Monday, August 17, 2009

The Macallan 12 yr old - Single Malt Scotch Review


A Little History
The Macallan 12 year old is a classic Speyside single malt scotch that has a history that can be traced back to 1824. Alexander Reid obtained a licence to distill whisky and that was the beginning. In those days, farmers like Reid used to distil whisky on their own, without licence (which was just a form of taxation) from barley they grew with water from the river Spey.Over subsequent years, the Macallan distillery would change hands many times, initially between farmers, and later between corporations dedicated to distributing scotch. Presently, it is owned by a company, the Edrington Group, who make sure quality is very line.
The Macallan 12 yr old Sherry Oak has won numerous awards over the years and is one of the most highly regarded single malts by the conossieurs. The public has chimed in its support too by paying a higher than average price and seemingly doing so willingly, as it is a beverage enjoying strong sales.
Nose
Sherry and oak, which is not surprising as the scotch acquired its sherry scent and flavour profile by way of being aged in oak casks from Jerez, Spain which previously stored sherry.
Palate
A mouth filling, full-bodied scotch that is rich and luxurious. The dominany flavour is sherry, which is accented with oak and some smoke. Not detecting any peat or heather notes in this dram. The sherry flavour is also complimented by orange rind, spicy cinamon and even some cream.
Finish
Spicy sherry enveloped in smoke and tobacco round out the tasting experience which lingers nicely.ImpressionsThis is a high quality single malt scotch. It is not to be gulped down at a party or when one's mind is distracted with perfunctory chit-chat at a social engagement. This is to be reserved for the fireside chat with someone you respect who might, if you are lucky impart some wisdom between pensive sips of this wonderful dram.Some may not like this if they are seeking a lot of peat and heather in their scotch. Not to be found here. Instead, if you love the taste of sherry in scotch, this is for you. If you are unsure what sherry tastes like in the context of scotch, this is the definitive "sherry bomb" to sip and study.While I enjoy this single malt, it is not something that I can drink several nights in a row because it can get to be a bit one dimensional. Its great, but drink too much of it, and it will lose its mystery a little to quickly.


Cheers!


Jason Debly

© Jason Debly, 2009 - 2011. All rights reserved.

4 comments:

  1. Fantastic review. I have heard mixed opinions about this, but just sat down with my first dram about 10 minutes ago. It was lovely, and reminded me of what a dessert in a glass should taste like. A real treat, although I don't agree that it's a big thinker. I find many more complex notes in some blends, even. Johnnie Walker Green Label springs to mind.

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  2. Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, the Green Label has more complexity but you should note that it is not an ordinary blended scotch. It is a blend of only single malts, no grains, making for an incredible dram. I have reviewed it twice and I still shake my head at how good it is.

    As for the Macallan 12, it is a nice single malt, but a little more expensive than most 12 yr old singles. My favorite Macallan is the 18yr old, it is a Macallan 12 on steroids!

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  3. Your review is spot on! I just had a dram and yes, I agree with you. I did find it more one dimensional than the Glenlivet 15 French oak reserve. Sometimes I like the more "raw" burn of Glenfiddich 12.

    I will see how this bottle holds up over time.
    Thanks for the review!

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  4. Jason,

    I agree with your review completely. Based on my limited exposure to scotch, I find that the Macallan 12 provides a drinking experience similar to a nice bourbon more than other scotches. It just seems to have an absence of "scotchy" flavors such as peat, honey, and heather, and is dominated by barrel flavors like a well aged bourbon. Therefore, I find that spending $30 on a nice bottle of bourbon (e.g. Knob Creek) wins out over spending $50 on a bottle of the Macallan 12.

    -Ryan

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