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.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


Much have been said about the current style of Macallan - the Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby...

Statements like 'a shadow of it self...' 'thin and without heart...' and 'Where has my Macallan gone?' has been seen posted on social media but if you look at it from the average whisky drinkers point of view, this is probably still good whisky, right? Well, we're all at different places on our whisky journey and the many people drinking these new expressions will most likely not know (or even care) what older versions tasted like and are also most likely not prepared to put down the money to find out... and for that reason these NAS expressions will probably live on - sadly!

Don't get me wrong, they're fine for the businessman rushing through the airport while wanting to pick up something with a popular brand name on, but they're no longer enough for the malt anorak with lots of malt mileage under his belt - then again, the anoraks are not where the turnover is to be found, volume sales is generated by an entirely different customer base...

Here and there, however, are bottles of Macallan tucked away under staircases and in cupboards, like at the place of a very good whisky friend of mine... Recently he brought out a heavily sherried Macallan to enjoy with friends as it should be... 

Macallan fishing hut on the distillery beat on the Spey River, June 13th 2013 © The Malt Desk

Macallan 1990 14yo (13.02.1990/xx.06.2004) 59,8%, sherry butt#2643, 201 bottles, Blackadder

Colour is mahogany

Starts big and somewhat dirty with some matchstick sulphur.
Wet tobacco leaves, very ashy and earthy, leather, prunes, reduced balsamico, dark chocolate and a well sized alcohol attack on the nose.

Big and meaty! this could be a Mortlach! There's certainly a Mortlach style sulphury edge to it. The alcohol delivers a huge punch and the whole thing seems a bit hot to begin with, but time will calm this down a bit.

There's that leather again, notes of earthiness and mushrooms and burnt coffee - very closed in fact! A little water brings out some expected dark fruit notes, overripe oranges, black pepper. Even with water this show a distinct and not that well integrated oaky side.

A big brute of a Macallan! Much of it because of its high alcohol strength...


Thanks to JBH for the big dram and sample!

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