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 13th October 1997 and bottled over 21 years later after maturing in single European oak first fill sherry hogshead #14369 (Ref: 2018/ESH-14369/11). Selected by Macallan Whisky Maker Steven Bremner, this was the 11th cask to be reserved for the 2018 series on 6th July 2018 and is one of only 228 bottles.
On the nose: you’ll experience an initial waft of poached pears, raisins, vanilla, hazelnuts and a hint of beeswax. 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 notes of figs. On the palate: those notes of poached pears 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 a hing of green herbs. The finish: is long, sweet, with lingering zesty orange notes, spices, oak and herbs.
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, with suggestions of some really mature whisky floating around in there. It is a delicately balanced scotch but balanced to perfection – from nose to finish it is something to be savoured. With an ABV of 52.3%, 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 228 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.