Macallan Jubilee Bottling

The Macallan Diamond Jubilee lo (1)

I was quite surprised when this sample popped through my letterbox (it was a really nice surprise though, as my week had been long!). I really didn’t think Macallan would need anyone to review this. After all, it’s the Macallan Jubilee bottling for God’s sake. It’s got the Queen’s face on it, it’s a Jubilee year, it’s Macallan. All of these elements mean that it will sell and sell quickly. It’s limited to the UK, so all of those overseas royal family fans will have to buy it on auction sites, Ebay, or any of the other places that whisky is bought and sold in the wild west that is the collectibles market.

On the subject of the Royals, these Jubilee celebrations have definitely brought out a little bit of Republican in me. Celebrating some people who weren’t elected but have a huge amount of influence, live in a fancy homes and travel the World on the UK’s behalf and on tax payers money. Weird. Not a big fan. I don’t want to get rid of them necessarily, but maybe they should have less power and significance. I respect some of them for the way they have conducted themselves (including and especially the Queen), but I think they shouldn’t get such adulation. Back on to the whisky before I start ranting…

This bottle will cost you 350 of your finest British pounds, and there are 2012 bottles of it, so it is a medium sized offering. I think much of it will be bought to be sold on, and I reckon those people who sell it will make a profit, but on this, whisky companies can’t win really. If Macallan had priced it at 80 quid, that would have been cheap. The bottles would spend years being bought and sold before someone paid the correct value and just cracked the thing open. Royal collectors who genuinely wanted a bottle would complain if it was too cheap, as it would sell out within seconds and they would fail to get the bottle to add to their royal mugs, china corgis and other royal memorabilia (guff) . If companies price it too highly, whisky geeks (I’m allowed to say it, I am one) would slam them for profiteering and start warning about the expensive whisky bubble bursting. Damned if you do, drammed if you don’t. Or something like that. On to tasting notes;

Macallan Jubilee Bottling
2012 Bottles
52% ABV
£350 from here

Nose: At first, honey, followed by raisins, pralines, white chocolate buttons. For me, it’s quite a delicate and refined nose. Quite lovely. It’s pretty cold in Casa Hoban this evening, so I am warming the glass to see if this whisky has more to say. Stewed apples and a little hint of nutmeg after warming.

Palate: At cask strength, it is too strong. That may sound stupid, but let me explain. Some whiskies at cask strength are fine. You exclaim “that doesn’t taste like 60 per cent!” but there are other whiskies that need water. Without water it just had a slight caramel hint, slight honey hint and a fire.

With water: Spice, oakiness, tannins, light grapey notes and light notes of plums. I want more from this! On the nose it showed potential, but it just doesn’t take my breath away. It’s fine, but almost feels a little restrained. I want more fruitiness, sherried notes and honey.

Finish: Actually, the finish is quite nice. Bit more sweetness.

Overall: If you love the royals, go for it. It’s a funny dram, because the nose is lovely, and the finish is grand, but the palate just lacks a little punch. If you want an awesome Macallan, buy the 18yo instead. Buy 2 or 3 bottles. It’s stunning.

Chris Hoban

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