For the average Scotch-whisky enthusiasts, age is often a good indicator as to the quality of the beverage we’re going to consume. Many of us can still remember the dialogue between Brad Pitt and Robert Redford in the movie SPYGAME, where Pitt said that he thought spies only drink Martinis and Redford replied with the following:
The 18 year old Sherry Oak by Macallan (a renowned producer of the finest scotches in the industry) in particular, has been a favour amongst those who love a sweet aromatic Speyside scotch.
- Nose: Heady exotic floral aroma, with hints of jasmine, tropical fruits and peat
- Palate: Soft and rich, with hints of citrus, spice and wood smoke
- Finish: Lingering, with hints of orange zest
- Currently pricing at £299
Unfortunately, this is all going to change for Macallan, as they announced a new line of scotches which are differentiated by the colour but not the age, the spokesperson brushed over critics with the reply:
“Age ain’t nothin’ but a number”
The Macallan Fine Oak series, differentiated by age across the line. Sadly, this is all going to be replaced over time.
So why is Macallan shifting to a non age statement range?
Many critics suspected that Macallan has a stock problem with their aged scotches (especially the 15s and above), naturally this has been fended off by the company. Charlie Whitfield, the American brand ambassador of the Macallan, emphasised that the new range (known as the 1824 series) focuses on expertise and craftsmanship, instead of age.
“Taste is subjective and very personal, and as we know, some people will prefer a 10 year old whisky compared to an 18, and that can easily depend on mood, time of day and the weather… Research has shown, however, that 65% of the flavour of single malt comes from the quality of the wood cask it is matured in. By moving away from the age straight jacket, our whisky maker, Bob Dalgarno, can select the most appropriate casks which deliver the desired colour, flavour and aroma.”
The Macallan 1824 series, differentiated by the colour, not the age
My advice is this: If you are very peculiar as to the age of the scotch you consume, you can either stock up as soon as possible (because even though Macallan claimed against a stock problem, they are eventually phasing out of the age-statement range), or you might have to switch to another Speyside scotch manufacturer. Naturally, as the age-range Macallans start to run out in stores and bars, they will become increasingly expensive in the coming few years.
So, seriously, buy your Macallan 18 before it’s too late.