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Macallan Amber Meadow – Harmony Collection (2023)

Time to review The Macallan Amber Meadow. Part of the third release of The Harmony Collection, it celebrates “the lands of Scotland that connect all those who have stood upon them for generations.” Stella and Mary McCartney are involved too.

I just… It’s hard not to be cynical when reading The Macallan’s press releases. I really don’t want to. But I just don’t quite follow. What’s the appeal of an expensive whisky that “has taken inspiration from natural Scottish grasslands […] using a combination of sherry-seasoned oak and bourbon casks.” And yet there are plenty of consumers that do disagree with me.

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Just like the first release in The Harmony Collection, what irks me about The Macallan Amber Meadow is the sustainability angle. Of course, it’s a good thing that “the presentation boxes and bottle labels have been made using discarded meadow cuttings embracing the re-use of natural materials to create beauty from resources at the end of their lives.”

But the same company has been releasing a range of whiskies with an “exceptional unboxing experience.” How do they reconcile these two opposing concepts? The Macallan Amber Meadow sets a good example, but the A Night On Earth series uses cardboard like there’s not a massive environmental crisis. It’s weird and confusing.

What else is there to share about The Macallan Amber Meadow? Not the concept but the liquid. Because you can’t taste a concept. It’s ex-bourbon and ex-sherry matured Macallan, but I already mentioned that. And that’s it. I would so love to know more about the cask recipe, but transparency is not part of The Macallan’s marketing strategy. Maybe one day…

macallan harmony collection amber meadow

Macallan Amber Meadow – Harmony Collection (44.2%, OB, 2023)

Nose: Opening up on notes of oranges, Mirabelle plums and satsumas. Slivers of honeysuckle too, as well as gorse and lawn clippings. That’s followed by just a touch of ripe bananas and marshmallows.
Taste: Decent mouthfeel with creamy vanilla, a good amount of oak spices, a touch of sultanas and some quinine. Also just a whisper of almonds, eucalyptus and ginger.
Finish: Medium. Somewhat dry. A hint of nutmeg, oak shavings, oranges and strong breakfast tea.

Not the most refined whisky, and that's mostly due to the (over)active oak. It imprints a spicy character on The Macallan Amber Meadow, which is not the first time I've experienced as such in NAS releases from this distillery. Decent whisky overall, but far from competitively priced.

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