Age: No age statement
Macallan Amber forms part of the distillery’s 1824 Series, named for the year in which Macallan took out a license to distil. The 1824 Series is a range of four whiskies, each exclusively aged in ex-sherry casks. Nevertheless, there is a clear gradation in colour and intensity, from the light, citrusy Macallan Gold to the dark, lavish Macallan Ruby. Amber is the second bottling in the series, balancing the obvious sherry influences with Macallan’s fruity, spicy profile. Although Macallan’s website already lists 1824 under “past releases”, its whiskies are nonetheless still widely available. If you do feel like snapping up one of these drams I wouldn’t wait too long though, they’re not bound to get any cheaper…
Colour: Well… amber I suppose.
Nose: Magnificently malty, with an abundance of sweet, sherried aromas. Fresh red fruits and grapes give this whisky a playful, lush character, mingled with undertones of oaky seriousness. Top this off with a light dusting of cinnamon and you’ve got quite an appealing nose.
Palate: Fairly light-bodied, as the barley notes continue to have the upper hand. Some shy vanilla flavours peek around the corner, then retreat before a volley of hazelnut and marzipan. Raisins round off this easy drinking Amber experience.
Finish: On the short side, with a dry, oaky aftertaste and more hints of cinnamon.
Verdict: Some people will grumble that Amber is but a thin imitation of the Macallans in the Sherry Oak Range. They wouldn’t be wrong, but of course Amber has a much lighter price tag. After all, age statement Macallans don’t come cheap these days. Think of Amber as a good introduction to Macallan’s sherried range. Nothing more, nothing less. Then again, given Macallan’s penchant for quality, perhaps that statement is actually paying Amber quite the compliment…