Macallan Edition No. 2

Whenever I hear we are going to be tasting a Macallan, my taste buds light up. This time around we were graced with two bottles of which I had not heard of.  After a previous sampling of the Macallan Gold, I became a bit hesitant to immediately fall in love with anything that was not a standard aged bottle (i.e.: Macallan 18, my personal favourite).  First up, Edition No 2.
This dram had a wonderful dark caramel colour and on the glass showed some LONG legs.  Brought to the nose, slowly albeit, I was hit with a very strong fragrance specifically caramel and spices.  Preparation for a strong taste ensued.
Well, on the initial taste it felt like it broke apart into a million pieces and left with what felt like no flavour.  A second later all those pieces felt like they themselves exploded into millions more pieces, but this time with a typical warmth I expect from a Macallan.  The colour and nose look and feel continued into the flavour.  Sweet, chocolatey caramel flavours that built on each other the further down it went.  The warmth lingered on for quite a while and just begged for another sip.
For a $175 (CDN) bottle I was very impressed and would definitely look at adding this to the collection.  The only thing that would hold me back is the initial drink of this as it almost felt watery when it hit the tongue.  But as it continued, my wallet started to open up.

Jura Cask Strength

I was excited to try this from the beginning of our meeting. Let’s get the first part of this review finished quickly so we can get to the tasting……. The pleasantly golden amber, blah, blah, blah. Sparkled ever so subtle in the right light, blah, blah, blah. And so on. Now that all that garbage is out off the way, lets begin.

The nose immediately punched me like a heavyweight prize fighter. Despite my best efforts to hide it, I’m sure anyone watching me noticed my head swivel back and to the side as if actually hit by that haymaker punch. Again, but more slowly, and with a degree of caution I didn’t know before, I brought my nose close to the glass. Strong heat, with just a touch of smoke as if someone were barbecuing in the neighbourhood, but you couldn’t tell from where. This had all the characteristics of burning all the way down like drinking pure hot sauce.

What did I get myself into? This, the loudest of my many regretful thoughts going through my mind as I prepared to drink and pulled the glass closer. Initially my gut was telling me I was right. This started to burn with no sign of stopping, making me regret not having any heartburn medication on me. I was not prepared for a sleepless night of tossing and turning. But I was wrong. All of a sudden this opened instantly like someone threw open very heavy and thick blinds in a dark, black painted room, allowing the sunlight to rush in. New flavours started to come to light. Dry spice, fresh ground pepper, clove, waxy smoke, oak, and a sweetness, maybe slight cinnamon. What I once thought was pungent on the nose, turned and became pleasant. How could I have been so wrong?

I was a little braver with my next sip and held it on my tongue. My tongue immediately went fuzzy as if covered in thick fur. But the flavour was worth it. Strong waxy smoke, if there is such a thing, and a slight sweetness. I wanted to try this with a drop of water to see how the profile changed. Although quite tasty, but much better without the water. Drink this one neat.

Never judge a book by its colour is what I was taught, but tonight, this whiskey taught me another lesson. Never judge a whiskey no matter how repulsive that first nose is. This would pair well with sweet fruit like pear. In fact this would be a perfect sipping whiskey for an antipasti platter. Nice stinky blue, or stilton cheese, spicy, salty, and fatty cured meats, bitter olive, sweet pear or grape, crostini, and a smoky dram of Jura.

 Cheers friends!

Macallan Rare Cask

The second Macallan bottle on this ninth anniversary of the club was yet another high-end bottle… Rare Cask.  The presentation of the package, as you can see, obviously makes you want to just crack it open immediately and drink.
Once poured in the glass, it gave off a very familiar look to the Edition No 2.  A medium dark caramel colour and nice long longs.  A little less hesitant than the Edition No 2, I smelt this glass immediately.  Expecting a strong nose, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was much more mellow.  The difference this time was a growing spice smell that became more present with each waft.
The taste was much the same as the Edition No 2 in the sense of the not very strong flavours.  The biggest difference was the warmth just never came.  Chocolate and sherry came through and the complexity was great, but at the end of the day it felt like it was missing something.  It did not last very long, but it was warm.  Seeing the rest of the crowd adding some water, I did the same.  This definitely proved to open up the flavours more now getting a stronger spice flavour profile, including some honey that I had not tasted on the previous sip.  This now lingered a lot longer and warmer but did something strange.. it just disappeared.  Then 30 seconds later it came back with a warmth low in the belly that lasted for the duration of the glass.
For the $400 (CDN), I was not overly impressed.  While it looked like a step up from the Edition No 2, it just did not live up to the hype.  If I had the money and had to choose between these two, I would choose the former any day.