Google Three Disparate Macallan

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

May 27, 2017





Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
Three Disparate Macallan
It's difficult to know where to begin when you have a three quite 'separate' Macallan from different eras of production. I think we'll work backwards in time, even though that will mean having the lowest ABV one last. I suspect it will be able to rise to the occasion though...


Macallan 30 yo (46.5%, Boutique-y Whisky Co., Sherry cask, Batch 7, 272 bottles, 2016) Macallan 30 yo (46.5%, Boutique-y Whisky Co., Sherry cask, Batch 7, 272 bottles, 2016) Colour: Mahogany. Nose: Instantaneously classical, pure sherried Macallan. A cavalcade of prunes, dates, crushed walnuts, balsamico and damp earth. Develops further with all these wonderful tertiary aromas of pipe tobacco, hessian, coal hearth and some jammy red fruit notes. It's a delightful, clean and balanced nose that would make diehard Macallan fans squee. Some toffee, liquorice and fresh banana bread follows on although globally it actually starts to feel like quite a dry and lean sherry style. Mouth: Syrupy fruit liqueurs of the strawberry, orange and banana kind along with wood spice, a little natural tar, some more liquorice and something a little sappy. There is an extractive edge to the wood but it has a thickness that keeps the tannins (mostly) in check. Becomes quite spicy in an oriental way with notes of soy and five spice, also quite a bit of high cocoa dark chocolate with sea salt. It's good but it's really walking a bitter tightrope. Finish: Medium-long with some black pepper and strong tea. Not so much fruit around but more earthiness, dried mushrooms, umami and spice. Comments: I feel this would have been really perfect had it been caught 2-3 years sooner. However, it is a very drinkable and very good old, sherry matured Macallan. One that feels steadfastly loyal to the character that this distillery built (and broke?) a reputation on. Only the slight excessive woodiness on the palate holds it back for me. SGP: 524 - 87 points.  


Macallan-Glenlivet 30 yo 1963/1993 (52.6%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection)

Macallan-Glenlivet 30 yo 1963/1993 (52.6%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection) This is one of many 30 year olds that Cadenhead put out in this series around 1993/94, almost all of which I've found to be stellar. Needless to say, high expectations here... Colour: light gold. Nose: It's a totally different world from the Boutique-y. We're in a garden of wild flowers with wax candles burning and all kinds of flinty, mineral notes peeping through. Notes of pollen, dried herbs such as chives, parsley and thyme. Some lemon oil, sorrel, white pepper, a lightly grassy olive oil. Totally beautiful, a whisky that feels 'confident'. With water: bracken, nettles, some ink and more citrus. The kind of tertiary complexities you just cannot ever recreate by throwing active wood at a distillate. Only refill wood and time can create this kind of profile. Mouth: Perfect delivery. All on coal, lemon skins, minerals, a touch of ash, various oils and something like aged mead. Doesn't feel anything like 30 years old but at the same time it is not immature either. Just pure and brilliant in its precision and depth of flavour. You could quaff obscene quantities of this stuff! With water: the texture becomes oilier and there are more herbal notes. Little touches of aged yellow Chartreuse and a peppery watercress note. Finish: Long, lemony, peppery, waxy and glorious. A big flush of anise in the aftertaste. Comments: Unsurprisingly brilliant. SGP: 553 - 92 points. (Thanks Dirk)



Macallan 56 yo 1946 (44.3%, OB, Fine & Rare, cask #46/3M, +/-2002) Macallan 56 yo 1946 (44.3%, OB, Fine & Rare, cask #46/3M, +/-2002) Part of Macallan's rather bonkers Fine & Rare series. I always adored the 1946 vintage bottling by Macallan, not to mention other incredible 1946s such as the Campbell Hope & King bottling, but this is effectively a cask strength single cask of similar stock so hopes are high... Colour: Light amber. Nose: the purest, most intense honey! A total beehive of pollens, honeycomb and lightly peated mead (I really feel this should be made to exist somehow). We're not far away from many of these old G&M wartime glories bottled in the 1980s but the few extra cask strength degrees here make a big difference. You can feel the fullness and the thickness of the aromas on the nose. The rest is just a riddle of camphor, green tea, lemon skin, all kinds of oils, rancio, some spice, a little tropical fruit, I should stop. Just assume this is where all the kitchen sinks went at Macallan in 1946. What a nose! Mouth: There is power up front on delivery and no tiredness which is reassuring. It's a delicate old beauty but it feels like you are drinking more of an ancient liquor composed of the most delicate peat oils, tropical fruit syrups, cocoanut, natural tar, rancio and honey. The wood is present but beautifully poised with this nervous, almost zingy spiciness, no aggression whatsoever, like drinking the inside of a 1930s Gibson acoustic. A wee poem of a dram! Finish: The length is good, although perhaps not technically the longest, but it practically gurgles on the way down and leaves this deep, lasting warmth with resinous old phenolics, the softest waxiness and a touch of soot and fruit. Comments: It's annoying. I think part of me didn't want to like this one as much as I did. And I have to confess, I did try this whisky before but didn't get a chance to take notes. I was impressed then but I'm even more impressed now. It looses maybe one point for a slight shortness on the finish, but otherwise it's poetry from start to finish. SGP: 645. 94 points. (Merci Patrick and Gérard)  








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