Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Whisky review: The Macallan 15 Year Fine Oak

The Macallan is known for being a producer of heavily-sherried whiskies. However, in 2004, The Macallan introduced the Fine Oak series of single malts, which are aged in a combination of ex-bourbon casks as well as ex-sherry casks made of American oak and European oak, for what they call "triple cask maturation."

In reality, it was likely a move to get away from purely sherry cask matured whiskies, as sherry casks cost about ten times what bourbon casks cost. By maturing some of their product in bourbon casks, they could cut costs and still sell a premium whisky.

The Macallan 15 Year Fine Oak, 43% ABV
Single malt Scotch whisky (Speyside)

Orange-tan-gold-yellow, pretty much just like the last several whiskies I've reviewed. I wonder if my eyes are going.

Nose: Wow, quite a good one. I've had it several times before but never noticed the complexity and intricacy of this nose. Toasted wood with some citrus and floral aromas, with sherry and some chocolate thrown in. Very full.

Palate: Malt, vanilla, lots of fruits. Some peppery notes develop.

Finish: Lingering light wood. About a minute after swallowing, it tastes like I just licked a lumberyard.

Rating (of 100): 85. The nose is great and the palate has grown on me, but the aftertaste is not really to my liking. I try to lick lumberyards sparingly.

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