Whisky Advent calendar, albeit a little (okay, a lot) behind schedule.
Today's whisky comes from Macallan. The last malt I featured (the Gold from the same series - as part of my piece on the 'no age statement' debate) underwhelmed me a little and I didn't quite feel it justified the price. This is part of the same series that does away with age statements and uses the depth of colour to indicate quality.
The Gold left me with the feeling that this was a cost-cutting process to release younger and less developed whiskies, but this is a step up the ladder and am hoping that this can deliver a little more for the £45 you pay per bottle.
On the nose there is tangerine and orange fruit mixed with brown sugar and sweet winter spice of cinnamon and cloves. There's some lemon and vanilla with raisin with perhaps just the lightest hint of caramel. The nose for me is fairly light with a decent amount going on, but perhaps lacks the depth to be lingered over for an extended period with fairly overt oak notes, but certainly smells quite youthful.
On the palate this is fairly creamy and soft with a good amount of sweetness, but with slightly harsh and drying alcohol on the finish. There are flavours of raisins and sultanas, sherry, lemon rind and some generic spice with again a fair amount of oak.
The palate is sweet and bitter with a fairly creamy whilst remaining fairly light, the structure is all okay but there really is nothing of interest in the flavours of this malt and honestly there is nothing that would make me buy a bottle of this with so much more choice on the market.
When I started getting into whisky Macallan was upheld as a top distillery producing great malts at every level of their selection. Having tried two whiskies from the 1824 Series, that is certainly not my impression now, unfortunately.
That's not to say that their more expensive bottles aren't fantastic (disclaimer: I haven't tasted them), but the entry level is quite sub-par in my opinion and I haven't read any reviews to indicate that the Sienna and Ruby are vast improvements.
I feel that I'll need to try and get a hold of one of the old 12 year bottlings on the secondary market to see what all the hype was about.
You can pick up a bottle of The Macallan Amber from Master of Malt for £45.13