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.

Monday, 29 February 2016


Much have been said about The Macallan amongst whisky anoraks over the past years...

First there was the launch of the Fine Oak series, which give us a look at what Macallan tastes like when you mix ex-bourbon and sherry casks. Back then there was an outcry and comments like 'its not The Macallan style' and 'You've ruined Macallan' were uttered. Still, you could get your usual sherry matured age statement Macallans along with your Fine Oaks, only that was about to change as well with the arrival of the Macallan 1824-series in 2013. Gone were the low end age statements and instead we saw the introduction of the 'Gold', 'Amber', 'Sienna' and 'Ruby' and again the uproar was there...

Now, as a whisky anorak I understand this... even if the 'Sienna' and 'Ruby' are good whiskies and the ones worth pursuing in the 1824-series, they are somewhat overpriced... but hey, what whisky isn't overpriced these days or on its way to be? More importantly - we need disclosure - whats in the bottle? if its only 7 years old, tell us so we can make an informed decision on whether we want to spend out hard earned money on what's being offered or if we want to go elsewhere.Now, I know got a bit off topic here, but those following my blog will know that this is an issue I care about *end of rant*

But what about Macallan from bourbon cask, like the ones that went into their Fine Oak series? Well, they're (so far) only available from the independent bottlers... but its my experience that it can work just fine. Macallan actually have a very good base spirit, that, that works just fine if the cask makeup is all right and a little age is added to it. You are, of course, not getting your usual expected sherried style of Macallans, but who says that bad if the cask is good?

This one from Cadenheads is a great example of just that...

Macallan old section - stillhouse no. 1 just visible to the left, June 12th 2013, © The Malt Desk

Macallan 1989 (xx.xx.1989/xx.10.2014) 25yo 51,4%, ex-bourbon barrel, Cadenhead Authentic Collection

Colour is golden

Thick malt, a handful vanilla, some laid back citrus and a slight flora note. I also find a little warm apple pie in here. After a while, what I can only describe as gingery notes peeps through. There's white chocolate and a honeyed creaminess to go with that as well. The alcohol never gets invasive but instead delivers the above notes beautifully.

Incredibly mouth filling with big waves of malt, oranges, vanilla custard and a little toffee. There's a red berry notes in here as well, more apple, hints of pineapple, fresh toast and birthday cake base. Mid to end palate really shows how good a malt spirit this is, as it gets incredibly smooth and the malts just keeps rushing in all the way to the end.

This is great stuff!


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