Dram Review: The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old

[43.0%・15 Years Old・Bottled in 2020・ Official Bottling・General Release]

Nose:

Raisins and cranberries infused nougat, dried oranges and syrup soaked walnuts giving it a lighthearted bit of nuttiness.

Palate & Finish:

Strawberry jam and dark raisins, smooth without lingering on any of the characters too much.

Flowing with a wee dried ginger kick and some maraschino cherries.

Thoughts:

Smooth, flowing and easy to get, perfectly adequate as a social lubricant.

[Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

P.S. Thank you to the Macallan Hong Kong for the dram.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: The Macallan Edition No. 5

[48.5%・NAS・Bottled in 2019・ Official Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Aromas of raw walnuts, oily toffee fudge and milky vanilla custard churned together whilst there being a growing sense of a dusty leather briefcase. With time the toasted oak dominates with just a hint of varnish.

Palate & Finish:

Just a wee hint of savoury soy note to start and is soon diluted with flashes of dried dates. Steadies out with a sweet syrupy delivery that turns just a little bit creamy with sprinkles of blackcurrant compote.

Slightly peppery with the wood showing a slightly bitter side in the form of burnt caramel in the finish to balance out the sweetness of the earlier, still a touch of fig syrup in the background.

Thoughts:

The purple was what the audience was mostly talking about at the launch. I suppose some will bring up the Gran Reserva; though judging from the crowd at the launch, most would agree that this serves as a fairly easy drop to get and like, especially for those who likes a fair bit of sweetness in their drams.

This collaboration with Pantone is a stunning marketing campaign. I am genuinely curious to see what’s to come next.

P.S. Thank you Trish for the invite to a stunning launch.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Liquid Gold Hong Kong Owners Cask Macallan Special Vintage 1995

[51.8%・22 Years Old・Distilled in 1995・Bottled in 2018・Liquid Gold Bottling・Cask No. 10115・Single Cask Release of Bottles]

Nose:

Slightly on the feisty side, the malt fares quite heavy in this dram with some rich burnt toffee sips out. The earthy undertone carries with it notes of raisins and blackcurrant as it elongates notes of orange liquor soaked digestive biscuits come through.

Palate & Finish:

The raisins shine bright but almost immediately melt into a malty honey affair, salted caramel taking on just a hint of waxiness

Barley fragrance gracefully glides along, biscuits and cereals get seasoned with wild flowers.

Thoughts:

I don’t think I have had a Moscatel cask from Macallan before so this is all very interesting to me, cask rather well picked actually.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: The Macallan Classic Cut 2018 Limited Edition

[51.2%・NAS・Bottled in 2018・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 90,000 Bottles]

Nose:

An engineered mix of oak and sweetness you would expect from a new Macallan release. Charred brown sugar with a thin dose of roast meat, cereal laid out comfortably with some slight perfume-y notes.

Palate & Finish:

Raisins with some bite, quite spicy with cinnamon and black sugar wrapping around the figs. A textured woody note combines with an approachable sweetness.

Youthful in the finish with a flat, sweet tail.

Thoughts:

The bygone cask strength series paved way for this modern Macallan.

A Hollywood reboot, think the new Ghostbusters.

✓ [Recommended if you like the distillery/style]

Dram Review: The Macallan Rare Cask Black

[48%・NAS・Bottled in 2016・Official Bottling・Limited Edition]

Nose:

The semi-indulging cured black cherry note is there, a combination of the oiliness of the malt and the tannins from the wood.  A generous dose of chocolate sundae sauce, carrying only a slight tinge of meatiness; the peat is hardly noticeable, only traces of ashes and dirts.

Palate & Finish:

Dark chocolate sauce with a high sugar content, a brush of coconut oil running across a glimpse of controlled acidity out of the raisins.  The creamy malt sips out from under the sauciness to reveal some ashy residues that would only marginally qualify as peat.

The finishing is quite simple, with the chocolate sauce stretching on..

Thoughts:

As expected, the Rare Cask Black is another attempt by a Speyside distillery to incorporate peat into their portfolio.. but even then this feels like the guys were playing it a bit too safe.  Perhaps next they will decide to create something that will knock some socks off.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

Thank you Mr. Walczak for the great photo.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Mackillop’s Choice Macallan Single Cask Distilled 1992

[50.8%・21 Years Old・Distilled in 1992・Bottled in 2014・Mackillop’s Choice Bottling・Cask No. 10161・Single Cask Release of 280 Bottles]

Nose:

Clean and grassy on the nose, fresh pasture leading on some stone fruits with some almonds, hazelnuts and toasted fennel seeds in the background, rounding off with a faint floral note.

Palate & Finish:

Soft fruits with some prominent white oak spices, cherries and strawberries lightly swirl with a touch of cinnamon spices.  The malt runs nicely beneath a fine layer of raisin syrup.

Mild finish with the malt gently sets in.

Thoughts:

This is not a Big Mac by any stretch, which may be disappointing for those looking for a cask strength single cask experience; but it is well mellowed and a decent session dram.

✓ [Recommended if you like the Style/ Distillery]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: That Boutique-y Whisky Company Macallan Batch 4

[44.3%・NAS・Bottled in 2013・That Boutique-y Whisky Company Bottling・Limited Release of 203 Bottles]

Nose:

Charming nose with a velvet like setting, pear drops, toffee apples, soft honey, lemon butter and cereal conveying a pure joyous feeling.

Palate & Finish:

A lovely citrus driven malt, creamy with the oily caramel and juicy from the apricots and red apples being slow-cooked in honey and brown sugar.

A lasting, chewy tail of haystraw and digestive biscuits, more comforting sweetness oozing out to counter the earthy bitterness.

Thoughts:

A lovely, lovely dram. So what if it’s not as dark in colour or as intensely Sherried as the pre-Fine Oak stock? To me this is still quality Macallan.

We probably would be more welcoming towards expressions like this if the official releases have been firing on all cylinders.. but alas we are all harsh critics these days..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Whisky Review: The Macallan Edition No. 4


Style: Fruity, Malty and Spicy

Nose:
Begins with an upper layer of resin-mint spice and ground black pepper. Followed by sultanas, stewed summer berries and salted caramel balanced by the herbal and malty component. Youthful spirit no doubt, but it is reasonably sweet and vibrant. Blue berries, a few ginger shreds then plenty of fresh-cut grass. Malt syrup dripping gently at the back.

Palate:
Black cherries, black currants and burnt toast mingling with malt syrup. Prunes and tropical fruits surrounded by ample herbaceous spice. Raisins and apricots skinny dipping in diluted brown sugar and maltose. A layer of milk chocolate smoothing out the edges and a very juvenile malty tone soft-landed at the back.

Finish:
Cinnamon bark, more burnt toast and raisins treading on malt syrup, a decent sherry oak finish.

Thoughts:
I am aware of the hype on Edition no. 4 (or the series for that matter) that has been going on these days, and finally I get to give it a spin. Now, in my honest opinion, I think it is a relatively spicy expression with an acceptable amount of sherry loaded in it. Although I think it is a bit too young as there are some faint new make notes showing up from time to time. Nothing abrasive and relatively easy-drinking, but in terms of reaching the true potential of Macallan, there is still a long long way to go.

✓ [Recommended if you like the Style/ Distillery]

[48.4% | Original Bottling | 2018 Bottled | Limited Edition | No Age Statement | T-]

-Esmond

Dram Review: The Macallan 18 Years Old Distilled in 1970 (Giovinetti & Figli Milano Bottling)

[43.0%・18 Years Old・Distilled in 1970・Bottled in 1988・Official Bottling for Giovinetti & Figli Milano・Limited Release]

Nose:

As things should be with antique Macallan aged in vintage Sherry casks, lemon preserve and afternoon red tea served whilst resting on a buttero leather armchair. Elegant with the raisins and tannins pleasingly and politely pile on, and leather unfolding the hearty malt oozing with dark honey.

Palate & Finish:

A vibrant gem of Sherried goodness, exceptional execution of figs and raisins with flowers and cherries channeling this exotic acidity. The condensed jammy sweetness, the oily malted spirit, all perfectly integrated.

The nectar unveils an earthy side in the finish, with espresso, dark chocolate and tannins coasting by.

Thoughts:

Technically from a close distillery so it’s hard to say if we will see this again, but what I would say is that the distillery should replicate this instead.. it’s what a great Macallan ought to be..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: The Macallan Cask Strength 10 Years Old (Bottled in 2000)

[58.8%・10 Years Old・Bottled in 2000・Original Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

The usual suspects of raisins and leather are heavily featured, there is a wee savoury note to it that comes with a light brush of floral honey.  The wood is quite prominent on the back end with hints of vanilla and cereal.

Palate & Finish:

The high ABV allows the sweetness of raisins and toffee treats to blossom Toast brushed with a fruit-peels-infused citrus marmalade, using the malt to enhance the sweetness as the delivery grows nuttier.

Medium finish with the raisins introducing a fine tea bitterness.

Thoughts:

Even at an ABV this high, the Cask Strength still retains this appealing nature, it’s not a magical Mac but it will put most people in rather good mood.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas