Macallan make the best Macallan out there. Sometimes it’s a bit underwhelming, there’s the odd misfire for sure. But, in general the product is exceptionally well made, there’s just so much attention to detail that it sets the bar and becomes a rule for the rest, rather than an exception. Times may change, fashions come and go but Macallan is a producer that creates a product which is timeless, ironic when they’re dealing with a product that has time as a major ingredient. And the time thing, or in this case the NAS thing, is one thing that some people may argue against, but what macallan can do with a NAS whisky is testament to their art and an understanding of their craft which few can match. The Edition range is a very good example of this, and in this case No.4 (for my first review).
To give it some context, for a bottle that costs less than the rather superb Glendronach Parliament 21 (on release by £20 or so), it has bags more going on. Truckloads of cocoa, old sherry, oak with some lovely tannins and coffee notes, tiramisu, spices and ginger, layers of wood and pepper are delivered like a guided missile. The nose and palate work together seamlessly and the 48% vol has just enough muscle to hold everything together without getting too overwhelming (not that you couldn’t add a drop of water to calm things down). Add to that some great packaging (yes, this matters, we’re all suckers for a nice label and a pretty box) and you have a really great example of what is possible when you know what you’re doing. Astonishingly easy to drink, a great pleasure to share. Edition 4 is a great example of Macallan being the best at making Macallan at a rather brilliant price. Get it while you can.
Sherry, vinous fruits, oak, ginger and baking spice, hints of leather, malt, dry floorboards and warm, sawn wood. Deep, enjoyable and warming.
Light and dark sherry, upfront on the first sip it’s hot, alcohol forward with the sherry and spice, oak. Lovely balanced sweetness.
Second sip and the mouth picks up the more nuanced flavours in the liquid, figs and chocolate, powdered cocoa, baking spice, overcooked cake when it goes brown on the edges, malt, waves of wood notes and nutmeg. As the mouth adjusts to the liquid it really does reveal more and more layers of flavour. This is good. Nothing screams, it’s all singing together like a well trained choir.
Much like the nose and the palate, it all seamlessly works. The flavours meld, waves of the spice and wood and sherry flicker in and out and the rich spice and oak fade with the sweetness of the old sherry like the last notes of a symphony. It’s all about balance. Warm, comforting, a flavour that lasts without being bombastic. Medium to long with a flavour that begs you to take just one more dram.
I’m convinced the Macallan Edition is fast becoming the very epitome of what NAS can be. It’s fast becoming my one of my favourite ranges from any company. It’s definitely my favourite affordable Macallan.