Google Happy International Whisky Day

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2017


Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

March 27, 2017


Happy International Whisky Day!

Every year since 2008, International Whisk(e)y Day celebrates the birthday of the late Michael Jackson, eternal king of whisky writing, and the greatest spirit in the world. Raise a glass on March 27th and help fight Parkinson's Disease!

International Whisky Day


Three rare Macallan for Michael Jackson


Macallan was Michael Jackson’s favourite malt, and I remember some of us used to believe, sometimes, that he was slightly overrating some expressions. But that’s what we call having preferences, and the great man sure had every rights to give very high scores, often 95/100 or more, to his favourite tipple. So, today we’ll try three very different and yet rather emblematic Macallans in his honour, all whiskies that he’s tasted as well. And we’ll have them by ascending strengths if you agree…

Macallan 40 yo 1949/1990 (37.9%, Signatory Vintage, casks #852+855, 280 bottles)

Macallan 40 yo 1949/1990 (37.9%, Signatory Vintage, casks #852+855, 280 bottles) Four stars and a half A rare old under proof bottling, one of the very first ones by Signatory – we’ll soon taste their very first bottling, a Glenlivet 1968. This Macallan is not, by today’s standards, Scotch Whisky anymore, can you guess why? (apologies). Colour: gold. Nose: sublime! Somewhere between some very old Sauternes and old Alsatian Gewurz, with ripe apricots, dandelions, rose petals, honeysuckle, mead, leatherwood honey (just got some fantastic Tasmanian leatherwood honey from a friend, it’s amazing), crushed avocado, almond oil… What a great complexity! The oak doesn’t quite feel as such, that would rather be herbal teas… Mouth: the most fantastic tea ever. It’s so complex, you do not even need more power and strength. Various tobaccos and herbal teas, touches of caraway, earl grey, sandalwood, a little cinnamon, Turkish pastry, various honeys again, a wee bit of leather… Now it sure doesn’t kick you in your teeth, but it never gets flat. Finish: sure it’s a little short, and perhaps a tad dry/oaky. Chlorophyll, tealeaves and a wee touch of soap in the aftertaste. Comments: the nose is pure poetry, while the palate is way above average. Great old wine territory. SGP:351 - 89 points.

Pride of Strathspey 50 yo 1937/1987 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Book of Kells, single malt, decanter, 75cl)

Pride of Strathspey 50 yo 1937/1987 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Book of Kells, single malt, decanter, 75cl) Five stars I believe this was not, contrarily to what many websites wrote, blended malt. And as the MI5 would say, it cannot not be Macallan. How many glories have we already tasted that were coming from this legendary Book of Kells series? Colour: gold. Nose: please have a seat. Precious golden raisins, many honeys, and the most astounding flowery and mentholy development I’ve experienced in recent months. Vanilla pod, orange blossom, pollen, the smallest bit of camphor cream, fresh grape juice (mosto? Paxarette?), dandelions again… This nose is as sublime as the 1949’s. Mouth: some great old cognac, really. Ripe peaches and apples, raisins, some prunes, dried pears, strawberry juice, mead, orange liqueur… And not one ounce of distinguishable oakiness, mind you. As if the spirit had digested it, as we say in the wine world. Finish: medium and amazing, more herbs-forward. Verbena, mint… Comments: I don’t think all Pride of Strathspey have been fabulous, but this one was, for sure. SGP:551 - 93 points.

Macallan 25 yo 1965/1990 ‘Anniversary Malt’ (43%, OB, Giovinetti, 75 cl)

Macallan 25 yo 1965/1990 ‘Anniversary Malt’ (43%, OB, Giovinetti, 75 cl) Five stars We’ve had the 25/1965 in a decanter christened ‘M’ (already!) a while back and had just loved it (WF 93) but I’m not sure it’s the same juice. I’d add that I had found the 1967 in this very series a little disappointing (WF 87). So, there is some suspense… Colour: gold. Nose: same territories as the ‘Pride’, only rather rounder, more candied, and with more dried fruits, including bananas, pears, raisins… Cigars are obvious too in this ‘buy-this-or-buy-a-small-car’ whisky. Rhubarb tarte, with meringue on top of it, and much less sherry than you would think. A wee whiff of wood smoke. Mouth: really similar to the 1937, which rather comes as a surprise. Once again we’re a little in cognac territories (did Michael Jackson ever write about cognac? I cannot remember…) with ripe fresh fruits everywhere, juicy raisins, overripe apples, oranges, and then more and more tropical fruits, rather around ripe bananas. It’s the freshness that’s impressive here, first and foremost, as well as the way it tends to turn more herbal and dry, in a magnificent way. Teas and tobaccos. Finish: medium, on some kind of spicy marmalade, with a stunning freshness. Comments: a grand cru of Scotch whisky, with this amazing complexity that’s not often to be seen in contemporary bottlings anymore. SGP:651 - 94 points.

(To whom this concerns, thank you!)

More tasting notes Check the index of all Macallan I've tasted so far







Whiskyfun's Home
Whiskyfun's Facebook page Whiskyfun's Twitter page Whiskyfun's RSS feed