Regular readers of this column already know that the Macallan is my favorite among Scotch whisky distilleries. That’s because I like whiskies aged in sherry and no one has done this longer or better than Macallan. While there has been a huge trend in recent years to use different wood, including sherry casks, Macallan has long done it this way, before it became fashionable, and uses the highest quality first-fill, 100% sherry-seasoned casks. The results speak for themselves.
Last week the brand unveiled two more high-end labels to complete its “1824 Masters Series,” a collector’s or connoisseur’s lineup featuring four expressions in four unique decanters. I’d be lying if I said I’d tried them, as these whiskies are a bit beyond my pay grade. This is not a review, it is news for passionate whisky fans and collectors.
The 1824 Masters Series previously featured Rare Cask and M. These have been joined by Reflexion and No. 6.
The Series, named to commemorate the year The Macallan was established, is a luxury range within the larger distillery portfolio that emphasizes the quality of The Macallan’s sherry casks, with whiskies increasing in scarcity, rarity, complexity, hue of natural color, and intricacy of the decanter as the prices go up. All whiskies used to create the range were hand selected by The Macallan’s Master Whisky Maker, Bob Dalgarno.
Here is a brief description of each expression:
Rare Cask: Handpicked from less than 1% of the finest sherry-seasoned casks maturing in The Macallan reserves, it is made from a combination of European and American oak sherry casks of differing sizes, made in different cooperages in Spain, and seasoned by different sherry bodegas. Some bodegas are no longer in business, making this rarity. It delivers the greatest diversity of any whisky created by The Macallan. ($300)
Reflexion: Matured solely in first-fill sherry seasoned 250-liter Hogshead casks, the smallest type used by the distillery, from both European and American oak, creating a balanced, complex and multi-faceted single malt. This size cask allows a greater surface area of wood to interact with the whisky, resulting in a richer and more concentrated flavor. ($1,400)
No.6: Drawn only from a single cask-type, first-fill European oak sherry butts, all crafted in a single Spanish cooperage, Tevasa. The distillery describes it as “an extremely rich and distinct single malt in the classic Macallan style, with a sumptuous combination of richness, spice, and dried fruits.” Dark mahogany in color, it comes in a hand-blown Lalique crystal decanter. ($4,000)
M: M by The Macallan represents the lifetime of the brand, and uses some of the rarest whiskies in the distillery. Crafted entirely from seven specially selected first fill European oak sherry casks dating back to the 1940’s, it is the richest, most complex and intense expression. A 6-liter bottle of M sold at auction for $628,000. It comes in a unique geometric Lalique decanter designed by Fabien Baron. ($5,000)
Source: forbes.com Photo: Macallan