Macallan Edition No. 6 (2020)
I don’t tend to be exceptionally drawn to Macallan. I probably got involved in whisky too late, as Macallan’s Fine Oak range was introduced in 2004, which is generally pointed out as the moment this distillery’s reputation started to decline. However, in recent years I’ve always been intrigued by their Edition series. Mark from Malt is mostly to blame.
He’s always been predominantly positive about the Macallan Edition releases — at times enamored even. Still, it was never enough to persuade me to shell out my own money for a bottle. Or to try and track down a sample even. Outside of the old, fully sherry-matured Macallans, I’ve never found another of their releases that quite convinced me enough. And so, it took me until Macallan Edition No. 6, the last release of the series, to finally get around to writing about it.
The Macallan Edition No. 6 takes its inspiration from the River Spey and The Macallan Estate, but it’s not clear to me how exactly. In official communication about this release a partnership was announced with the Atlantic Salmon Trust, a non-profit that does conservation work on the river Spey and beyond. That’s very commendable, but I fail to see how that has impacted the flavour and cask selection process for The Macallan Edition No. 6. Maybe I’m just not clever enough to understand.
The only bit of worthy information actually shared, is that it matured in American and European oak sherry-seasoned casks. But that’s the case for many of Macallan’s releases, so it doesn’t actually tell us much. So, as with most all single malts without an age statement, there’s not much to share except for my tasting notes. Let’s get on with it.
Macallan Edition No. 6 (48.6, OB, 2020)
Nose: Plenty of prunes, caramel and toffee, with some rum raisins and gentle notes of cocoa powder. Also a hint of fresh linen with macadamia nuts, accompanied by subtle wood spices and a somewhat unpleasant note of copper coins.
Taste: Active oak for sure. A spicy arrival with black pepper and cinnamon, balanced by sultanas and walnut skin, as well as fudge, cocoa powder and a whisper of aniseed. Hints of burnt toast as well as weak coffee.
Finish: Medium in length with lingering spices and fudge, as well as milk chocolate.
Quite a dark whisky that relies a little too much on the oak. It’s just a style of maturation that doesn’t exactly match my personal preference, but it’s undeniably decent stuff on the other hand.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.