We’ve highlighted quite a bit of Macallan on here in recent years but this expression is a bit different. Every now and then, Macallan release something a little special that is truly considered limited: the Gran Reserva. The Macallan Gran Reserva 12-year-old has been exclusively matured in first fill Oloroso casks. Macallan pride themselves on their mastery of wood from which each cask is made and of course their spirit, something they’ve done since 1824. It is these exceptional casks that transform their rich ‘new make’ spirit into this exclusive release. This limited 12yo expression, exclusive to Taiwan and Japan, is rich, dark, spirit unleashes lingering flavours of winter spice, orange and chocolate, with a complex long finish.
On the nose: you’ll experience an initial waft of sherry, dried mixed fruits (raisins) and vanilla. This is followed by notes of oranges, dark chocolate and toffee. You’ll get a bouquet of butterscotch and the spiciness of cinnamon and cloves, followed by suggestions of candy apple. Rounding off the nose is a touch of ginger and a hint of wood smoke. On the palate: it has a lovely milky texture and those sweet dried fruit notes are ever-present, followed by vanilla, marzipan and stem ginger undertones. Those spices nosed start to emerge, alongside some star anise. Going back for more, notes of maraschino cherries start to appear, followed by those butterscotch notes, toffee, with a hint of dried figs, oranges s and walnuts. The finish: is long, sweet, with lingering mixed dried fruits, spices, bitter dark chocolate and oranges.
The verdict: As you know, The Macallan as a brand are well revered around the world and this limited edition Gran Reserva 12-year-old expression from the distillery based in Craigellachie, Speyside – is just a drop of beauty. 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. It is a delicately balanced scotch but balanced to perfection – from nose to finish it is truly stunning. With an ABV of 45.6%, 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.
Ordinarily, this is the part where I say; The Macallan Gran Reserva 12-year-old Single Malt Scotch Whisky from the so-and-so range is available online or in well-stocked Whisky Shops, for approximately… However, as a limited edition, Macallan only released a certain amount of bottles worldwide (currently unknown quantity) and even then only made it available in Japan & Taiwan. Luckily for us, we managed to get our hands on some but with the way things are, there will no doubt be some available to buy at upcoming online whisky auctions.
For more information on this limited edition 12-year-old Gran Reserva, visit the official Macallan website.