The Macallan Ruby

The Macallan Ruby
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

The Macallan reorganised its core range in 2012. Most of the age statements were ditched and replaced by colours. Yes, you've read it right: colours. A small risk for a company stating a few years ago that not colour, but maturation was the most important aspect of good quality whisky. Because colour could be faked...

The new range consists of Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby. Luckily no additional colouring is used. Ruby is a vatting of first fill and refill sherry casks and is the darkest whisky in the class of four. If it is also the most mature, that remains to be seen.

Identity Card The Macallan Ruby

  • Official bottling from The Macallan Distillery (Speyside)
  • NAS single malt Scotch whisky
  • First & refill European sherry casks
  • Alcohol: 43% ABV

Sunbathing in a Spanish garden

Tasting notes

Colour: Ruby is the darkest in the series. A deep golden sunset. Swirling leaves thin and quick legs on the glass.

Nose: A very aromatic nose with a lot of sweetness. Dates, oranges, peaches and caramel. Also some slightly bitter notes: oak, dark chocolate and tangerines. With some patience, you'll discover hints of ruby port and nuts.

Water brings up sweet ripe pears.

Taste: The palate is a continuation of the nose. Bitter oak, chocolate and dried fruit cake. And cherries in two varieties: freshly picked cherries and Mon Chéri liquor chocolates.

A dash of water releases spiciness. Pepper and nutmeg or mace.

Finish: A long and warming finish with raisins and orange zest. At the very end, your tongue is being treated to a melting piece of ginger chocolate.


This Macallan Ruby is probably the most complex one of the new 1824 series. A tasty dram showing off some character. By using first fill sherry casks it gets fairly quick his deep colour. Sadly we can only guess the age of the used components.

You"ll easily spend €140 for a whisky ... with a dark colour. Once a certain price ceiling is reached, I do think an educated customer is entitled to more than the basic marketing lingo. Unfortunately, we all noticed that NAS will be the rule rather than the exception.