01-June-2016 Update: The Macallan Double Cask 12 Year Old was launched late last week in Taiwan, so it’s NOT a USA exclus ive.
I was told that it’s now coming to Hong Kong, then US/North America and eventually it will be available in Europe as well! So European Macallan fans should rejoice as the age statement is coming your way too.
There are fundamental moments when a whole industry takes a turn, and if you look at the whisky industry, you can surly peg the Macallan 1824 series release as the first large (large? huge!) harbinger of the NAS trend that has been sweeping through the whisky industry in the last few years. I remember being in shock back then in September 2012 when Macallan announced the 1824 series. Seriously? Ditching the age statement core line up and instead bring a new line up that use colors to represent taste (and to some degree, age too)?
Well, it wasn’t a full line up replacement when the 1824 series was unleashed onto the world as some markets still retained the Fine Oak and Sherry Oak line ups. But even so, the flood gates were open since then and we’ve seen many NAS releases, from Macallan (the 1824 collection in Travel Retail market) and other major players in the industry such as other members in the Edrington group (Highland Park warriors series anyone?), Diageo, Grant’s and others. Some NAS releases were merely additions to existing line ups yet far too many were replacing existing age statement whiskies entirely or in different markets.
But guess what? After over 3 years, Macallan are ready to release a new whisky with an age statement on it!
Shocking, isn’t it? So the obvious questions are:
- Is this release the harbinger of age statement comeback or is it a lone ‘incident’ out there?
- Is it geared at the USA market only, where the Sherry Oak is still widely available, or will it be a widely available whisky?
- Does it mean that the 1824 series isn’t a big sales hit as expected? Perhaps demand isn’t as high as previously forecasted and sales (of this series and overall) are declining (with all the major implications)?
- Why would they release a new expression that its’ oak usage sits between the Sherry Oak and the Fine Oak? Is there a shortage of European sherry casks in Macallan warehouses?
- Does it means we’re going to see more releases in this series? 18 Year Old Double cask and others?
- If so, does it signal that customers still want age statement on their bottles and so it will mark the beginning of the end for the 1824 series and the NAS trend?
At the moment we’re still in the dark and cannot answer those questions , based on this single release. Time till tell and we promise to follow up this and update you on further developments. Slainte!