Review: The Macallan’s New Single Malt Is (Semi) Affordably Delicious

“Estate” is a welcome addition to your home bar

The Macallan Estate

How do you celebrate your new $250 million distillery?

With whisky, of course.

The Macallan — founded in 1824 by a barley farmer — just released Estate, a $250 single malt distilled from (in part) barley grown on the company’s 485-acre Easter Elchies estate.

For the new release, the liquid is distilled once a year over the course of a single week at the Macallan’s Speyside home, which now features a $250 million distillery and visitor experience that opened last summer. 

The Macallan’s homegrown barley is usually reserved for the rarest and sought-after (and most expensive) whiskies in the brand’s portfolio, so consider Estate a chance for everyday Scotch drinkers to try something new … without spending five or six figures.

“With its wonderful sweet citrus hints and warming wood spice, The Macallan Estate is a rich, satisfying and complex spirit that pays homage to the fertile Speyside lands where The Macallan is located,” said Sarah Burgess, Whisky Maker for The Macallan, in a statement. 

We were fortunate enough to try Estate at a private event by The Macallan in New York earlier this month. Some quick thoughts: 

The Macallan Estate
While the bottles were locked up, we were able to test a dram of Estate (Photo: Kirk Miller)

On the eye: A rich chestnut hue

On the nose: Wood spice, orange, cinnamon

In the mouth: A bit of citrus, vanilla and a lot of dried fruit (“candied raisin” was a term bandied about), along with an oakiness. 

The Macallan Estate packaging

Overall: Do you like the sherry notes of The Macallan 12? That’s very close to what you’re getting here, at a slightly higher ABV. Is it worth the extra duckets? Well, the best whiskies are about the stories — if you’ve visited the distillery, that may leave you impressed enough to spend the extra money.

For what it’s worth, The Macallan suggests the bottle works as a theme — such as celebrating your new home or going to a housewarming, though we’d add that those lucky friends receiving a bottle of Estate had better have a deep appreciation of Scotch.

Packaged in a gift box featuring landscape-inspired design and aerial photography of the barley fields, Estate will be available for $250 from select whisky retailers this summer.


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