Google Macallan new NAS and proper

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

May 14, 2019


Macallan new NAS and proper

Certainly not a premier cru anymore, and probably not a second or third one either, but you never know. Some crus bourgeois can be excellent! And after all, they cannot have totally broken the mold over there in Craigellachie.

Macallan ‘Classic Cut 2018’ (51.2%, OB)

Macallan ‘Classic Cut 2018’ (51.2%, OB) Three stars
More NAS, sadly, but a higher strength, which makes for some wee compensation. Hope this baby will be more satisfying than the pretty weak ‘Rare Cask’ that we tried a few weeks ago. Please note that this is a limited edition (90,000 bottles, right…) Colour: gold. Nose: some green and grassy sherry upfront, with quite some gunpowder and struck matches, and a certain rawness. Green walnuts, bitter oranges, a little fresh thuja wood, a touch of menthol, leaves, just a wee hint of rubber… It’s all a little rustic but I find this pleasant. Some parts remind me of the old 10 C/S, only with less roundness. With water: a little more sulphur, used matches, bitter leaves, raisins and really a lot of oak spices. Woodwork. Mouth (neat): a little heavy on the oak indeed (nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger that suggest European oak), then peppery and orange-y. Seville oranges, walnuts, more leaves, grape pips... Rustic again but not quite brutal. With water: nice, peppery, spicy, dry. Young oloroso, tobacco. It hasn’t got much of the old oranges and chocolate style left, though. Finish: medium, green, spicy, a tad bitter. Comments: a little rough, probably one for the hipflask.
SGP:461 - 82 points.

Let’s see if an earlier batch is in a higher league…

Macallan ‘Classic Cut 2017’ (58.4%, OB)

Macallan ‘Classic Cut 2017’ (58.4%, OB) Three stars
Higher league, we wouldn’t know yet, but a higher strength for sure. In general, the bottling strengths within these yearly series tend to go down year after year. Pure magic, I suppose. Colour: golden amber. Nose: even rougher than the 2018, but that may be the higher strength indeed. This time we’re finding a little tar and rather more earth, as well as bags of pine needles, eugenol, menthol, pinesap and such. Some raw cocoa powder too, as well as hard-boiled eggs. Not obligatorily a good sign, we agree. The jury’s still out… With water: cherries, nail polish, chocolate, used matches, mushrooms… Mouth (neat): unusual. Varnish at first, then Williams pears (is it that young?), grapefruits, some sulphur again, eating black pipe tobacco… I’m not too sure, I have to say. With water: black tea, tobacco, sulphur, bitter oranges, bitter chocolate, cloves, amontillado, walnut wine… All rather good things, but it’s a tad dissonant. Finish: medium, a notch sweeter, but there’s a bitterness in the aftertaste that’s not very pleasant. Comments: sort of fine, but probably ten times too expensive on the secondary market. I liked the humble 2018 better.
SGP:361 - 80 points.

It’s a bit like going to see Blue Oyster Cult live in 2019. See what I mean? Or the Frank Zappa Hologram Tour (I’ve heard).

Let’s try to find some indie Macallan, preferably au naturel…

Macallan 13 yo 1990/2004 (46%, Eilan Gillan, France, sherry/bourbon casks, 190 bottles)

Macallan 13 yo 1990/2004 (46%, Eilan Gillan, France, sherry/bourbon casks, 190 bottles) Four stars
Eilan Gillan is/was a French brand by cognac firm Leopold Gourmel. They’ve had some good ones. Colour: white wine. Nose: la dolce vita without any sulphur. Quince jelly, a funny touch of tinned sardines or anchovies (no, really), then some butter fudge, Breton butter cookies, sultanas, custard, and simply brioche, with an earthy side. It was a very nice distillate. Mouth: excellent, complex, slightly earthy, yet clean, perhaps just a tad too young (pears and pineapple sweets), unfolding on peaches and melons, as well as some apricot pie (and cheese cake!) Very good, bright, complex, entrancing… Finish: rather long, moderately spicy, with raisin pies and cereals. Ideas of a Mars bar in the aftertaste. Comments: don’t get me wrong, this is not Mona Lisa, it’s just that so much nicer than the rather coarse and slightly disappointing Classic Cuts. You see what a diplomat I am?
SGP:551 - 87 points.

A last one, preferably an old one…

Macallan 25 yo 1975 (54%, Casa De Vinos, Australia, sherry butt, cask #17113, +/-2000)

Macallan 25 yo 1975 (54%, Casa De Vinos, Australia, sherry butt, cask #17113, +/-2000) Five stars
In theory, this should just rock. It’s by or for some well-reputed wine and spirits shop and importers in Port Melbourne. Indeed that’s Downunda. Colour: red mahogany. Nose: yeah right, Macallan. Corinth currants, soy sauce, marrow, bay leaves, chocolate, oranges, pipe tobacco, coffee, humus, soot, cigars, a touch of strawberry jam, Demerara sugar… Well it’s just got everything. Proper Macallan at their peak. With water: extra-ordinary. Chestnut honey, raisins, teas and jams, wines, leathers, prunes, old rancio, cognac… This one makes you yodel! Mouth (neat): fantastic. Why don’t they still make them like this? Many raisins, tobaccos, herbal teas, meats, chocolates, liqueurs… And this wee thing I often found in good Macallans: a touch of tamarind jam. With water: not that it would remain totally focused, and perhaps does it have one or two off-notes (maybe a touch of rubber?) but tasting this is like going back to a lovely place where you used to spend your vacations while you were a child. Finish: long, very chocolaty, with notes of old Armagnac, rancio, more raisins, and some wonderful Jamaican coffee. And marmalade, of course. Comments: I am wondering, could they make this style again if they wished, or has that become totally impossible, for any technical reasons?
SGP:651 - 93 points.

(Gracias a lot, José and Lucero)

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