The Wild Boar Malt of the Month – Macallan Gold

George, our Master of Malt at The Wild Boar, introduces us this month to the Macallan Distillery, one of the largest and most famous of Scotland’s whisky producers. 

Humble beginnings

Macallan was founded in 1824 by Alexander Reid and the distillery was operated from the original buildings of Macallan farm. It was named Elchies distillery after a nearby estate and this name was used until 1980 when the decision was taken to change it to Macallan. The distillery changed ownership a number of times during its early days and some much needed stability came when Roderick Kemp took control in 1892. He had previously been the co –owner of Talisker on the Isle of Skye and Macallan remained in the control of his family until 1994, when it was sold to a consortium of the Japanese company, Suntory and the Highland Distillers Group.

Whiskey barrels at the Macallan Distillery. Photo: Christian
Whiskey barrels at the Macallan Distillery. Photo by: Christian

Small, but perfectly formed stills

Macallan is one of the largest and most famous distilleries in Scotland and has a capacity of 6 million litres a year. The distillery has 21 stills and while this is a large amount, each one is small, rotund and stands at less than 4 metres tall. This produces the richer, creamier spirit that Macallan has become renowned for.

The Macallan Distillery. Photo by: Martin Thomas
The Macallan Distillery. Photo by: Martin Thomas

In 2004, a series of whiskies called ‘fine oak’ were released with the idea of attracting new customers to Macallan. These are matured for some time in the sherry casks but  then transferred to bourbon casks.

The decision to stop the production of Age Statement whiskies below the age of 18 Years was taken in 2012. At this point the distillery started to produce Non-aged Statement (NAS) whiskies which in turn allows them to use younger whiskies in their core range. The 1824 Series was born and the Macallan Gold was the first of their NAS core range.

The Macallan 1824 Series – Macallan Gold


  • Colour: Burnished Gold.
  • Nose: Lemon citrus, then orange peel and sweetness that softens but doesn’t eliminate the zest. A note of vanilla followed more assertive by dark chocolate – with lingering floral and light oak notes.
  • Palate: Citrus and boiled sweets dance on the palate, along with hints of ginger and cinnamon, while soft oak tones reveal toasted apples.
  • Finish: Medium sweet, malty and slightly dry.

Whisky Tasting at The Wild Boar

George Hutton, Master of Malt
George Hutton, Master of Malt

Join George, our master of malt for our regular Whisky Tasting Evenings at The Wild Boar to learn more about our favourite whiskies.

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