The Macallan Amber is part of the NAS whisky range from Macallan known as the 1824 series. The series was first released in Europe to take the place of Macallan’s well known and loved age statement whiskies such as the 12 and 18 year old sherry cask. While the 12 and 18 are still being produced their availability in Europe has diminished and their prices dramatically increased. The Amber is the second to lowest priced whisky in the range which consists of the core expressions Gold, Amber, Sienna, and Ruby with increasing prices in that order. Supposedly, this range was introduced due to their inability to keep up with demands for their age statement whiskies given their current stocks.
The concept of the range is somewhat confusing. The idea is that age should not be an indicator of quality (which is a valid point) but then that colour is now a good indicator? Since the range is comprised of 100% sherry casks the pitch is that the darker the colour the more “mature” the whisky. They do not use caramel colouring to achieve this. But the whole concept is pretty odd. Usually master blenders bring together casks to create the flavour profile of a particular expression. So now they have to match the flavour and the colour? It just doesn’t feel right. I am interested to see how this will play out in the long term, many batches from now. However, given that most whisky drinkers do not notice differences between batches, I suppose this won’t really cause issues.
Distillery: Macallan Distillery
Age: No Age Statement
Cask: Sherry Casks
Price: £44.99 at Master of Malt
Bright fruits and refined older oak. Like oak that’s been weathered. That distinctive gummy tangy sweetness. Hint of spices and caramel. Wafer cookies. Grapes. European oak tannins and musk.
Bitterness which carries through. Sweet tangy red fruits. Bubble gum. It feels spirity as well like how new make tastes.
Bitter oak and plastic. The bitterness really sticks to the palate.
The nose is quite pleasant and inviting but the bitterness really takes over in the taste and finish. It drowns out the other flavours. While it certainly has the qualities of a softer style of whisky that Speyside is known for it just seems to lack depth in the palate. I feel like this may be due to over dilution. If this were released at a stronger ABV such as 50%, I think it would hold up much better.
Sweet dried fruits, astringent notes, cherry flavoured cough syrup. Tailing vanilla and citrus.
Crisp apple with light syrup and vanilla- the makings of an apple pie. Moving to a dry sherry bitterness and hints or cereal.
Finish with sour apple, fresh red berries and spice.
Nice drinkable dram. Enjoyed the rich notes and complexity of flavours.