GSN Presents: The 2017 Advent Gift Guide – Day 23

With only two days to go until Christmas Eve, there’s not enough time to order gifts.  So, until then, we’re going to suggest some items that we’ve rated highly this year that you can find in your local liquor store (hopefully).  For Day 23, we’re focusing on the 30 spirited products that received a GSN Rating of A (93) during 2017.

  1. Amarula Cream Liqueur
  2. Corbin Cash Sweet Potato Liqueur
  3. Deadhead Dark Chocolate Rum
  4. Don Ciccio & Figli Nocino Walnut Liqueur
  5. Don Ciccio & Figli Amaro delle Sirene
  6. Dunedin DoubleCask 16 Year Old
  7. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch No. A117
  8. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch No. B517
  9. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch No. C917
  10. El Tesoro 80th Anniversary Limited Edition
  11. Frisco Brandy
  12. Galliano L’Aperitivo
  13. Haikara Yuzu Sake
  14. Highland Park Valkyrie
  15. Hirsch Small Batch 8 Year Old High Rye Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  16. Jura 10-Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  17. Kavalan Pedro Ximénez Single Cask Whisky
  18. Laphroaig Cairdeas Quarter Cask 2017 Edition
  19. Lucid Absinthe
  20. The Macallan Edition No. 1
  21. The Macallan Edition No. 2
  22. Tap 357 Maple Rye Whisky
  23. Marble Distilling Co. Vodka
  24. Marble Distilling Co. Gingercello
  25. McKenzie Single Barrel Rye Whiskey
  26. Montanya Exclusiva Rum
  27. Redemption Wheated Bourbon
  28. South Island 25 Year Old Single Malt
  29. Union Horse Rolling Standard Four Grain Whiskey
  30. Westland Distillery’s 2017 Peat Week Commemorative Bottling

GSN Review: The Macallan Edition No. 1 & No. 2


The Macallan distillery is a single malt Scotch whisky distillery in Craigellachie, Moray. Founded in 1824, they debuted The Edition Series in 2015. The Macallan Edition is an annual limited edition series. Each year, a unique selection of casks will be handpicked to create a new Edition and will be co-created with different partners. The series exemplifies the diversity of oak casks used in the maturation of The Macallan whiskies, as crafted by the Master Whisky Maker, Bob Dalgarno.

The first release in the limited edition series. The inaugural bottle’s theme is co-creation, while showcasing our mastery of wood. Each year, a special selection of oak casks will be handpicked to create a new Edition, inspired by Macallan lovers from around the world and co-created with different partners. Edition No. 1 fuels the demand for innovation, craftsmanship and collectability. The proportions of various cask types were hand-selected by master whisky maker, Bob Dalgarno. Edition No.1 is matured in 8 unique European and American oak cask styles and sizes, each contributing their own distinct character. Edition No.1 showcases light and soft oak notes, vibrancy, as well as rich and darker spice flavors. A truly multi-dimensional whisky bottled at 48% ABV.

The Macallan Edition No. 1  (96 proof)
Visual: Dark brass.
Nose: Tight, expressive nose of clover honey, toasted wood, saddle leather, dried plum.
Taste: Rich and intense blast of heathery malt with just the lightest touch of peat.  Again, there is a very tight integration of the characters involved. Some elements which do surface are bitter orange peel, saline, dried stone fruit and peppered vanilla bean.  Very straightforward and quite in the Macallan style.
Finish: Medium long.  The fade out is dry and crisp.
Overall: A very fine whisky that holds no surprises, but is masterfully blended and aged.
GSN Rating: A

image001A creative collaboration between Bob Dalgarno, our master whisky maker and the three Roca brothers, co-founders of El Celler de Can Roca, twice named best restaurant in the world, Edition No. 2 unites these four masters in one spirit. The distinctive and dynamic character of Edition No. 2 has been shaped by not only by the use of seven exceptional oak cask types from four different Bodegas but by the creative spirit of each of the four collaborators, combining flavors to reflect each of their distinctive personalities in the resulting whisky. Drawn from European and American oak casks, this limited edition is a character-full single malt that showcases our extraordinary commitment to sourcing and selecting only the very best of casks for The Macallan.

The Macallan Edition No. 2  (96.4 proof)
Visual: Dark brass.
Nose: A lot of high, ethereal notes with the malt playing the bass end of the spectrum.  Mostly wood expressions, with some slight honey and vanilla bean.
Taste: In the mouth, the effect is of a broad mid-range.  A ton of wood that almost overwhelms, but pauses just at the brink.  Some salinity, negligible smokiness.  Very round, comforting and relaxed.
Finish: Medium long, with a tannic edge that keeps biting.  This effect is softened with a splash of water, but don’t overdo it.
Overall: Quite different from Edition No. 1, and perhaps more experimental.  It’s darker, more subdued than the first edition, but also more in line with the character of an old-school single malt.  A nice bookend for these limited editions.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: The Macallan