Hardly a month goes by without news of another record-breaking auction sale of a rare Macallan, the most collected of single malts. Good news if you have the odd £1 million to spare for a bottle of their 1926 vintage.
So how refreshing to greet a new Macallan, albeit a limited edition, that can be cracked opened and enjoyed with a few less pangs of over-indulgence-related guilt. Edition No.6, the final release in the distillery’s Edition Series, is a single malt that celebrates the natural wonders of The Macallan Estate, and the vibrant lifeforce that sustains it – the River Spey.
That’s not just marketing fluff – the Spey, Scotland’s most renowned salmon river, marks the boundary of Macallan’s land and the distillery have a full-time ghillie looking after their mile-and-three-quarters beat and hosting privileged visitors who can enjoy a day’s fishing on this legendary body of water – a once-in-a-lifetime experience even for seasoned anglers. Fittingly, these days it’s a catch and release policy and in line with that commitment to the environment Macallan have partnered with Hardy, the renowned fly fishing brand, and The Atlantic Salmon Trust, which has over 50 years’ experience in salmon conservation.
Inspired by the remarkable experience offered by the Spey, The Macallan Whisky Maker, Steven Bremner, created Edition No.6 by choosing five cask styles that embody unique stories related to the river and its surrounding, unparalleled natural landscape.
Crafted from a combination of American and European oak sherry seasoned casks, Edition No.6 captures the River Spey’s energy; the warm, welcoming personality of The Macallan’s ghillie; the classic craftsmanship of Hardy; the extraordinary life of the Atlantic salmon on the beat; and the mastery of whisky making on The Macallan Estate.
In a development that will be welcomed by whisky enthusiasts, and demonstrates that Edition No. 6 is intended to be actually drunk, Bremner has detailed all the casks used in the creation of the final product and even provides information on the percentage mix of the different barrels.
The result is a multifaceted whisky which in colour resembles a lovingly-polished brass door knocker of great vintage and then delivers a sensational classic Macallan palate with ripe fruits, spice, wood and toffee apples that give way to dark fruits, prunes and marmalade and toast. Subtle ginger notes mingle with luxurious milk chocolate on the sustained finish.
Steven Bremner, The Macallan Whisky Maker, says: “This complex single malt provides the perfect conclusion to the Edition Series as there is so much to discover in this whisky. The natural colour derived from The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks indicates the richness of flavour that awaits and there’s a structure and depth that is uncovered more and more over time.”
For £95 at leading whisky specialists, it’s a great catch, especially as The Macallan has launched a new charitable partnership with The Atlantic Salmon Trust to help to conserve the iconic fish, whose numbers have declined so rapidly in recent years, supporting The Trust’s vital conservation work on the River Spey and beyond. Hook a bottle soon.