Located in Moray, Craigellachie, the Speyside distillery that is The Macallan is the third largest selling single malt scotch in the world. Macallan’s Scotch whisky is, primarily, matured in oak seasoned with sherry brought to the distillery from Jerez, Spain. The sherry cask finish scotch from Macallan is what could be considered their core age-statement range. That said, the 12-year-old expression from this range is their bread and butter, and is one of the few sherry cask finish expression, from Macallan, that is not defined by the year it was distilled. Macallan scotch finished in sherry oak is known to be deliciously smooth single malt, which is rich and well-rounded but perhaps a little too is easy to drink and of course will not disappoint.
On the nose: you’ll experience an initial waft of sherry, dried mixed fruits (raisins) and vanilla. After a couple of swirls notes of honey and a touch of citrus zest starts to emerge with a hint of marzipan and ginger stem. You’ll be able to smell notes of aniseed and the spiciness from the oak start to appear, followed by suggestions of dark chocolate. Rounding off the nose is a meaty sulphur-like note, muscovado sugar and a hint of smoke. On the palate: those sweet sherry notes are present, followed by vanilla, almonds and those ginger notes. Those spices nosed start to emerge, alongside some cinnamon. Tasting it again, notes of maraschino cherries start to appear, followed by that meaty sulphur note, toffee, with a hint of chocolate and nuttiness. The finish: is medium, sweet, with lingering mixed dried fruits, spices and smoke.
The verdict: Macallan as a brand are so well revered around the world and on evidence of this 12-year-old from the Sherry Oak range, it’s not hard to see why. This is a Scotch that on the nose is rather rich and complex but on the palate is much mellower than one would’ve thought. As an entry drop into the Sherry Oak range, it is a delightfully balanced dram, not overly oaky but does lack a little in the mid-palate area. With an ABV of 40%, this is probably not a Scotch that I would add any water to but if you feel the need then only add in small quantities until it just right for you.
The Macallan 12-year-old Single Malt Scotch Whisky from the Sherry Oak range is available online or in well-stocked Whisky Shops, for approximately £70.
For more information on the Sherry Oak 12-year-old, visit the official Macallan website.