We're starting the week with two Macallans, the first release of the Harmony collection alongside an older single cask expression from SMWS.
The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao
This non age statement release was matured in European and American Oak Sherry seasoned casks and is the first release from the Harmony collection.
Honey nut cheerios, lemon peel, sponge cake with vanilla cream, stewed apples with a dusting of cinnamon, and a little floral/perfumed aroma towards the end of the nose. There's also a slightly meaty note in the background, barbeque rubbed pork ribs with some mole sauce on the side. Giving it some air, we're finding apricot, wet oak and a hint of ginger. It's a pleasant nose, not overly rich though.
We're initially let down with the thinness of the palate, it's extremely watery with no texture in sight. We're getting a sweet and sour sensation at the start of the palate, mandarin and honey with a touch of grapefruit juice providing more bitterness as the dram progresses. There's powdered cinnamon mixed into caster sugar, burnt twigs, raspberries and tannins. The finish has a medium length, but unfortunately it's dominated by bitter citrus peel, dry oak and burnt coffee.
Nose (with water)
Reduction seems to bring out some drier sherry aromas, cinnamon sticks, cloves, maybe even a hint of cardamom. The cocoa beans are appearing in the background along with toasted cereal notes, but we're missing some of the lighter aromas that we enjoyed on the undiluted nose.
Palate (with water)
Chocolate and milky coffee dominate the palate now, unsweetened mocha, ginger, pickling spices. It's a little better than the undiluted palate, but we're still met with a bitter finish.
We were intrigued by the nose, it had some interesting aromas and felt fairly balanced with a good mix of cask and spirit notes… sadly we wished we'd stopped there. It has one of the thinnest mouthfeels on a whisky we're experienced in a while, and there's way too much bitter oak towards the end of the palate. There's a reasonable play between sweet and sour on the initial palate which we didn't mind, but overall we don't really want to drink any more.
SMWS 24.140 (Macallan 30yo)
This society release was distilled 25th September 1989 and matured for 30 years in a refill Sherry butt. 565 bottles were released.
We're met with a mixture of oranges and peaches, runny honey, light oak spices, mellow floral aromas and toffee. It's a very pleasant nose, the sherry isn't too prominent but it's there in the background. There's a nice balance of alcohol too, again, not too prominent but enough for you to know it's there and back up those fruity and floral aromas.
The palate starts with a mixture of sherbet, ginger spice, honey, orchard fruits and moves into black pepper and raspberry jam towards the end of the palate. The mouthfeel is nice, not super oily or syrupy, but there's some texture here, and the finish lingers on for a fair while. With some air we're finding fondant icing, biscuit and barley sugars. Similar to the nose, it's not particularly sherry forward, although there are some richer notes throughout.
Nose (with water)
Freshly scraped vanilla pods, moist sponge cake, very bourbon cask-like now. More of that honey and barley sugars now. It still maintains a nice balance and we're content just sitting with this and nosing it.
Palate (with water)
The reduced palate brings out fresh citrus, a fruit salad of orange, lemon and persimmon, a nice sweetness balanced with the zingy citrus fruits. The honey and cereal notes are accentuated too, but we're struggling to find a lot of that sherry influence we're looking for.
Are any whiskies worth £1,500 a bottle? Probably not. This isn't a bad whisky, it's got a lovely balanced nose and a good palate, but there's nothing here that's blowing us away. If you're expecting a rich, syrupy sherried dram, you're looking in the wrong place, but if you want a pleasant, balanced, flavourful whisky (and can afford it), it fits the bill.
- 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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