Macallan limited editions are sort of becoming de rigueur, however, this isn’t just any old limited release: This is an expression from the the coveted Exceptional Cask range. Macallan’s Exceptional Cask is essentially a single cask whisky that has been specially selected by one of Macallan’s whisky makers.
It is said that an amazingly diverse selection of samples crosses The Macallan whisky making bench every day. Standing at the bench, the Whisky Makers patiently lay the foundations of the entire Macallan range by meticulously nosing and assessing each and every sample. It is here, in the hidden depths of the estate that extraordinary aromas and flavours first fully reveal themselves. Every single bottle of The Macallan Exceptional Single Cask is unique in its own particular way. Each individual cask selected by The Macallan Whisky Makers was chosen for its distinctive characteristics.
This particular expression was distilled on 9th November 1950 and bottled over 67 years later after maturing in single American oak first fill sherry butt #1683 (Ref: 2018/ASB-1683/13). Selected by Macallan Whisky Maker Nick Savage, this was the 13th cask to be reserved for the 2018 series on 10th July 2017 and is one of only 336 bottles.
On the nose: you’ll experience an initial waft of poached peaches, raisins, vanilla, hazelnuts and a hint of old polished oak. Notes of fresh red apples coated in toffee, oranges and aniseed start to emerge, alongside spicy notes of cinnamon, start anise, all-spice and root ginger. Rounding-off the nose are notes of dark chocolate, old leather, cedar wood, lemon zest and a hint of peat. On the palate: those notes of poached peaches and figs are ever-present, alongside an intense dark chocolate note and dried forrest fruits. There are spicy notes of cinnamon, all-spice and ginger in there, alongside a note that can only be described as Christmas pudding. Notes of marzipan, coffee and liqourice start to appear. Completing the palate are notes of toffee, candy sticks, lavender and more hints of peat. The finish: is long, bittersweet, with lingering zesty orange notes, spices, oak and smokiness.
The verdict: As you know, The Macallan as a brand are so well revered around the world and this Exceptional Cask expression from the Speyside based distillery – is just a drop of beauty. This is a Scotch that on the nose is rather rich and complex that follows through to the palate. It is a delicately balanced scotch but balanced to perfection – from nose to finish it is something to be savoured. With an ABV of 53.4%, this is probably not a Scotch that I would add any water to, in all honesty, but if you feel the need then only add in small quantities until it just right for you.
Ordinarily, this is the part where I say; The Macallan Exceptional Cask Single Cask Scotch Whisky is available online or in well-stocked Whisky Shops, for approximately… However, as a it is a single cask, Macallan only managed to extract 336 bottles from this cask and even then only made it available from their own online shop and what’s more you had to be selected to buy one. Luckily for us, we managed to get our hands on one but there will no doubt be some available to buy at upcoming online whisky auctions. For more information on this Exceptional Cask, visit the official Macallan website.