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

November 8, 2017


Young official Macallan and indie oldies

No ‘colours’ today, no NAS, no funny names…

Macallan 10 yo ‘Sherry Oak’ (40%, OB, +/-2017)

Macallan 10 yo ‘Sherry Oak’ (40%, OB, +/-2017) Three stars Never tried this baby before, but I remember that the old official 10 from around fifteen years ago was rather unimpressive. Now I think a price of £75 for such a 10 yo would make a depressive oyster laugh. Colour: deep gold. Nose: rather light but full of roasted nuts and with a little hay, cappuccino, cognac, brown sugar, crème brulée, and warm cake. A light Macallanness, but a Macallanness indeed. Mouth: rather light, well in keeping with the nose, with these roasted nuts indeed and a wee feeling of coffee-Schnapps. Walnut cake, butterscotch, cassata, raisins. Rather find, very ‘rounded’ (using the word ‘smooth’ is now verboten in Whiskygeekland). Finish: short, with a touch of menthol and liquorice, then earl grey tea and peanut butter. Some drying tannicity in the aftertaste. Comments: really fine, not £75 fine of course, but fine. Like, £40 fine. SGP:351 – 81 points.

Macallan 12 yo ‘Fine Oak’ (40%, OB, +/-2017)

Macallan 12 yo ‘Fine Oak’ (40%, OB, +/-2017) Two stars I found this one rather poor back in 2015 (and earlier). WF 78. Colour: gold. Nose: really very light, all on orange cake and peach jam. Notes of porridge and ale, a large pack of shortbread, a wee winey side (seasoned casks, you see) and touches of butter cream. It’s a tad spirity as well, you would sometimes believe this is 5 yo whisky. Mouth: again, it tastes spirity and too young, rather rough, with some grass, beer, overripe apples, and Fanta. Rather thin body. Walnut skins, perhaps one raisin sitting in a corner. Finish: short, but a little nicer, thanks to a pleasant malty side. Sadly, the aftertaste is a little spirity and raw. Comments: I find it odd that they would have gone this low… SGP:341 - 76 points.

Macallan 25 yo 1991/2017 (51.2%, Hunter Laing, Old & Rare Platinum, 222 bottles)

Macallan 25 yo 1991/2017 (51.2%, Hunter Laing, Old & Rare Platinum, 222 bottles) Three stars Colour: white wine. Nose: no sherry treatment or seasoning here, this is classic pure unsherried well-aged Macallan, with orange cakes, Jaffa cakes, sponge cake, and small biscuits. Indeed, it’s pretty cake-y. Some butterscotch, hay wine, and then whiffs of moss, grass, leaves… With water: whiffs of paraffin, old cardboard box, sour dough… This is really Macallan au naturel. Mouth (neat): oh yes! Bright, rather big, ridden with tangerines and oranges, but also rather grassy again, with notes of ‘inadvertently chewing a cigar’. With water: the fruits are gone, and it really got very leafy and grassy. Green peppercorns, rocket salad, green tea, thyme… Finish: long and really very grassy. Lime peel. Comments: it all started very well but the grassy side won over. Not that I dislike grassy whiskies of course, but I’m not sure I’m into such grassy whiskies at £1,300 a bottle. Could have been Glen Spey or Glendullan. SGP:361 - 80 points.

Macallan 25 yo (48.8%, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, batch #5, 126 bottles, +/-2017)

Macallan 25 yo (48.8%, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, batch #5, 126 bottles, +/-2017) Five stars This lovely little bottle comes with a handicap, it was voted ‘Scotch Single Malt of the Year (Single Cask) 2017’ by one funny writer who gave it 97 points. But I suppose you can't let a little thing like that stand in our way, can you? Colour: amber. Nose: whiffs of sulphur at first nosing (ha ha!) but that’s not a problem here, quite the contrary, that adds depth. Bicycle inner tube, then orange peel, tangerines above everything, peonies, lilies, and a whole jeroboam of well-vintaged Sauternes. Which, naturally, comes with apricots and quinces. Let’s be honest, this is a stunning nose that reminds me of the Macs that used to be distilled in the 1950s. Pretty brilliant indeed. Mouth: okay, okay, okay. Even if this is more old Cognac than malt whisky, I’d say it’s brilliant, with even more ripe peaches and apricots, totally in the Cognac way. I’m finding a little rancio, a dollop of chestnut liqueur, and hints of orange blossom and rose waters. You could pour this over some brioche, or better yet, proper artisanal vanilla ice cream. Finish: long, a tad grape-y, with notes of pipe tobacco and Timut pepper. Comments: indeed, indeed, fabulous old Cognac ;-). SGP:641 - 91 points.

We have a winner, ite Missa est.

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






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