The Macallan Amber (Review)

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!

by Tobi

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
Region: Speyside
Age: NAS
Alc. volume: 40 per cent
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~150 Euro (current price on the secondary market)
More info: (Distillery)


  1. Hi Tobi,

    I don’t know if you are aware from my posts, but my whisky locker suffered a flood 2 weeks ago. Thankfully most of the collection were ok due to tins and bottles being in airsacs. The cartons not so lucky. Almost my entire Macallan collection was affected. In particular the 1824 series.

    I guess I have all 4 to drink now as the labels and boxes are write offs. My early 90’s 10 year old suffered too. Thankfully the expensive bottles were higher up the shelf.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that, pal. Just reading about it is already painful, so I don’t wanna imagine what it must have been like to come home and see that tragedy first-hand. At least there’s a little silver lining to it. You now have a full bottle of Ruby to enjoy without a little devil sitting on your shoulder and constantly whispering: “Dude, you sure it was a good idea to open it? That’s a collector’s item, goddamit!” ;)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That may be the plan. Sadly my Macallan collection suffered the worst with every single label water damaged and every carton a total write off. I’m still awaiting the insurance outcome but it’s likely only to be the difference in value before the event and after. I was sort of hoping that they would write everything off, giving me the chance to put in a cheeky bid for those I wanted to keep, but there was Rare Malts from Brora, Glen Albyn and Cardhu involved that had minimal damage, and I don’t want to lose them as they are still worth a fortune.

        Glenmorangie Single Cask 1385 and Swamp Oak are also heavily damaged as is the Glenfiddich Single Cask 7679 – this was one of the last casks to be made while Glenfiddich used coal to directly fire the stills. My two first release bottles from Strathearn (1st Cask of 100 bottles) are also write offs. However in each bottle the whisky is still drinkable, but I severely doubt that auction prices will reach the value they’ve been assessed at now. Gutted.

        If things go the way I expect, the Ruby is getting drunk! I’ve had a taste a long time ago and I think it is the fitting way for it to go.

        Liked by 1 person

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