I think this is the moment Macallan finally jumped the shark. There was the hilariously bad Icarus advert a while back, what a fatuous pile of twaddle that was. It as also extremely expensive, being banned for 'Promoting Risky Behavior' (a nonsense but very real ruling). But now, now we have Edition no.5 partnered with Pantone®.
I love Macallan, I really do, the previous style 10 Sherry Oak is brilliant (and the previous 4 Editions have been great, especially the amazing no.2). I love Pantone and use their system every week (I’m a designer) but this is a partnership that could only be cooked up by a marketing person.
Let’s just cut to the chase, as it stands this fifth release is less good than the others in all the important areas. How it smells and how it tastes. To add to the woes the story behind it makes it feel pretentious, even for Macallan.
On the nose it’s a dialled down version of no3. Weirdly, at 48% the nose is very slow to develop in the same way the others did.
In the mouth it it beautifully bolted together, very smooth and delicate but perhaps a little underwhelming (is this the wood choices hampering the character?). It tastes like a Macallan, it has all the hallmarks but rather than it exciting the palate it merely comforts it. Not always a bad thing of course, but I have come to expect more from Edition bottlings.
In a vertical at the Whisky Show London with the Estate Reserve, the 18 Triple Cask and the Rare Cask, this stumbled in last. I can hear the shouts of 'they're all twice the price!' - but when did price ever guarantee quality? Price is more usually and more reliably an indicator of rarity than anything else. So to be fair, it’s not that it was a bad whisky by any measure but for this price there’s much better fun to be had elsewhere.
Bring back edition 2! or more realistically, roll on No.6.