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Macallan Edition No.4 (2018, OB, 48,4%)

Now it is frankly difficult to keep up with the great harvest of NAS bottlings put on the market by Macallan: there would be nothing wrong with it, except that generally, since The Macallan is a “luxury brand” and no longer (or not only) “big whisky distillery”, these bottles come out at objectively ridiculous prices. So they suddenly become food for flippers, which resell them to other flippers, etcetera etcetera. Nothing bad, nothing illegitimate, for goodness sake: the trend of recent auctions, however, shows well how the market is beginning to get fed up with these attitudes.
Today we taste one of the most ‘accessible’ version, the Edition n.4. This is a limited edition, very limited indeed, to only 300.000 bottles (…), and it has matured in… hold on, sit down, take a breath… European/American Oak refill butts, European/American Oak refill hogsheads, American Oak first fill Vasyma hogsheads, European Oak first fill Diego Martin Rosado butts, European Oak first fill Jose Y Miguel Martin butts, European Oak first fill Tevasa butts/puncheons and finally European Oak first fill Tevasa hogsheads. Okay, thanks for the transparency, Macallan. The whole line of Editions is about the importance of wood for Macallan: we had tasted Edition n.2 and we liked it very much, so let’s see. Thanks again to Marco Callegari and Velier for the sample.

N. it’s a very ‘brown’ profile, but please don’t be mischievous in drawing hasty conclusions. There is something very sticky, burnt: caramel, burnt apple pie crust, molasses. It goes even deeper with carob and tobacco leaf, dried figs, and sometimes it gets hot (wrote exactly these words in the draft, please have mercy, whatever that means). Banoffie pie, if you know this British aberration. Pecan walnut, giving a bourbon density. A little rancid bloody orange?

P: the body is good, the sustained abv reveals itself inadvertently, and the attack is dominated by very intense flavors: still caramel, carob, bitter orange marmalade (rotten orange, perhaps, at this point?), burnt tart, caramelized banana, still perhaps something tobacco-like. You can taste the wood, with various spices and tobacco leaves. There is, however, something strange, with an acidity almost like sweet and sour sauce.

F: not very long, although intense, with wood, carob and orange.

Unfortunately, we’re in familiar territory: if you write “7 years old” on the label and the price is 40€, I appreciate it; if you make me pay 130€, you don’t tell me the age and you show off, I find myself forced to penalize it. The quality/price ratio is certainly not the best, but anyway, let’s be clear: it’s pleasantly drinkable: and after all, if you’re a billionaire, a 130€ bottle is entry-level and with a 40€ whisky you can barely wash the toilet, probably. If we were Macallan, we’d be meditating a bit on the future: as that guy teaches “today’s reputation is tomorrow’s sales”, and as that other guy teaches “a brand’s reputation is what people say when you’re not in the room”. Anyway, 84/100.

Recommended background music: Sfera Ebbasta – Rich x always.

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