I’ve been a fan of The Macallan Edition series ever since Edition No. 1 was first released two years ago. It’s release came at time when I felt the distillery was doing much to attract new whisky drinkers into the mix, a time when many of The Macallan loyalists within the whisky community started to feel a bit neglected. Then The Macallan unveiled Edition No. 1, a unique blend of eight casks bottled at an ABV above the standard offerings all for a relatively affordable price point. It was an old-world Macallan in new packaging. I thought it was brilliant.
Edition No. 1 was followed by Edition No. 2, which not only introduced the concept of collaboration with other artists but left a lot of people struggling to decide which they enjoyed best. Then came Edition No. 3, which included the use of American oak ex-Bourbon casks. This demonstrated a light and floral side of The Macallan while simultaneously reigniting the classic “should Macallan use ex-bourbon casks or not” debate. Oh you internet, you.
And so the autumnal color scheme continues with the brand new Edition No. 4. Launched at a time in which The Macallan is celebrating the opening of its state-of-the-art distillery, Edition No. 4 is also the first Edition created by new master distiller Nick Savage. It’s made from 7 different European and American oak cask and designed to reveal the ‘structure of the whisky’.
For me, Edition No. 4 is the most unique of them all. While it could be said that Edition No. 3, being lighter in character and flavor, very different from the others, I find Edition No. 4 offers a degree of rawness and complexity that makes it a bit more, dare I say, interesting than the previous three. It’s not your typical mid-winter, Christmas spice-infused Macallan. This one is a bit more zesty with vibrant notes of fresh fruits (as opposed to those heavy, dark fruits) and a touch of cinnamon and clove. For me the real differentiator is the finish. There’s a rich, toasted oak note that carries on through an unbelievably long finish. Brilliant.