Google The wee duos, today The Macallan

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

July 26, 2018


The wee duos, today The Macallan

What I’ve learnt throughout roughly twenty years of whisky blogging and webbing and stuff, is that the ‘The’ in front of some distillery names was a nightmare in spreadsheets. How many Macallans have I missed because they were classified under ‘T’ instead of ‘M’? Or Dalmores? What’s more many others seem to be joining those ranks these days, the funniest being The Glenallachie – excuse me, The GlenAllachie – or The Yamazaki, the Lexus of malt whisky. Come on, how do you say ‘The’ in Japanese? Now, imagine they’d all use the ‘The’, that would instantly solve our spreadsheet problems! And should we expect a The Jaegermeister anytime soon? The Marmite? The Irn Bru? But Enough of this pointless chitchat, let’s have some The Macallan on THE Whiskyfun... Or yeah, as we used to write, Macallan (The). Pfff…

Macallan 18 yo ‘Fine Oak’ (43%, OB, +/-2017)

Macallan 18 yo ‘Fine Oak’ (43%, OB, +/-2017) Three stars
I think, but I may be wrong, that this is discontinued. Given what we had written when that range came out in 2004 (WF 80 for this 18), I don’t think we’ll mourn this passing for too long. Now you can still find this bottle very easily from many shops. Colour: gold. Nose: this is why we weren’t liking it too much, it’s pretty un-Macallan despite these nice fudge-y/smoke-y touches. A lot of cakes for sure, Jaffas, burnt kougelhopf, caramel, black nougat… Gets then much more floral, which is rather Macallan indeed this time, with some jasmine and even violets, as well as some dried fruits, mainly figs. Improves with oxygen, I would say – less a shock than when it came out. In other words, we got used to these styles of Macallan since the early 2000s. Mouth: well, after an okay arrival it tends to get a little rough, without much of that trademark silkiness from times gone by, fewer dried fruits, and rather some gritty oakiness, pepper, cinnamon… A little burnt caramel and coffee, and lastly, touches of marmalade that really save it (and us). Good body at 43%, though. Finish: medium, grassy and peppery, rough. Comments: as if it was too young. Any old classic vintaged 18 over this anytime. In short - and by definition - I can’t remember a more forgettable Macallan 18.
SGP:461 - 81 points.

Macallan 15 yo (40%, Rest & Be Thankful, bourbon, 119 bottles, 2016)

Macallan 15 yo (40%, Rest & Be Thankful, bourbon, 119 bottles, 2016) Four stars and a half
Isn’t it a bit strange that an indie bottler would issue a Macallan at a measly 40% vol. and without any vintage statement? Colour: white wine. Nose: unusual and, I have to say, intriguing, with quite a lot of tobacco and ‘nicer’ notes of stewed cabbage, then some rather clear notes of dunder rum, unless I’m dreaming. As I wrote, this is intriguing, and certainly more interesting than the moderately emotional OB. Mouth: really very good, I’d have loved to find this at 46 or 50% (the whisky taster’s usual lament). Excellent bread and orange blossom, with a little cane juice (but still not sure there was some rum involved),  candy sugar, perfect notes of ale, turron and crushed pecans, and just some good, solid bread. What’s better than good bread? Finish: medium, with welcome touches of oranges and a feeling of praline and gingerbread. Roasted coated peanuts. Comments: terrific juice that would have deserved, yeah, 3 extra-percent ABV. But indeed, there would have been eve fewer bottles…
SGP:552 - 88 points.

Really happy with that 15, and although I know this was meant to be a duo, let’s have a third Macallan, and hopefully an old one…

Macallan 25 yo (42%, Southwark Distillers for Cantoni Bernardo, Alpa SNC, Italy, 1980

Macallan 25 yo (42%, Southwark Distillers for Cantoni Bernardo, Alpa SNC, Italy, 1980) Four stars
Actually, I have no proof that this is Macallan, but as some trustworthy friends say it is, well, we shall believe them. And a little math, 1980 – 25 = 1955. So, this is early 1950s malt whisky, and if it is well early 1950s Macallan, it may be a total killer… Colour: gold/cognac. Nose: but who the hell did break the mould? Cigars and teas, dried apricots and quinces, dates and figs, raisins, old cognac and the usual rancio, chicken broth and miso soup, old Sauternes and moscatel… All superb, but it tends to lose steam a wee bit and to become a little booky (meaning it smells of old books) and cardoardy. No big deal! Mouth: a wee bit of wrong OBE (a wee touch of soap) but other than that, we’re finding all what’s needed from an old Mac’. Roasted nuts, tobacco, raisins, chocolate, Seville oranges, earthy teas, English soups, touches of salt, hints of wood smoke… Finish: astonishingly long, it’s just a (moderate) shame that these smidgens of soap keep pestering us. Comments: wonderful. Sure 91+ without that wee flaw that just wouldn’t go away. And I’ve been waiting!
SGP:462 - 86 points

(Merci Nicolas!)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Macallan we've tasted so far






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