Friday 6 December 2019

The Macallan Edition No 5 [Tasted #475]

Of the many releases each year from The Macallan, the "Edition" series has become an annual favourite, with fans guessing months in advance what the next release colour might be (so far: Brown, Orange, Yellow, Green, Purple).

Always residing around a central theme (structure, cask, nose, etc..), the whiskies are a fun and varied insight into the distillery, always offering a slightly different take whilst retaining an underlying Macallan familiarity.

More importantly for me though, the series represents one of the distillery's strongest forays into transparency, with plenty of detail on cask make-up (size, type, fill) provided, and even a bit more hidden detail if you know where to look.

For 2019's release (the 5th in the series), the focus is on colour (remember The Macallan never artificially colour their whisky), and to emphasise the point, the distillery even registered their own Pantone colour - "The Macallan Edition Purple". Whether or not you buy into this sort of marketing (personally we think it's a bit of fun, nothing more, nothing less), the focus is, and should be of course, on the liquid.

We've seen Edrington HK  hold a range of events for the series over the years, from the Edition No 2 launch dinner at VEA, to an evening with Roja Dove to celebrate Edition No 3, and last year's lunch launch of Edition No 4. Sadly this year Steph and I could't attend the festivities for Edition No.5 (fun though they looked), but whilst we waited for our bottles to arrive, we made our way over to The ThirtySix Bar & Co to try a bottle they had open in the whisky vault.

The Macallan Edition No 5 (48.5% ABV, NAS, Speyside, Scotland, $1,450HKD)
Colour: Golden treacle

Nose: Instantly a Macallan, with a a slightly floral bouquet, sweet and fresh, with some hints of stone fruit and a slight hint of hay.

Palate: There's that slight matchhead / flint note I find on some recent sherry-influenced cask Macallans, followed by a herbal earthy (yet very subtle) smoke, allspice, raspberry jam and a hint of cigar box.

Finish: Medium to long in length, with residual wafts of ginger, pot pourri, poached pears and toffee.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale):  90/100. A worthy entry into the series - approachable, enjoyable, and and sufficiently different enough to Editions 1-4 to earn its place.

Whether you're an avid Macallan collector, or looking to try your first dram, picking up a bottle of Edition No 5 won't disappoint.



  1. Hi Martin,Did you want to sell your Edition No 5 miniature set?

    1. Apologies for the delay (comment was lost in a sea of spam...). Unfortunately, not for sale sorry!