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Whisky Review #21 – The Macallan 1824 Master Series – The Macallan M

 

The Macallan M sits at the top of the 1824 Master Series. Second to none, it is considered the most exquisite whisky that has been made by The Macallan so far. The M was sold at an auction in Hong Kong back in 2014 for a whooping USD$628,205, making it the most expensive whisky ever sold. It was thus entered into the Guinness Book of Records afterwards as the most expensive whisky in the world.

The M is born of a collaboration between 3 different masters – Fabien Baron, the legendary designer, Lalique, the world’s finest crystal maker and of course, The Macallan, a master in luxury spirits. The ultimate objective is to create the most sophisticated whisky in the world contained in an beautifully-designed crystal decanter that is exclusive to a lucky few.

Made with spirits that reached far back into the history of The Macallan, it is a luxury whisky that has its roots in the sherry casks that The Macallan favours. These casks are hidden in the deep ends of the Macallan warehouse, maturing for years before they were used for the M. Decidedly different from the rest, the M stood out as the pinnacle of the 1824 Master Series.

Here’s a video from Edrington Group for the M

Tasting Notes: Not available

Comments:
Geek Flora: “Due to the exclusivity of this whisky, we have not been able to obtain a proper sampling for the M. Reviews for the Macallan M were rather mixed, with reasonably trashy comments such as the M tasting like a smoky Johnny Walker Red Label, to fantastic comments of the M as a perfect whisky. We will try it next time and update when possible!”

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    Whisky Review #20 – The Macallan 1824 Master Series – No. 6

    The Macallan No. 6 is the second highest tier of the Macallan 1824 Master Series, and also the last to be released in early 2015. Its rarity only second to the Macallan M, the No. 6 is highly valued and considered to be a highly desirable expression in the Macallan 1824 Master Series.

    The Macallan No. 6 combine the art of Bob Dalgarno, Macallan’s Master Distiller, and the talented craftmen of Lalique, the makers of exquisite crystal decanters. The result – an amazing whisky encaused in a stunning, most stylish crystal decanter make with the finest materials.

    This rich and complex whisky expression is matured in first fill sherry seasoned oak casks that were handcrafted by the master craftmen of Jerez de la Frontera, the cooperage that creates exclusive sherried Spanish oak casks. All the casks that were used in this expression were ordered from this single cooperage in order to create a whisky that is unique and rich in flavour and character. The result is the perfect balance of the quality and character of a classic Macallan.

    Here’s a video from Edrington Group on the Macallan No. 6

    Tasting Notes:

    Colour: Spanish Sunset
    ABV: 43%

    Nose: Raisins, figs and dates march right in at the first sniff, while sultana and toffee apples add texture and depth to this whisky. The flavours of raisins are dominates – dark and rich with great viscosity. Ginger and cinnamon dances at the edges gently. The ginger is slightly dry but the cinnamon is soft. The complexity of the nose is further enhanced by dark chocolate, slightly bitter-sweet but not overpowering as sweet vanilla lingers in the background to complete the sweet profile. (16 points)

    Palate: Taste just like a rich and sumptuous fruit cake with raisins, dates, figs, apple, sultana and orange. Ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and the hints of clove follows after while the velvety oak notes softly mix into the palate. (15 points)

    Body: Comforting and luxurious, the whisky envelopes you like a warm blanket. Well-balanced and full of character, the No. 6 feels just like family. (30 points)

    Finish: A long and full finish that is like no other, it is silky smooth and rich. (15 points)

    Total Grade: 76 points

    Comments:
    Geek Flora: “Its almost feminine character connects with me immediately, bringing to mind a warm security blanket. Well-balanced between sweet and spice, this whisky is a frisky lady. Definitely something that you would like to pick up if you have the means to!”

     

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      Whisky Review #19 – The Macallan 1824 Master Series – Reflexion

      The Macallan Reflexion is the next in terms of rarity and price level in the 1824 Master Series. Originally the second bottle in terms of rarity after the Rare Cask, it has been “levelled-up” to the third most expensive bottle in this series after the Rare Cask Black has been introduced.

      The Macallan Reflexion marries the natural colour and the beauty of The Macallan, reflecting the influence of first fill sherry seasoned oak casks. This exceptional expression draws its colour and flavours through maturation in smaller hogshead casks. The smaller capacity allows a greater surface interaction between the spirit and wood, creating an intricate character that is driven by both Spanish and American oak casks.

      The colour of this magnificent whisky is further enhanced by the angular facets of the beautifully crafted decanter, making this bottle one of those precious collections that one would like to have displayed at home. Additionally, the complex flavour of The Macallan Reflexion, which is derived from the excellent casks that were selected by Macallan’s very own Whisky Maker, Bob Dalgarno, adds to the completeness of this expression.

      Here’s a video from Edrington Group showcasing the Macallan Reflexion

      Tasting Notes:

      Colour: Blood Orange
      ABV: 43%

      Nose: Fresh orange and citrus fruits found in an open market meets the nose with fresh zest before fading to fresh green apples. The sweetness rush in afterwards – chocolate, thick fudge, boiled sweets; caramel toffees overwhelms the senses before you get hints of white chocolate truffles. A stunning hint of banana in fresh oak arrives at the end to create a wonderfully complex nose. (16 points)

      Palate: Light citrus zest opens up the palate similar to what it does on the nose before the limelight is stolen by a juicy sweetness of lemon and orange. In the background, raisins, sultana and apples, coupled with a hint of cinnamon and ginger linger. (15 points)

      Body: The complexity of the whisky give rise to a well-balanced and full-bodied whisky. The intense colour, flavour and character of the whisky makes this expression a very enjoyable drink. (30 points)

      Finish: A medium to long soft finish with boiled sweets and a tint of toasted oak. (14 points)

      Total Grade: 75 points

      Comments:
      Geek Flora: “Feels pretty much like the Rare Cask when I first tasted it, but the intense flavours started to come out as I allowed the liquor to linger in the mouth. That intense sweetness reflected the sherry wonderfully. The complexity of the whisky gave me a sense of pleasure as I swallowed, ending the drink with a wonderful sweetness as I finished. Quite a perfect whisky I think!”

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        Whisky Review #18 – The Macallan 1824 Master Series – Rare Cask Black

        The Macallan Rare Cask is a recent addition in the Macallan 1824 Master Series. Unlike all other Macallan branded whiskies today, this is actually smoky! This is the final product of the marriage of less than 100 casks maturing at The Macallan distillery. The Master Whisky Maker kept these casks hidden in the dark warehouse until he decides that they are fit to be released.

        Smoky Macallan is rare by itself, coupled by the fact that the casks that make up this special expression will not be reused, the label ‘Rare Cask’ is certainly very apt!

        Tasting Notes:

        Colour: Autumnal Leaves
        ABV: 43%

        Nose: An strong, intense smell of peat smoke gushes out of the dram. This is followed by the combination of the sweetness of dried fruits, dates and raisins, and the spicy ending of nutmeg and ginger. (15 points)

        Palate: A dry smoky flavour immediately engulfs the palate, with the less intense sweetness of dried fruits. The oaky flavour takes over with taste of nutmeg and cloves. (14 points)

        Body: A balanced body of smoke, sweetness of dried fruits and spices. Reasonably complex, considering this is a special make. (28 points)

        Finish: The finish is medium long with woody smoke, and lingering sweetness of dried fruits. (13 points)

        Total Grade: 70 points

        Comments:

        Geek Choc: “Definitely not as smoky as those from Islay. This is a well-crafted, special whisky from The Macallan, but the price does put me off. S$622.30 from DFS! Definitely can get a much better whisky at this price. Of course, if you are a hardcore Macallan fan, this is not to be missed.”

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          Whisky Review #17 – The Macallan 1824 Master Series – Rare Cask

          The Macallan 1824 Master Series showcases the distillery’s strengths of using top quality Sherry oak casks and the beauty of the whisky’s natural colour.

          The Macallan Rare Cask is the entry level of this series. This expression boasts the combination of spirits from 16 different types of casks – butts, hogsheads and puncheons, from different producers (some of these producers no longer exists). Merging spirits from these Spanish and American Sherry seasoned oak casks, mostly first fill, explains the rich hue and woody flavour. These casks actually make up of less than 1% of those in the distillery, and this whisky is so rare that most of the spirits from those casks that are used will never be used again!

          Tasting Notes:

          Colour: Mahogany Red
          ABV: 43%

          Nose: A rich, yet soft vanilla tingles the nose. The sweetness of raisins and chocolates delights the senses soon after, but not overpowering the fruity combination of apples and citrus flavours. The experience concludes with the spicy balance of root ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. (15 points)

          Palate: The spicy taste hits the tongue, with hints of raisin sweetness, but the oaky flavour engulfs the palate soon after. This is ended by slight vanilla and chocolate. (14 points)

          Body: A fairly balanced body with the sweetness of raisins and chocolates. Sadly, not as complex as expected. (25 points)

          Finish: The finish is medium with notes of citrus zest and old oak. (13 points)

          Total Grade: 67 points

          Comments:

          Geek Choc: “Not exactly a bad whisky, but I would expect something more, given the price of this whisky. It seems the rarity of the casks has pushed the prices up, not the final product itself.”

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            The Macallan 1824 Master Series

            The Macallan 1824 Master Series is a luxury range within The Macallan portfolio. It showcase the top-notch quality of The Macallan’s use of sherry casks and each expression increase in rarity as you go up the tier. All the whiskies in the range are hand selected by their Master Distiller, Bob Dalgarno. The 1824 Master Series is a level up from the 1824 Series that we have shared previously. This Master Series starts with the Macallan Rare Cask, which is one tier higher than Ruby, the last of the 4 bottles in the 1824 Series.

            The luxury range of The Macallan 1824 Master Series are made with first-fill, 100% sherry-seasoned casks. It showcases the 100% natural colour that The Macallan is so proud of, and the beautiful spectrum of colours brings to life the interaction of the peerless spirit and the exceptional oak casks. The Macallan’s unique Six Pillars are definitely at the heart of this luxurious collection.

            The Macallan has taken time to release the 1824 Master Series, starting with the Rare Cask and the Macallan M, before releasing Reflexion and No. 6 to complete the series. The Rare Cask Black was later introduced to the market as a peated expression to contrast the Rare Cask. Each expression is housed in striking decanter, with the decanters getting more and more preciously beautiful as you go up the tier. The angled decanters in the higher tiers are specially made to reflect the “M” in Macallan. The exquisite details of every decanter is as amazing as the liquid itself.

            The rarity of the series can be sum up in an auction house in Hong Kong, where the Macallan M was sold at a whooping USD$628,205!! That’s what we called opulent!

            In Singapore, the 1824 Master Series was introduced through various mediums, including an exclusive launch of the Rare Cask where the public was invited to a tasting session. The whole series were introduced again during the Edition No. 1 launch in Singapore, where The Macallan hosted “Toast the Macallan” event at the Black Swan in 2016. In that event, both the 1824 Master Series and the Edition No. 1 were given equal priority. It was also during this event that they introduced the Rare Cask Black to the general public.

            The exclusivity of the 1824 Master Series makes it hard for normal whisky lovers to have a taste of the exquisite whiskies housed in those precious decanter but getting to know the different expressions is in itself, a great experience.

            Here’s a video that was posted on Vimeo by Macallan’s parent company, Edrington. Enjoy!

            We will speak more of the individual bottles in our next few posts, so stay tuned!

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              Exclusive Whisky Pairing Event: House of Hazelwood

              WhiskyGeeks is very honoured to be invited to an exclusive whisky pairing event by William Grant and Sons on 3 July 2017. Held at Violet Oon at the National Gallery, this is a media-only event that introduced their vivacious new blended Scotch whisky inspired by the family luminary Ms Janet Sheed Roberts.

              This new range of whisky is named the House of Hazelwood. Composed of three exquisite expressions, each of them is blended to perfection, with its own inspiring story to tell. While all three whiskies are inspired by the 1920s, each whisky lives to tell a story of a different country. The most distinguished 25 years old is a representation of 1920s Shanghai, and a source of pride for its creator, Master Blender Brian Kinsman. It is followed by the 21 years old variant, which is a representation of 1920s Mumbai and the 18 years old variant, which is a representation of 1920s Paris.

              This event is a whisky pairing session, which means food is served. As the event is held in Singapore, the organisers proudly paired the whiskies with Peranakan food.

              While the whiskies are not paired with every serving of the food, WhiskyGeek enjoyed the selection of Peranakan food that was paired with the whiskies. Having attended many different whisky pairing sessions, it is in our opinion that blended whiskies are best paired with spicy food because the rich flavours of spicy food brings out the taste and flavours of blended whiskies, and vice versa.

              Food aside, let’s talk a little bit more about the whiskies. WhiskyGeeks’ opinion is that all three expressions have their own distinct characters but their similarity lies in their light but luxurious feel. From the packaging to the decanter to the whisky itself, all three expression exude luxury and exclusiveness. Personally, we prefer the 21 years old expression as compared to the other two variants as we find the bolder, spicer taste more robust and balanced. You can find the detailed tasting notes of the three expressions in our tasting notes section – The Liquid Gold.  Blended whiskies have their characters too, and can be better than some of the single malts that we have in the market right now.

              The packaging themselves are inspirations from the three mesmeric cities that are forerunners of the Art Deco movement – Paris, Mumbai and Shanghai. The designs are focused on creating a unique visual leitmotif which is associated with each city.

              The House of Hazelwood was launched exclusively in the Global Travel Retail in February last year. With an ABV of 40%, all three variants are available in a 50cl art-deco decanter style bottle and you can find them only at the exclusive retailers in Singapore Changi Airport. Remember to grab them if you are travelling anytime soon or they will soon be gone!

              More about William Grant and Sons, Ltd and Janet Sheed Roberts

              William Grant and Sons, Ltd is an independent family-owned distiller headquartered in the United Kingdom and founded by William Grant in 1887. The oldest family-owned luxury spirit company of Scotland is run by the fifth generation of his family today and distills some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the world’s most awarded single malt Glenfiddich, The Balvenie  range of handcrafted single malts and the world’s third largest blended Scotch Grant’s along with iconic premium spirits brands Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry Rum, Tullamore Dew Irish Whisky, Drambuie and Milagro Tequila.

              The House of Hazelwood is created  by William Grant and Sons, Ltd, inspired by both their ancestor Ms Janet Sheed Roberts and the Hazelwood House, a sturdy house that was bought by the Gordon family back in the early 1020s.. Janet Sheed Roberts united  the Grants and Gordon families, and became the undisputed matriarch of William Grants and Sons. She found her love for whisky from her grandfather while living in the Hazelwood House, travelled extensively and became the epitome of the progressive era-defining attitude of women in the 1920s and 30s.

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