Traditionally one of the 'Grand Marques'of Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Macallan have been on a marketing revision that's lasted several decades. Most recently they announced a new range to replace their Fine Oak and Sherry Oak ranges - the 1824 Series in reference to the year the distillery was founded. All the whiskies in the range are from ex-sherry casks - these include both European and American oak casks, of which there is a mix of first-fill and second-fill casks. These are of differing ages, with the 'average age' increasing as you progress through the series, with the darker colours said to be more representative of traditional Macallan. Reportedly, "...part of the impetus for change comes from Macallan's initiative to alleviate consumer confusion with regards to their Fine Oak and Sherry Oak rangesâbut it is also a bold step intended to challenge some of the established norms that have developed in relation to age-statement whiskies".
Macallan's contention seems plausible to this point - after all, anyone whose sampled whiskies of vastly divergent ages will have come across relatively young whiskies that belie their youth, as well as extremely old whiskies that have fallen out of balance after an excessive period in oak. Hence, age statements are exactly what they appear to be - but they're not a certificate of style or quality. The Amber is made from a combination of European and American oak casks, most of which are re-fill sherry puncheons and butts. It has a higher percentage of first fill casks than the Gold.
Tasting Note: Amber gold in colour. Attractive aromas of tea biscuits, granola, sawn oak and pepper. Follows through with a medium bodied, well balanced and dryish profile with flavours of ginger bread, dried fruits and late cocoa and tea biscuit.