It’s always a doozy when a leading brand moves to further strengthen its position in the market. Take Macallan as a recent for instance. Based in Moray, Scotland, Macallan is the third largest-selling whisky brand in the world. Founded in 1824—the same year Beethoven released his phenomenal Missa Solemnis, by the way, as though further proof of cosmic alignment—the distillery boasts a line of regular editions that are often received with the reverence usually reserved for the limited ones.
So you can imagine, then, the pomp that accompanies the specials. A 1926 Macallan remains one of the most expensive bottles of whisky ever sold. And The Macallan 10 Years Old was named the official Scotch of the Speaker of the House of Commons in 2001.
Continuing this limited edition pedigree is The Macallan Edition No. 2. This highland single malt Scotch whisky was blended by Bob Delgarno, who has been master maker under the Macallan brand since 1996, and the Spanish chefs Joan, Josep, and Jordi Roca. (El Celler de Can Roca, a Catalan restaurant often voted best in the world by industry insiders, holds three Michelin stars.)
Founded in 1824—the same year Beethoven released his phenomenal Missa Solemnis, by the way, as though further proof of cosmic alignment
The Macallan Edition No. 2 was launched through an exclusive tasting held at Bonifacio Global City’s Manila House, which, if rumors hold true, counts no more than a thousand members. That evening, enthusiasts met with Macallan showrunners in an intimate corner of the main bar as thumping house and chill electronica tunes formed the backdrop to the whisky susurrus. The food was great, too. But the star was the drink.
Sampled straight up or mixed whiskey sour style, the No. 2’s character immediately distinguished itself: rich, not too sweet, and full of body. Light golden in color, it boasted flavors of vanilla, black pepper, and clove and hints of hazelnut, dark chocolate, and oak. Perhaps surprising to anyone used to Macallan’s dark and woody signature, this blend’s nose was fruity. But it settled on the palate with a balanced and pleasant oiliness, at once toned down and enhanced with a splash of water. It had none of that aggressive smoky undertone to most drams, and certainly none of the negative, sometimes even violent ways one’s body reacts to even the most expensive whiskies on the market.
The No. 2 follows what is now an annual limited edition series. The No. 1 is still relatively easy to procure, although Macallan fans have been stocking up for the inevitable dearth. This follow-up, which is just as complex and drinkable, is shaping up to be another must for collectors.
This article was originally published in the November 2017 issue of Rogue.
Photo courtesy of Frank Shrope