A 30yo Macallan goes up against a non age statement release in today’s reviews.. this should be pretty one sided, right?
SMWS 24.137 - Macallan 30 year old
Next up is a 30 year old society Macallan that was matured exclusively in a first fill bourbon barrel. Shockingly at £995 this was actually a bit of a bargain when released compared to releases from other independent bottlers.
We always worry when a cask strength release is bottled so close to 40% that it’s been released before it’s too late and not because it’s good. Fingers crossed that this is not the case here.
Ok, so the nose is very restrained. There’s the obvious notes you’d expect from a bourbon cask such as honey, vanilla and creme brûlée. Along side these there’s oak. It’s very woody on the nose and a little underwhelming to be honest. Maybe the palate will be more interesting.
This tastes old, but without any specific flavours standing out. There’s light vanilla, light fudge, and light orchard fruits hiding in the background. This is light everything really. Maybe water will help?
Nose (with water)
On the reduced nose there’s the addition of a little fruit, but not a lot else. Oh, wait we’re also getting a note of disappointment.
Palate (with water)
Water hasn’t improved the palate. It may have even caused the flavours to retreat. Sticking with this, for the reviews sake, we’re able to get notes of chocolate and a slight tingle of alcohol added to the mix of flavours mentioned above.
This is overall a big let down. If it was priced comparably to 30yo Bourbon casks from other distilleries, we’d still be disappointed. We can't help but think of other amazing vaults collection releases such as 97.22 or 65.6, both bourbon casks around 30yo, and both infinitely more interesting. Now we appreciate this is Macallan and there’s a premium attached for the name, but compared to other old Macallans it still falls short. It’s a no for us.
Macallan Double Cask Gold
The Macallan Double Cask Gold was matured in a mixture of American and European oak seasoned with oloroso sherry.
Initially we’re getting butter and apple on the nose. Going back to this the European oak notes dominate the American oak here. As we sit with it we can’t help but notice it noses like it’s quite young as we're getting new make spirit and sweet cinnamon spice in the background.
Palate has boiled raisins, Christmas pudding flambéed with apple brandy, and dried fruits. This has a short finish, but the alcohol sits on the palate for longer than the flavour does.
Nose (with water)
Ok, there’s now heaps of dried ginger spice. This still has the buttery aroma, but without the fresh orchard fruits.
Palate (with water)
Initial punch of spicy cinnamon with the sweet notes we previously experienced falling into the background, and bitter coffee moving to the forefront. Theres also a touch of artificial vanilla syrup.
For a few pounds more you could buy yourself a really nice single cask, or small batch release from a reputable independent bottler, and have something much more special than this. If we’re being brutally honest this is also big disappointment. We’re calling this a draw.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.
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