Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Side by side: A swoop of Macallans?

Rather than review drams by themselves I'm doing a little series comparing some 'side by side'.
There may be two or more, they may be from the same or different distilleries, similar ages, ABVs and types or not as I decide!

This time we are reviewing three different drams from the @Macallan distillery aged range, the 10yo Sherry Oak, 12yo Double Cask and 12yo Fine Oak - what differences are there?

Why 'a swoop of Macallans'? - well their latest marketing campaign asks
"Would you risk falling for the chance to fly?"
It shows a man jumping off the top of a mountain, falling to certain death, then just in time feathers grow from his arms and he's able to fly, narrowly missing the ground. What's this got to do with whisky? Well Macallan suggests that on their website you can "Explore stories of those who have seen the risk and still made the call, who aren't afraid to choose a bigger life."

The ad company suggest "One of the most refreshing things about this campaign is that it avoids the category clichés of heather, leather and weather, to get the attention of people who wouldn’t necessarily drink single malt, you have to do something more provocative and authentic."

You can find the ad on the Macallan website or youtube, but there have already been some parody's made...


Lets just try the whisky...

What's interesting is the makeup of the three different drams: the 10yo SO is a vatting of one type of cask - sherry seasoned oak casks; the 12yo DC is a vatting of two types of casks - sherry seasoned American and European oak casks; and finally the 12yo FO is a vatting of three types of cask - European and American sherry seasoned oak casks and ex-bourbon American oak casks.

Dram10yo Sherry Oak
40% ABV, Non-coloured, Chill-filtered
12yo Double Cask
40% ABV, Non-coloured, NCF
12yo Fine Oak
40% ABV, Non-coloured, NCF
Distillery  infoThe Macallan Sherry Oak 10 Years Old forms part of our Sherry Oak range which features a series of single malt whiskies matured exclusively in hand-picked sherry seasoned oak casks from Jerez for richness and complexity. A matured character, the 10 Years Old delivers rich wood spice and dried fruits and a natural rich gold colour.

Nose: Complex with hints of vanilla

Palate: Smooth, medium balanced with fruit, oak and spice

Finish: Long with sweet dried fruits, oak and spice
The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old forms part of our Double Cask range which marries the classic Macallan style and the unmistakable sweetness of American oak. This is a fully rounded single malt in perfect balance, with flavours of honey, citrus and ginger.

Nose: Creamy butterscotch with a hint of toffee apple, candied orange, vanilla custard and newly felled oak.

Palate: Deliciously honeyed, wood spices and citrus, balanced with raisins and caramel.

Finish: Oak lingers, warm, sweet and drying.
The Macallan Fine Oak 12 Years Old forms part of the Fine Oak range and is matured for a minimum of twelve years in three exceptional oak cask types. This complex combination of casks delivers a smooth whisky with notes of dried fruit, honey and subtle spice.

Nose: Complex, with a hint of fruit and vanilla.

Palate: Medium, balanced with fruit, oak and spice.

Finish: Lingering with dried fruits, oak and spice.
My thoughts: 

Dark gold in the glass, swirls lead to fast thin legs.

Mid gold in the glass, swirls cling to the glass eventually falling as slow thin legs

Pale gold in the glass, more gravity defying swirls eventually falling as slow thin legs.
Lovely sherry notes, dunnage warehouse, old musty bookshop, strawberry jam. Hints of sultanas and dates. I'd forgotten how good this one was! 
Orchard fruit covered in honey and toffee, very sweet with a woody edge. Hints of marzipan and a little smoke.
Dundee cake, apples, honey, again some sweetness and the marzipan.
Smooth creamy arrival, loads of sweet honey then the spice takes over, lots of oaky notes and some apple.
Smooth creamy almost buttery arrival, even smoother than the 10yo, the marzipan is there again with the almonds dominating, no sweetness, some toffee and a lovely spicy oak note.
Smooth creamy almost buttery arrival, again marzipan but with dried fruit and vanilla. No spice notes to speak of but a hint of sourness - grapefruit?
Gentle spice, wood and a dryness in the throat.
Honey, a gentle smoke note and apples.
Gentle warming finish, vanilla and almonds.
Three lovely drams, hadn't tried the 10yo for a while, and it showed - see photo below! I'd forgotten how good the nose was on it! The two 12yo had some lovely marzipan notes, almonds and sugar, dryness and sweetness in balance - yummy!
All these drams are down at the bottom of the Macallan range - around the £50-£70 mark and they aren't going to let you down - good dependable drams to sit and relax with. Obviously a lot cheaper than some of the 'limited editions' they are coming out with now but it's good to know you can still get a good, relatively cheap, Macallan.
If I had to pick one I'd probably go with the 10yo - the nose of a sherry bomb but with a much gentler palate and finish.

Two of these bottles, the 10yo SO and the 12yo FO, are no longer available, mine are running low!

And this happened.....

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