The Macallan is now releasing a new line of four single malt whiskys with the 1824 Collection label, an homage to the year in which Macallan began operation. None of these malts date back to 180-some years ago, mind you, but they do pay respects to that era. I tried the three bottlings which will be commonly available — the 1824 Limited Release will run more than $2,000 a bottle, and I sadly didn’t get to sample it — and they all share a common DNA. Comments on each of the other three members of the quartet follow.
The Macallan 1824 Select Oak – Intense honey on the front of this whisky, with a brewed tea finish. Light in style with a moderate amount of wood from both American and European oak barrels finished with bourbon and sherry. An interesting fig character comes through along with some vanilla and butterscotch on the finish. Lots of fun, easy to drink. 80 proof. A- / $53
The Macallan 1824 Whisky Maker’s Edition – Bigger and bolder than the Select Oak, with a spicier character — like allspice or cloves — coming through prominently. A bigger dried fruit flavor hits with the Whisky Maker’s Edition, with a finish that harkens back to that brewed tea again. A touch of smoke also plays at the conclusion. Also a winner. 85.6 proof. A- / $99
The Macallan 1824 Estate Reserve – Even bigger than the Whisky Maker’s Edition, a classic Scotch with burnt sugar, honey, old wood, and leather notes. A real powerhouse, this is an Everyman’s whisky with pleasant yet rugged character. Intriguing orange and chocolate notes play with the wood here, ultimately a spicy but more earthy version of the Whisky Maker’s Edition. 91.4 proof. A- / $165