Our first ever group review !
Notes: The Macallan is A Highland Single Malt although many people also refer to it as a Speyside ( a more specific and geographical term/designation.
Using some of the smallest stills in the Scotch industry at 3,900 Liters ( roughly 1000 US gallons) with small lyne arms at a 45 degree angle so a lot of the character of the spirit comes through in the distillation .
Another unusual point about the Macallan Distillery is that they ship whole, intact barrels/casks when they buy them instead of breaking them down and resembling them as needed. This is a hugely inefficient way to ship barrels but saves the flavor influence and freshness of a barrel, indeed the sherry casks they use from Spain still contain some sherry to keep them wet inside and maintain integrity. Most places break down their barrels and ship them like kindling to be reassembled at their distillery – which allows the wood to dry out and also for other things to come into contact with the wood. Further they are very invested in using sherry casks for aging most if not all their whisky stocks – with occasional forays into double wood bottlings
This is our first group review where David Flynn of Roux Cocktail Bar and Matthew Kalowski of The Daily Refresher have kindly joined me to share their thoughts on this spirit.
Appearance: Clear and a nice golden amber color .On swirling it leaves a nice oily coat on the glass
First Impression: Dusty sherry,dry,dried fruit,dry wood, , dry spiced wood , garden vine/vegetal green heather
Taste: Savory, tannic wood, dry dust of freshly milled wood, citrus, coal and spice with some burn at the end. Finish is Soft malt, oak (char) and minerality
Drinks: A good choice for most Scotch cocktails but it is a bit delicate for some
Bottle: More or less the signature Macallan packing both in the cardboard box and the labeling but the bottle has become a touch more elliptical in shape with a broad face to it
Cigars: As usual The Macallan goes with a variety of cigars, this one being younger it pairs nicely with a more flavor forward cigar such as an Opus X.
Final Thoughts: While an interesting whiskey and as usual with Macallan well made, it does suffer from being a not overly complex and slightly harsh malt ( which in my opinion may be the result of not so good bourbon casks).Also it is a bit pricey for what it is given some of the other brands when you compare age and value.
However if you are a Macallan fan you probably need this one as i is a rare departure from their usual aging and profile standards
An interesting website with series of videos to watch about different aspects of the distillery and it products.