The Macallan 1824 is a series of whiskies aimed at the travel retail section (duty free shops), and consists of four expressions : Select Oak, Whisky Maker’s Edition, Estate Reserve and 1824 Limited Release. Those whiskies do not carry an age statement and are supposed to be crafted by the now retired John Ramsey (who was the Master whisky maker of the Edrington group, the owner of The Macallan).
The Select Oak is a vatting of a few types of cask hand picked by the Master of Wood at The Macallan, George Espie. This Expression was matured in three cask types – American Oak seasoned with either Sherry or Bourbon (which contribute to butterscotch and vanilla flavors) and first-fill European oak casks seasoned with Sherry which contribute sweet spice flavors. This combination of casks should give the whisky smoothness, and complexity.
Well, let’s put this to the test. shall we?
The Macallan Select Oak , 40% ABV , NAS
Color : Pale Gold.
Nose: Fruity, sweet, sherry notes, new leather and spice. This is not a fully sherried profile, but the essentials are there. Sweet, and vibrant, yet not heavy, if you get what i mean. very appetizing.
Palate : Sherry, spices, oak, quite fruity. ending on a wee cocoa and milk chocolate . Some nuts too. Clearly the first fill sherry oak is playing first violin here.
Finish : dried fruit salad, chocolate. spicy on the finish, pepper, nutmeg.
Summing it all Up:
The Select Oak is a fine dram, while it’s evident the sherry casks are quite dominant here, it does not match the 100 % sherried Macallans I do love so much, yet it offers some very nice combination of sherry and Bourbon notes, which are quite nicely integrated. A great after dinner dram. Again, 40% close but no cigar. I would love to see a 48% version of this malt, and no doubt it would be ten times better with the higher ABV.