This one is kind of a guilty pleasure for me. When it was released in 2013 as part of The Macallan’s color-focused 1824 Series, it got quite a bit of flak. Back then, many drammers were not happy with the fact that the NAS expression Amber and its ageless siblings Gold, Sienna and Ruby replaced rather than complemented The Macallan’s well-established core range (all of whose members came with a respectable age statement on the label). In the meantime, The Macallan has brought back its classic 12 to 18 year-year-old single malts. And discontinued the 1824 bottlings. Still, when Amber and Co. get discussed in forums or on social media, feedback is mixed at best – a sentiment I do not share at all. In fact, I am proud and confident to say that I really enjoy this range for several reasons. First, I like how these drops cover the entire spectrum from easy (Gold) to sophisticated (Ruby) and everything in between. And second, I find that the 1824 malts do a great job at illustrating one of The Macallan’s most striking qualities, namely its ability to create spirits of exceptional richness, stature and character. Take Amber, for example. Despite its young age and low ABV, it is full-bodied, flavorsome and rounded. Plus, it has that mouthwatering nougat note, which I absoutely love about the distillery! Don’t get me wrong: I understand why other people might not share my enthusiasm for the 1824 Series in general and Amber in particular; especially now that the prices for the individual expressions have skyrocketed after their displacement. But I cannot help it: I’m a fan!
Eye: Amber. (Thank you, Captain Obvious!)
Nose: A full-on nougat attack! The nose is thick and condensed. Besides the mentioned chocolate quality, the mix also includes fluffy honey cake, fresh lemon curd, creamy orange liquor, sweet raisins and grated nutmeg.
Palate: For a youthful whisky with 40 per cent ABV, the Amber weighs surprisingly heavy. Apparently, the distillery’s curiously small stills did a great job here! Another lovely quality: The dram is extremely lavish! What it lacks in complexity, it evens up with lush drinkability. Its most prominent flavors are those of milk chocolate, vanilla pudding, lemon cake, orange zest, red apples and candied almonds.
Finish: Mellow, round and easy-sipping. The Amber’s aftertaste is more on the quick side, producig bright notes of honeycomb and butter fudge as well as almonds, spices, citrus fruits and, of course, nougat.
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Alc. volume: 40 per cent
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~150 Euro (current price on the secondary market)
More info: https://www.themacallan.com/ (Distillery)