About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Saturday, 20 December 2014


This distillery needs no introduction, so I'm not going to bore you with one.... and instead of a rant about the 1824-series and the descision Macallan to remove the age statement from its core range, let's have a look at what Macallan actually will do for the area around the village of Craigellachie when the huge expansion of the distillery is taking place.

Due for opening in Spring 2017, the expansion of The Macallan distillery will see its production heading very much in a green direction with a bio mass plant in Craigellachie producing of the steam energy needed on site from bio fuel sourced from forests locally. Not an entire new idea as Ardnamurchan GlenBeg Distillery started doing this already this year, but its going to be on much large scale in Speyside.

Here are a few facts released so far:

  • Up to 90% of the energy need for production will be produced at the new plant
  • 120+ new jobs will be created temporarily as a result of the expansion
  • New jobs will be created on site too after the expansion is completed
  • 20.000 homes is said to be supplied with energy as well
  • Changing from natural gas to bio fuel will save as much energy as taking the equivalent of 18.000 cars of the road

But let's return to the whisky... a Macallan distilled almost 30 years ago...

Easter Elchies House at Macallan Distillery, after midnight on June 13th 2013 © The Malt Desk

Macallan 1985 29yo 24.128 (25.04.1985) 'Posh ladies on the prom!' 51,1%, Refill ex-bourbon hogshead, 209 bottles, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Colour is full straw

Very concentrated of thick malt, vanilla, ginger, floral/perfumy, slightly soapy notes (in a good way!) Tangerines, honey, wax and carries overall a lovely balance oak profile thats not at all invasive at 51,1%. The nose turn more fruity as we go along, mainly on heavy banana, apple and nectarines and thick, almost ale-like maltiness

2 soft seconds on arrival, then a hot and oaky attack which can be remedied by a few drops of water. When those are added sweet oranges, Haribo apricot winegums and raspberry meringue is immediately revealed to your palate. Also some sweet cookie dough in there.

This goes into über fruity overdrive if you give it time and a few drops of water... but it also doesn't go all over the place or displays huge complexity. It instead shows a more narrow (and very good!) profile and carries much of the same tropical fruitiness as Edrington's Orkney distillery Highland Park when matured for a long time on an ex-bourbon cask... minus the added smoky profile of the Highland Park, though :)

Nice dram indeed, but the initial hot attack on the palate makes this one come in a couple of points short...
and as you might imagine, being Macallan, this carries quite a heft price tag... £400 in the UK and around £300 in Denmark


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