The Macallan Edition No.2

Nowadays I find very little interest within the Macallan range and that’s a sad state of affairs. It’s all down to the brand itself and chasing the trophy bottle market with various releases with a series of mindboggling price tags and epic sized packaging. Then there was the move away from your classic age statements towards a more colour coded iphone generation series of whiskies. The Edrington Group will no doubt claim it was a huge success, but recently we’ve seen a change of direction and the reintroduction of those age statements.

Recently I did partake in an online Macallan tasting trio and the whiskies were of a solid standard but nothing exceptional. The Macallan Rare Cask was fun but excessively priced. For the record my favourite remains the 18-year-old Sherry Wood expression but at £170, I find it very difficult to justify and no one ever seems to open Macallan’s these days. You’d be forgiven for thinking I’m generally dismissive and down on Macallan as a whole, but far from it. A glimmer of hope was released as the Edition 1 a couple of years ago now that I raved about online via my Instagram channel. Unfortunately, I never put it all together for specific review at Whisky Rover yet from memory it was one of my most popular posts on Instagram.

This may have prompted some to check out the Edition 2 when it was released, which is a collaboration between master blender Bob Delgarno and those Spanish celebrity chefs the Roca brothers. Edrington loves a story and rarely releases a bottle without some form of appendage nowadays, but there seems to be value in this marriage. Truth be told I just didn’t have the time to seek out the Edition 2 despite hearing good things about it on the grapevine. This is after all the year of Cadenheads and their monthly releases so some sacrifices had to be made and Edition 2 was a candidate.

Then recently I happened to be at the Macallan during the Speyside festival for an Estate Tour and there it was again. A few bottles of the Edition 2 had been found and put out on sale for the reasonable price of £85, well I say reasonable, but that’s based on the other bottles in the Macallan distillery shop. The price at least was in double digits which is an oddity. Oh, I thought, I’ll pick that up after the tour as I don’t want to be lugging around a bottle whilst carrying a member of theTormore4 who had enjoyed themselves too much. Needless to say by the time we returned to the shop a couple of hours later the bottles were sold out.

I’ve learned over the years you cannot expect to win everything or acquire all those bottles on your hit list. Perhaps some of my efficient German friends would disagree, but I now find it part of the fun of whisky. Chances are if one evades your clutches then another will reappear when you’re least expecting it. The motto of this tale is that I’m normally right and so it was to be the case this time. Having done a deed for a friend around bottles he gave me an unopened Edition 2, I think this is the debut Taiwanese release as a thank you. A very generous gift and one that I immediately broke the seal upon. Hence why I’m able to bring you this long overdue Macallan review.  

One of the most refreshing aspects of the Edition range so far is the openness of the information. Recently I picked up a Macallan Folio 2 for someone and the lack of detail around the whisky itself was very disappointing. Pretty much just tasting notes and that was your lot; a sad state of affairs. Whereas here the packaging gives us the breakdown of cask types, whether European or American wood and it comprises of 52% butt, 27% puncheon and the remainder being hogsheads. Released at 48.2%, the bottle shape is sexy and there’s a nice collusion between the colour of the whisky and the overall aesthetic. Jeez, I think I’ve been spending too much time listening to Macallan Brand Ambassadors. Looking at this marriage again it does remind me of Dundee United so that's a negative aspect. So we’ve established it looks good but what about the contents? Yes, time for an opened Macallan.

Colour: burnt orange
Nose: initially is a sweet mix of rolled tobacco and cinnamon that rises out of the glass. This moves into orange peel, dried fruits, milk chocolate and a fig roll. Water delivers a floral note and revives the citrus appeal. 
Taste: lighter than the nose suggested, more delicate and yet confident. The lasting finish is that of chocolate orange with a touch of dryness. Cinnamon bark, vanilla essence, brandy snaps and a touch of rubber before that finish kicks in. You have to return for more as deep down you know within the walls of Moria treasures await. Chinese 5-spice, cloves, a little toffee and maple syrup combine with cardamom and green pepper to give this whisky some luxurious body.

Overall: on the palate I felt this one was better without water, even just a small amount really sands it down to a disappointing experience. Without water you have a cleverly engineered Macallan that for the money is a worthwhile purchase particularly when assessing other brand releases. This one ticks the value box for what you receive, although I preferred the Edition 1. 

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