We’ve dabbled with reviews of various Macallan releases both high and low, but one of the most commonly available bottlings has eluded these pages for more than 15 years: Macallan Sherry Oak Cask 12 Years Old.
This mainline expression couldn’t be more straightforward, spending 12 years maturing fully in Spanish sherry casks before bottling. No tricks or finishes here. In many ways, it’s the purest essence of the sherry-obsessed Macallan.
On the nose, the whisky presents as nutty and slightly earthy, even mushroomy at times. There’s a playful floral element here, more potpourri mixed with gentle perfumed notes, the full experience fading into notes of coconut and a touch of leathery malt. Balanced — but less blantantly citrus-forward sherry than expected.
The palate continues the nutty — and slightly beefy — theme, while sweetening things up just a bit. Approachable and fully quaffable in its enduring gentleness, flavors run from sesame and coconut husk to marzipan and, eventually, a squeeze of orange peel. Quite malty, with an edge of oak throughout, the finish has just a touch of tannin but never feels stodgy or musty.
Want an intro to Macallan? Start with the absolute basics: right here.
A- / $85 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]