Just In 👉 Nikka Whisky Celebrates 90th Anniversary With The...

Whisky Reviews

Macallan Boutique Collection 2020


You ever run into that problem where you're too much of a brand name that the duty free store just can't handle you? No? Well, the same can't be said for Macallan, who in 2019 decided it needed its own airport boutique.

Why? Because Macallan.

Obviously these boutiques are a more immersive experience into Macallan's brand - because one shelf is simply a ridiculous constraint.

Over the past several years, several more have been established - namely Taiwan's Taipei Taoyuan Airport, the Dubai Airport and finally London's Heathrow Airport. 


That the Macallan website shows an arrow toggle (now redundant) on the bottom right seems to suggest that should be more Macallan boutiques than the current three? (Image Source: Macallan)


But of course, a boutique simply won't be enough! And so, Macallan established the Macallan House in the heart of Singapore's city center.

Really, as far as the highly popular Speyside Scotch distillery is concerned, it's Macallan World and we're all just living in it.

That said, these Macallan establishments do come with a nice feature - they get a special bottling named the Macallan Boutique Collection. It appears to be meant as an annual release, however as of 2024, there's only been 4 releases - 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020.

Today we're going to try the Macallan Boutique Collection 2020 courtesy of a friend who brought this along at a recent gathering.


The Macallan House in Singapore.


There's not too much details, but it seems that the 2020 Boutique Collection seeks to pay homage to great water bodies, as inspired by Macallan's own River Spey (home to some great salmon and trout fishing - wonder why they haven't done a sashimi pairing yet). And so the 2020 edition has singled out Canada's Vermillion Lake to pay tribute to - I believe the 2019 edition is the same. It also appears that its ageing has been in a combination of American and European Sherry-seasoned casks - Macallan probably has the most number of unique labels and editions all of which are based on the same cask type. 

Will we ever see a Mezcal cask aged Macallan? Maybe a Wine or Port barrel? Kudos to Macallan for not batting an eye at how the Scotch world has gone fanatical with exotic casks - whether you agree or not, that's some commitment right there.

Anyway, onward!

Macallan Boutique Collection 2020, 52% ABV - Review


Tasting Notes

Colour: Dark honey

Aroma: Big confectionary scents - cigar, brown sugars, chocolate sauce, vanilla cream, cinnamon. Sweet baked pastries, cinnamon rolls, that sort. Quite Bourbon-esque in that sense with all these big and thick sweeter flavours. There’s a touch of incense sticks as well, agarwood. Also a good serving of dried prunes and plums.

Taste: More autumnal and earthy here, but also accompanied by all these dried fruits of raisins and plums. Really full-bodied - brown sugar, tobacco leaves. A noticeable oiliness and bitterness from the barrel char.

Finish: Big warmth here, with a little more pronounced oakiness and bitterness from the barrel char, but thankfully nothing overwhelming. It’s all kept in check with the big and dense dark honey and brown sugar. Alittle more of those aromatic tobacco leaves.


My Thoughts

A stellar modern Macallan - I know that’s a somewhat questionable statement these days, but if it delivered, it delivered - this delivered.

Big, bold flavours, great intensity and power, all whilst maintaining cohesiveness between the darker, sweeter, confectionary flavours and the more earthy autumnal notes. A real flavour bomb! It’s got great depth, a full body of flavour and a hefty texture to sail it all the way home. At the front you’ve got all these baked pastries, whilst at the back it’s a cornucopia of dried fruit. There’s a big oakiness into the finish that did come through as a pronounced bitterness, but thankfully it wasn’t anything overpowering. 

Overall, colour me impressed. A really splendid showing from Macallan that tells me they’ve still got it in them. Why’re you guys holding back?! 


My Rating: 9/10


Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.