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I have to admit being very circumspect when the fine oak series were released by Macallan. The contrast between these malts and their previous almost exclusive use of unbroken Sherry casks is stark, they represent in essence an entirely different malt.
The nose is somehow fresh with champagne like notes, sandal wood, vanilla and some white fruit. There is a surprising amount of body to this dram given the lightness of the spirit and the 40% abv. More white wine like flavours with a touch of herby bitterness (parsley?), vanilla and almonds play minor parts. The finish brings back the freshness from the nose, with a kind of tangy tingly effect a bit like after effects of bitter lemon, it’s much the best part of this malt and a bit of a surprise feature at the end.
I’m a little shocked it’s scored this high, as I can’t remember being impressed on previous tastings. Often these light malts can pass your taste buds almost unnoticed if you don’t have a pen in hand to jot down their salient features.