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Macallan Amber 1824 Series

Average score from 4 reviews and 5 ratings 85

Macallan Amber 1824 Series

Product details

  • Brand: Macallan
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • Series: 1824
  • ABV: 40.0%

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Macallan Amber 1824 Series

Second entry scotch within the 1824 Series (from the year the distillery was established), I had this one some time ago, back in Feb 2016, at a now defunct joint named La Chimenea (The Fireplace) in Madrid. They served it terribly (check the pic) in some ice-loaded gin glass, and even though I took most off the tasting might have been flawed ('twas written back then.)

I like the idea that these whiskies are never colored, and get their names from their original hues, which range according to maduration time from golden to amber (this review), to sienna to ruby (prepare to splash), and always being matured solely in sherry casks, Macallan trademark. That's a neat idea.

Okay, review time: a golden to amber (of course) pour with that greenish cast that sometimes appears when you let a sunbeam pierce through your dram and that I love. Aroma's got lemon drop, Valencia oranges, honey, peat. In Macallan's webpage I see something about candy and apples and vanilla and cinnamon that yours truly never got, not a hint. Zilch. No spice here. Taste is crisp and umami, well balanced as you sip it down. Medium-lasting finish with citrus-y and smoky tinges. Good.


The new 1824 series are complied of non age statement whiskies and are an alternative to the fine oak line. The Macallan amber is the second in this series and serves to replace the old 12 year old. Its is bottled at 40% ABV and is natural colour but seems to be slightly chill filtered - although not as heavily as others.

On the Nose: vanilla, raisins, toffee, dark red fruits, cinnamon, bread and butter pudding, sweet marmalade, sweet orange rind and citrus. It is a little closed at first but opens up nicely after a few minutes and couple of drops of water.

On the Palate: sweet vanilla and toffee arrival, a little thin in the beginning but has an oily mouth feel which becomes quite creamy as it develops. Raisins and dark red fruits appear, as well as ginger spice and tangy european oak.

The Finish: the sweetness becomes quite spicy but very aromatic, and is maintained by a fudgy creaminess which coats the mouth. There's also a definite spicy oak note which can be a bit bitter in the after taste. Slightly smoky but quite young tasting in the finish.

Overall the Amber holds it weight and presents a very palatable, simple dram. It looses points for its lack of depth and complexity, as well a slightly off putting bitter note which lingers. I received this as a gift and personally would not buy another bottle of it, over here in Australia it goes for $95 and it is definitely not worth the money in my opinion. The strong points of this whisky, is its enticing nose and deep, rich sherry character. Maybe if the price tag was closer to $50, it would be worth it.

Would it really be worth it at half the price? Or would it be better to drink a craft presented quality dram at the same price half as often?

I write as someone who doesn't drink often, and when I do, I want excellent whisky. I don't want to waste my drinking opportunities on something of mediocre quality. If it's not something I like, I'll stick to caffeine free diet coke.

@nozinan Definitely agree. Bottled at 43 or 46% and another year or two in the barrel and this could be a magnificent whisky. The flavours are there and it has potential but it just lacks a solid form.


This one is the second youngest in the 1824 Series. I didn't like the Gold much (scored it a 75 about a year ago) so let's see how this one stands up.

The colour is, um, amber. On the nose, it is quite shy, with orange zest, very light sherry and....hm. Not much else. Maybe a few quiet herbal notes and light honey, but otherwise there is not much going on here, at all. What if we add water....oh, here we go! Mango joins the orange, with ginger hanging out just for fun. Better, despite the faintest hint of sulphur.

The palate, with the exception of some spice, is fairly nondescript. Terry's Chocolate Orange Ball, but muted. The mouthfeel is almost watery - it has the delicacy of traditional Macallan but not the silkiness. Adding a few drops of water helps the spice and the malt, though.

The finish is short with some wood smoke, chili and ginger. Well, this is disappointing. Funny, I remember liking it more when I tasted it at WhiskyLive last year, so I'm surprised. I still like it a little better than the Gold, but there is really no comparison between this and the 12 Year Old Sherry Oak; it is like a muted shadow of its former self. One caveat though: this Amber is a freshly opened bottle, and I've already noticed it has improved with water and some oxidation (whereas the 12yo is 2/3 empty and had been open for at least a year or so). So with some time, it may improve. Let's hope, greatly so.


First vapor: Almond or amaretto.

Nose: Fresh unsalted butter, covering a lemon/almond sharpness. Then steamed barley appears before vapors replenish.

Palate: Light and flat entrance like unsalted steamed bulgur. Ginger-lemon increasingly tingles (over faint vanilla) from the start, until rounding out (eventually) to golden raisins.

Finish: Aftertaste of cinnamon raisin oatmeal. Remnant sour apple skins inside the cheeks; vague cooked vanilla on the exhale.

The Amber is drinkably smooth, but it does not deliver a strong character or flavor set to make me crave it. It especially falls flat on the entrance (a common trait I observe within the 1824 range).

Compared to the Gold, this is less lemon and more golden-raisin & boiled barley. When fresh, I surprisingly enjoy the Gold more for its liveliness; the Amber seems comparatively without statement. However, the Amber seems to hold up better over time, actually gaining some lemony & zesty ("lively") traits of the Gold. This can justify the Amber as a better purchase.

Where to explore if you like this? As with the Gold, the light oak notes and apple peels remind me of the Balvenie 12DW. The grains and light vanilla-citrus remind me of the Auchentoshan 18. I marginally prefer the Amber to both of these. For better balance but similar character, I would recommend Glenmorangie's 10yo Original or else their Nectar D'Or.

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