allow for greater wood and liquid interaction. The Macallan No. 6 draws its flavour and colour from Spanish oak casks handcrafted by the master coopers of a single Jerez de la Frontera cooperage in Andulasia, the spiritual home of Spanish sherry.
The Macallan global brand ambassador Kieron Elliot highlighted the distiller’s devotion to its cask program, most of which are of Spanish oak and American oak. “The Macallan in 2013 spent about US$34 million on our wood alone, which is more than three times the amount spent by the rest of the industry,” said Elliott. The wood is then seasoned for months before being shipped to the distillery for use.
“We are excited at launching the 1824 Masters Series in Singapore, as it portrays the essence and heritage of The Macallan creating distinctiveness and exclusivity through its proprietary shape and recognizable style,” said Geoff Kirk, Managing Director of Edrington Southeast Asia. “We are also pleased the decanters celebrate our stellar foundation that makes The Macallan so special – our glorious range of natural colour and the outstanding quality of our casks.”
“Lalique is very proud to have contributed to the exquisite Macallan 1824 Masters Series No.6 Decanter,” declared Silvio Denz, Chairman and CEO of Lalique. “The angular shape of No.6 with its six facets was the outcome of our head designer’s excellent creativity and the work of Lalique’s master craftsmen. This collaboration reinforces Lalique’s long standing commitment to The Macallan and it has been a pleasure to create No.6, a unique object d’art.”
The new whiskies were previewed to a VIP audience during Macallan’s Toast The Macallan outreach event over the weekend. It’s unclear if most whisky aficionados would be willing to spend on a beautiful crystal decanter just to get to the spirit inside, but collectors should be proud to have them sitting in a place of honour in their collection.
Official Tasting Notes
Macallan “The 1824 Masters Series” Reflexion (ABV 43%, RRP S$1,500)
colour Blood orange
nose Orange and citrus fruits open up like fresh fruit on a sunny market day, their zest is fresh, the fruit is firm. A slight waxy note fades to fresh green apples. Then the sweet stall: chocolate,
thick fudge, boiled sweets, aniseed; caramel toffees almost overwhelm whilst white chocolate truffles are hidden. Just as you are ready to taste, a delivery of bananas in fresh, sweet oak arrives.
palate Initial light citrus zest with new oak quickly gives way to a juicier sweetness, thick and succulent, of lemon and orange. Raisin, sultana and apple, with a hint of cinnamon and ginger, are subtle. Boiled sweets add balance to a glimpse of toasted oak to give a medium and soft finish.
Macallan “The 1824 Masters Series” No. 6 (ABV 43%, RRP S$5,130)
COLOUR Spanish sunset
NOSE Spanish oak casks deliver wonderful rich notes, elegant and polished. Raisin, dates and figs
dominate like a mountain of fruit; sultana and toffee apples add texture and depth. The weight of flavour practically squeezes the juice from the raisins, dark and rich with great viscosity. Ginger and cinnamon gently dance around the edges – the ginger slightly dry, the cinnamon soft. Dark chocolate is majestic, whilst vanilla sweetness lingers in the background.
PALATE Heavy and sumptuous. Like a rich fruitcake with raisin, dates and figs, apples, sultanas,
orange; then ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and hints of clove. Oak notes are like velvet, soft
and chic, silky smooth, this is a cake to savour with a long and full finish.