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Macallan Ruby 1824 Series

Average score from 3 reviews and 4 ratings 85

Macallan Ruby 1824 Series

Product details

  • Brand: Macallan
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • Series: 1824
  • ABV: 43.0%

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Macallan Ruby 1824 Series

Aged in European Oak with a taste of dried fruits, ginger, orange and raisin. It's Macallan's attempt at providing a high priced non-aged single malt. It is a good Scotch, but doesn't warrant the high price (over $250 Canadian). In a taste test, the Sienna compared equally, yet sells for more than a $100 Canadian less.

One might argue that the Sienna is way overpriced too.

That is true! Prices in the last few years have almost doubled.


The Macallan reorganised its core range in 2012. Most of the age statements were ditched and replaced by colours. Yes, you've read it right: colours. A small risk for a company stating a few years ago that not colour, but maturation was the most important aspect of a good quality whisky. Because colour could be faked...

The new range consists of Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby. Luckily no additional colouring is used. Ruby is a vatting of first fill and refill sherry casks and is the darkest whisky in the class of four. If it is also the most mature, that remains to be seen.

Tasting notes

Colour: Ruby is the darkest in the series. A deep golden sunset. Swirling leaves thin and quick legs on the glass.

Nose: A very aromatic nose with a lot of sweetness. Dates, oranges, peaches and caramel. Also some slightly bitter notes: oak, dark chocolate and tangerines. With some patience you'll discover hints of ruby port and nuts.

Water brings up sweet ripe pears.

Taste: The palate is a continuation of the nose. Bitter oak, chocolate and dried fruit cake. And cherries in two varieties: freshly picked cherries and Mon Chéri liquor chocolates.

A dash of water releases spiciness. Pepper and nutmeg or mace.

Finish: A long and warming finish with raisins and orange zest. At the very end your tongue is being treated to a melting piece of ginger chocolate.


This Macallan Ruby is probably the most complex one of the new 1824 series. A tasty dram showing off some character. By using first fill sherry casks it gets fairly quick his deep colour. Sadly we can only guess the age of the used components.

You"ll easily spend €140 for a whisky ... with a dark colour. Once a certain price ceiling is reached, I do think an educated customer is entitled to more then the basic marketing lingo. Unfortunately we all noticed that NAS will be the rule rather than the exception.

Thanks for a fine review! I have tasted this dram twice, in different bars, but after a few other drams, so I really dont remember it sharply. It was a fine dram, but not that overwhelming as I wanted a doubleprice dram to be. Maybe such drams must always be the first one?


First vapor: Sherry; the grapy scent of pure ethanol.

Nose: Spirity concord grapes, over deep walnut oil. Further breathing shows brown sugar and cocoa powder, with a whisp of allspice or clove.

Palate: The entrance is soft with cherry, but crescendos quickly with lemon-zestiness. This prickly sourness seems like dilute raspberry juices with a powdered pepper. Then the spice mellows to a faint custard for a period, with a touch of leafy spice like tarragon. Finally, a growing red berry finally peaks at maraschino cherries over black coffee base, before fading. (This final step seems absent in the aged sample.)

Finish: The fruits (grape/lemon/cherry) and spices settle into light custard. A very slow fade, with white pepper joining.

The Ruby is an enjoyable malt, and it nicely exemplifies the "light pepper-spiced fruit" direction of this 1824 series. I don't lean toward dry or pepper-spiced malts, but I'll say it has character. Although it makes a statement, the Ruby is still a bit too light in comparison to other malts-- unless you have a real penchant for subtlety. I am at a loss for good comparisons-- other fruit&pepper malts. The Glenmorangie Artein may have similar fruits, but not the spices. Maybe Oban 14 or Glenlivet's Nadurra... Perhaps the Connosr community can point to a closer match? Overall, I did find the Ruby unique enough to be worth trying, but the price of a full bottle is not justified.

And so I am ready to bestow my verdict for the 1824 series. The quality of the 4 malts generally follows price as expected, but across qualities they share attributes. For all 4, I can say that the nose is excellent and perhaps the best part of the experience. Their degree of sour/bitter is minimal (initially), so in that sense they are smooth. However, they all lack the expected power. In comparison to most other scotches I have had, the 1824s could benefit particularly from higher ABV, at least when fresh. Perhaps for the same reason, they all suffer most especially in the palate-to-entrance, seeming very flat. Therefore, Macallan succeeds with a very aromatic, smooth and drinkable cast, of which all 4 meet minimum expectations-- but then again they ONLY meet the minimum. The 4 malts also age similarly, gaining a zesty youthful character at the expense of sour and acrid notes. Although this provides some of the punch that is needed at the entrance, the sacrifice in quality (and balance) is too great. Therefore, I recommend not storing any of them for too long after opening.

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