The Macallan Edition No.1 was unique when it was released because it was one of the very few whiskies where the distillery was openly providing information about the makeup of its casks.
With the Edition No.2, Macallan decided to go one step further and collaborated with the co-founders of the El Celler de Can Roca, twice voted the best restaurant in the world.
From a marketing standpoint at least, it is a rather clever way to place Macallan’s focus on wood (and wood policy for that matter) as a key contributor to their whisky’s taste profile. Edition No.1 was especially interesting thanks to the level of information that Macallan chose to share, but No.2 goes beyond the provenance of the oak and turns up the spotlight on the possibilities of collaboration.
If I could hazard a guess, it seems that the series will be defined by its diversity of styles owing to the unique preferences and palates of its collaborators, and showing once again how much each component can affect the character of the final product.
The Edition No.2 uses seven oak cask types chosen by the Roca brothers and Bob Dalgarno, Macallan’s own Master Whisky Maker. The idea for this edition was to have each collaborator handpick casks that they liked, which Dalgarno would then blend to produce a tasty tipple. In marketing-speak, the casks are supposed to represent the different aspects of their personality, but well… In any case, you can’t deny that the idea is fundamentally a sound one, and in this instance, rather appropriate. Having collaborators that aren’t traditional whisky drinkers might, in fact, open up different styles that would typically be ignored or left on the shelf in favour of traditional or ‘safe’ ones.
Breaking it down
Bob Dalgarno chose the European oak Tevasa casks as the base for the No.2, for its characteristic notes of rich, dried fruit. Joan Roca (the chef) selected a mix of American and European oak casks from Diego Martin to bring green wood and toffee. Josep’s (the sommelier) contribution of European oak Jose Miguel Martin casks adds allspice and ginger, while Jordi (the pastry chef) tops it off with American oak Vasyma casks to add notes of citrus and light vanilla. You could almost say it’s a Macallan with a culinary-inspired twist.
- Jordi Roca chose:
- First-fill American oak butts for light vanilla notes
- Second-fill American oak puncheons for citrus notes
- Joan Roca chose:
- Diego Martin
- First-fill European oak butts for green wood notes
- Second-fill American oak hogsheads for toffee notes
- Diego Martin
- Josep Roca chose:
- Jose Miguel Martin
- First-fill European oak puncheons for ginger notes
- First-fill European oak hogsheads for allspice notes
- Jose Miguel Martin
- Bob Dalgarno chose:
- First-fill European oak butts for rich dried fruit and sherry notes
Official tasting notes
The Macallan Edition No.2
48.2% ABV, 700ml, S$198 (before GST)
Colour A natural colour of golden syrup
Aroma The nose leads with treacle, toffee apples and rich fruits. Layers of vanilla open into tropical fruits and subtle green wood
Palate The palate is warm with spice as cracked black pepper and cloves join with hints of chocolate, brown sugar, oak and nuts. Finally, liquorice and brandy snaps come through
Finish The finish is full, slow, warm and wonderfully viscous
Not by accident then, I would think, that the result is undeniably more subtle and far less challenging than the Edition No.1, which was much more intense and wood-heavy, and might not be for everyone. The more delicate style, thanks to the Roca brothers’ input, will ensure that your friends will request for seconds – you’ve been warned. Hopefully, this will be the first of many exciting variations from the Edition line.