Review – The Macallan Double Cask Gold

I’ve never reviewed an official Macallan.

That’s a bit of an omission really when you think about its place in the market, its history and the fact that recently it has not long opened a new and incredibly modern brand home and distillery.

Owners of the Macallan, The Edrington Group, have announced that they are investing £500 million (including the £140 million cost of the distillery) in the brand as part of its corporate drive to ‘perfect the Macallan’ (source: The Edrington website) so its market position will no doubt see a substantial increase as a result.

This investment comprises new state of the art warehousing facilities, an £11 million advertising campaign and in stocks of the sherry seasoned casks that Macallan use.

I have been told (on more than one occasion) by a source within the company that they spend more than any other whisky company on casks.

Macallan is perhaps the most sought after and desired brands amongst Scotch whisky collectors. This graphic from whisky price analysis website WhiskyStats.com shows the dramatic rise in the price of Macallan in the secondary market.

Macallan_201712

The WhiskyStats website notes that: “From April to November 2017 the value of the 100 most traded Macallan single malt bottlings again climbed by more than 20%”

For a more detailed analysis I’d recommend heading over to the website, even for a non collector like myself it is an interesting source of information.

Whisky investment analysis specialists RW101 also stated in a recent press release:

The Macallan continues to be the secondary market brand leader, increasing its share of the total amount spent on rare whisky to 34.4% – more than the next nine brands combined (31.2%).

Holding such a position in the market does however mean that Macallan is perhaps also the most faked of all whiskies.  Counterfeit expressions have recently been discovered in high end whisky bars and even potentially at the distillery itself.

macallan-1878-scotch-630x417

The whisky that we are looking at today however isn’t priced at $10,000 a glass nor does it come from the 1920’s.

So at least we know it is genuine…

Macallan Double Cask Gold, OB, NAS, 40%abv, from my collection (available here)

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Double Cask Gold is the new name for what was previously Macallan Gold, and is a part of the relaunched range introduced in 2018.

Macallan Gold formed part of the now discontinued 1824 series (also referred to as the ‘stripper series’ due to the names of the expressions apparently sounding a little like the stage names of exodancers: Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby)

It is aged in a combination of first fill and refill sherry casks, (American and European oak sherry-seasoned casks) giving the Double Cask element to its name. UK retail price is around £40. For those wanting an age statement there is a 12 year old version which will cost you an extra £10.

On the nose theres a good burst of fruit amongst the soft sherry influences. There are some nice mild spices, some toasted oak, apricot jam and soft wafts of tobacco. There is a nice citrusy freshness at times and the longer its in the glass the softer it becomes. A note akin to madeira cake and a slight floral element stands out.

The palate is quite creamy and there are good hits of vanilla and coconut. There is a soft malt influence here with custard cream biscuits intermingling between notes of light syrup, brown sugar, ginger and unripened kiwi fruit. Mild tannins pop up here and there alongside some raisins and very distant marmalade. In the main it is generally quite sweet and fruity.

The finish is mildly woody with a mild nuttiness, a little pepper and some soft ginger wrapped up in vanilla. Starts sweet and dries pleasantly.

Quite pleasant and easily drinkable, not earth shattering stuff but feels quite elegant and balanced throughout with no off notes or hidden surprises.

In terms of value I’d say it is borderline overpriced, plenty of age stated drams of similar quality a little cheaper.

Find many more tasting notes and whisky news in the Amateur Drammers Archives.

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3 comments

  1. AmateurDrammer · ·

    Neither it does. Well spotted, should read as £500 million. Amended.

  2. Anonymous · ·

    Five hundred pounds doesn’t sound like much investment…

  3. Great notes as usual, Andy. I agree that The Macallan is always a bit on the pricey side, but if you’re willing to make that extra investment, you can be sure to get a pretty good whisky.

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