Sunday, March 6, 2011

Whisky review: The Macallan 15 Year Fine Oak

The Macallan is another of the big Speyside distilleries, being the #3 single malt in the United States (behind The Glenlivet and Glenfiddich, as of 2006, with 0.2% of the U.S. whisk(e)y market share). It has traditionally been known for its production of ex-sherry oak-aged whisky, but in 2004 started a new line called The Macallan Fine Oak, in which the whiskies are matured in a combination of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks. As the guy at the distillery confirmed when we visited in 2010, this move to partial bourbon aging was done mainly because sherry casks cost a lot (~10X) more than bourbon barrels.

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

Nose: Toffee, brown sugar, roasted malt, and a hint of green apple.

Palate: Sherry undertones coated with some honey and vanilla. Light fruits. The sherry still stands out for me, though it is definitely muted in comparison to the Macallan Sherry Oak whiskies.

Finish: Sherry and toasted wood.

Rating (of 100): 88. A bit too sweet and sherry-dominated for my likes; I'd like to see better integration between the sherry and bourbon casks. The nose is the winner on this one. Even though I just (about 30 minutes ago) sampled the Glenlivet 12, which is also sweet, I feel like this one is cloyingly so.

No comments:

Post a Comment