[Review] The Macallan - Edition Number 2 48.2%

I remember the first time I heard of the Macallan distillery, probably over 10 years ago when my uncle -a keen whisky drinker- told us it was, in his opinion, the best bottle of single malt you could buy in a (French) supermarket. He was certainly talking about the 10 years old, which was at the time widely available. Despite being one of the most know distillery, it has taken me a while to come round to purchasing a bottle of Macallan. The reason why is simple: most people I spoke to, and reviews I read about their current range (particularly the Gold) were not very positive, and everybody seemed to miss the former age statement sherried range. The problem is that as Macallan is a very collectible distillery, older age-statement bottles are out of my drinking price range.

As far as this limited release is concerned however, the critiques are completely different, and most people think that this is a great example of what Macallan can produce so I thought I would get hold of a bottle. I managed to pick it up for about £70 and if you look at my pictures a bit more closely, you will notice that I have some in the glass but the bottle seal is intact... And you will be right as the whisky in my glass is a sample given to me by a friend. I thought I would try the sample first to see if the bottle was worth opening or if I was better off keeping it as an investment for the future... So let's see what the fuss is about then...

First of all, even if I got properly into whisky about two years ago, I have no recollection whatsoever of the Edition 1 being released, or even seeing it on the selves. Edition 1 was a vat of eight different types of casks, all first or second fill, European oak heavy with some American oak. Looking at different reviews online, it seems to have been rather well received by whisky enthusiasts. So what about Edition 2? This time, the whisky is born of a collaboration between the three Roca brothers who run El Celler de Can Roca, one of the best restaurants in the world, and Bob Dalgarno, Macallan Master Whisky Maker. Each of them selected a type of cask which were then vatted to create this limited release. What I really like about it is that despite not knowing the breakdown of ages for the different components of this whisky, we are told pretty much everything else. We know that we have a mix of 52% butts, 21% hogsheads and 27% puncheons, all first and second fill, European and American oak. We even know what each of them chose in terms of casks and which bodegas these casks came from, so a lot of information at hand here.

So without much Macallan experience, let's get to the tasting. The Edition 2 is bottled at an unusual 48.2% ABV and you can see it stick to the Glencairn! Nothing on the packaging tells us if it is natural colour or unchill-filtered. The higher Abv would suggest no chill-filtration and the colour is a nice pale copper so we never know...

Nose: Sherry, oak, raisin, not overly sweet, spicy woodiness, hints of tropical fruit and vanilla, some raspberry notes too and muscovado sugar. There are many layers to this dram as it seems to go from round and sweet woodiness to crisper fruitiness and back again with more sweetness... Wonderful!

Palate: Round and warm, spicy wood, golden syrup, brown sugar, dark chocolate, some pepper, citrus notes and liquorice too. Very enjoyable!

Finish: A very nice length with again some spicy oak, sherry and dried fruit, some blackberry. This single malt is rather moreish...

With water: The addition of a couple of drops of water takes some of the oakiness away: fruitier and fresher on the nose, sharper on the palate and still a lovely sherry finish. I must admit I prefer it without water though.

Overall, the Macallan Edition 2 is a very good whisky, which has some excellent layers of flavours: a lot of oak, spice, fruit and sweetness. I ended up buying a bottle of the 12 years old a couple of days ago, and trying it after the Edition 2, I think I prefer Edition 2 as there is much more going on in my opinion. So after this successful sample, I think I will have to open my bottle at some points soon and might even see if I can get hold of another one before they are all gone...


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