Yes, I know, New Year’s Eve is a few weeks behind us. After all, The Macallan A Night On Earth The Journey was made in part to celebrate the New Year. Thankfully there’s a Chinese connection, and Chinese New Year isn’t until next month. What a timely review this is!
Although there was more than one batch of The Macallan A Night On Earth In Scotland, the new The Journey is officially the second release in this series. My main question would be: what sets it apart from its predecessor? That’s tough to answer definitively, but other than a slightly higher alcohol percentage and significantly higher price, not much.
Or at least, that’s the impression one gets on the surface. The cask recipe might be vastly different. But The Macallan, not the most transparent of Scottish whisky distilleries to begin with, shares barely any information. The Macallan A Night On Earth The Journey matured in “sherry seasoned European and American oak casks together with American ex-bourbon barrels.”
Sounds fine, but it’s also the recipe for many a Macallan released in recent years. To wit, the excerpt above was copied from the official press release for The Macallan A Night On Earth The Journey. But the same sentence appears almost verbatim in the press release sent out for A Night On Earth In Scotland two years ago.
The lack of information is problematic. Maybe not for the average consumer of The Macallan, but it is for the discerning whisky drinker. The distillery provides no way to decide what to spend your money on in a whisky marketplace that becomes increasingly crowded. Unless, of course, you’re significantly interested in unboxing things.
The Macallan A Night On Earth The Journey provides “an exceptional unboxing experience.” I’ve made fun of this before, so I’ll try not to do it again, but it requires immense restraint. The packaging is like a Russian nesting doll, with layer upon layer depicting the work of Chinese mixed media artist Nini Sum. It’s truly a stunning exercise in wastefulness.
Having said all that, The Macallan A Night On Earth The Journey still might taste wonderful. If so, the lack of transparency and information would be easier to swallow. Here’s my review.
Macallan A Night On Earth The Journey (43%, OB, 2023)
Nose: Light, slightly floral and fragrant. Notes of charred oak and caramel along with rose water and jasmine. Also gentle vanilla pods, some candied orange peels and quinces. Finally a whiff of honey and lemon zest. Taste: Kudos for the slightly creamy mouthfeel (relative to the low abv). Otherwise nothing too exciting. Arrives on whispers of vanilla, boiled sweets and breakfast cereals. Also cloves, nutmeg and coconut shavings, along with orange pith. Finish: Short to medium. A touch of ginger, pear jelly and soft tannins.
Much like the initial release in this series, The Macallan A Night On Earth The Journey isn't very inspired. An easy sipper is the best compliment I can give, albeit one without much complexity or depth. It's more about the packaging than anything else.