In a Nutshell:
Not a beginner’s whisky – it has quite a fiery kick. Lots of complexity, lots of flavour but I was hoping for more subtlety at this price point (this is personal preference, however, I think I gravitate towards less ‘forward heavy’ whiskies).
I believe it is comparable/equivalent to Macallan’s 15 year sherry oak & fine oak. A heavy whisky for heavy endeavors…
The Macallan Sienna
Sienna is the third of four in the Macallen’s 1824 Series, and I suppose the colour of Sienna earth. As I understand it, these whiskies replace Macallan’s previous core range, and continue Macallan’s tradition of relying heavily on sherry casks.
It is a powerful spirit, quite pronounced on the palette, coming in at 43% ABV (the previous two are 40%). The series a continuation of Macallan’s move towards equating price with colour (which may be true here but is not always the case). Still, it’s an impressive colour, and is completely natural – with no artificial colouring added.
We Drink It, Stuff Happens
Big nose (insert your chosen off colour joke here). Basically an exaggeration on the characteristics of the previous two in the 1824 Series – easy to pick up lots of things!
Dried fruits – figs/raisins, cinnamon and allspice, more vanilla. There’s also a floral note, like in the predecessors, but it is hidden a little by the potency of the alcohol.
Very rich on the palette, the richness lent by some butterscotch flavours. Arriving on your tongue a little like the Mongol hordes falling upon Eastern Europe, Sienna leads with persistent honey and vanilla, followed quickly with a heady citrus kick (more oranges than lemons). This arrives alongside allspice, cinnamon and a little nutmeg, plus a little smoke (not peat smoke).
Breathe out and for a few seconds you are Smaug, but with better breath…
Long and ample. The vanilla persists (you have to ask politely for it to go away) and the orange fades to a less distinct citrus, before eventually leaving you with the butterscotch and then the warmth that was the butterscotch. Like a delicious afterthought.
This whisky becomes very wonderful once you’ve acclimatised your palette after a few drams. Perhaps one to ‘arrive at’ – maybe a bit much to start on… unless you’re really into big, fiery whiskies. Kinda like a full bodied wine, perhaps?
Definitely not something I’d give to a beginner though!
With thanks to the fine people at drinks retailer 31DOVER.com who sent us a bottle of this whisky to try!