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Macallan 10 Year Old Sherry Oak

Average score from 11 reviews and 32 ratings 85

Macallan 10 Year Old Sherry Oak

Product details

  • Brand: Macallan
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 10 year old

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@talexander
Macallan 10 Year Old Sherry Oak

This one is a mini of the 10 year old (which was launched in 1978, though I don't think they make anymore?) I don't know when this one was bottled.

The colour is a medium copper (quite a bit darker than the G&M bottling I just reviewed). On the nose it's classic sherried Macallan: baking spices, dark chocolate, soft banana, dates and orange peel. Oversteeped tea. I'm guessing this is oloroso (whereas I'm not sure the Speymalt was). Maltier with water. Although light, this has real backbone.

On the palate we have more spices (cloves, cinnamon) with baked apples, rum-raisin, walnut and biscuity malt. Black cherries. Creamy mouthfeel. Water seems to harmonize the flavours somehow. Much richer than I was expecting from such a young malt.

The finish is long, with peppery spice, oloroso and oak. This was a nice surprise, rather rich and chewy compared to the Speymalt. Side-by-side you can totally see the house style of the distillery firmly entrenched in each, but the official 10 year old is richer, fruitier and spicier in every way. If the Speymalt is an aperitif, the 10 is a digestif. Jim Murray scores this a 91 and I would agree it belongs in that ballpark.

@talexander,

Thanks for sharing this rare dram with us. I recently tried the 12YO Double Cask and was disappointed. The presence of you know what has blemished this recent release.

Wine-searcher.com still shows a lot of Macallan 10 Sherry Oak worldwide, but none in Canada. I've never seen it myself, and have always been curious about it. Thanks for your review, @talexander.

@paddockjudge, thanks for your very useful information about the Macallan Double Cask.

@Uisgebetha

Aged in 100% Jerez Sherry casks, Macallan is the original sherry bomb malt whisky. Does it really stand up to scrutiny these days, and is this standard of aging necessary or even desirable given the chance of some sulphurous contamination.

A rich spicy aroma with an alcoholic solvent like whiff. Cloves and cinnamon provide the spice, and bitter sherry the rest of the experience, not exactly complex but a pleasant introduction despite the solvent. The sherry influence is all over this malt once you taste it, bitter sweet sherry dominates with the undercard filled with butter scotch, cloves and some plumy fruit. The finish is dryer with the cloves and bitter sherry notes coming to the fore.

Nice enough as a young sherry bomb, but I’ve certainly had better bottles of Macallan than this. In the past it’s had distinct flavours of butter and blackcurrant, and when present they can propel this malt into a different class.

@KubiDSTR

As the title says, it was my first single malt I've ever tasted. And I think it was a good start. Since then, I had the opportunity to taste few other single malts and The Macallan 10YO sherry oak still stays my favourite.

Nose: very pleasant, sweet and fruity with sherry notes and a little bit of oak wood

Taste: smooth, dried fruit and sherry notes, little spicy

Finish: long, sweet and spicy, in the very end little bit of some sort of wood spice taste

Edit: I was writing this review after the bottle was already finished for some time. I know it's not good for accuracy of review, but I wanted to share my point of view on this whisky (I joined connosr.com few days ago).

@vanPelt

Nose: First, cherry and orange with leather. Then the fruits tone down and this transforms to the main theme: a Waldorf salad with all its elements (weakly salty mayo, red grape, red apple, celery, walnut). (And you might just notice some vanilla, which hints at the apricot that will come in the palate.)

Palate: Woody bitter entrance (sweeter if it has breathed), getting progressively sweeter with orange... spiced only slightly with cinnamon & nutmeg. Near the end transitioning through apple and oak and into... distinct dried apricot.

Finish: The dried apricot sustains, especially on the exhale, while a ginger pepperiness fades into wood.

I thought this compared closest to Aberlour 10 and so tasted them head-to-head. The Macallan nose has something more savory and less sweet (more Waldorf mayo and less orange peel); I prefer the Aberlour. But on the palate, the Macallan wins by being smoother and with that delectable apricot into the finish. Macallan takes the edge with a more varied and enjoyable expression. Some of its oaky bitterness needs smoothening, which I expect to find in more aged versions.

@Rantavahti

For my taste this was too much of sherrybomb, I guess in movie talk: Sherrybaby.

Nose: Fruity toffee with a big influence of sherry.

Taste: Dried fruits and sherry wood.

Finish: Spicy lasting finish but for my taste, too much sherry. Sweet and with a taste of wood.

Balance: I think it's well balanced for its kind but not for my taste. Probably many people will like it.

@Pierre_W

The Macallan, distilled in the heart of Speyside, is arguably one of the great single malts around. The 10yo is the entry level expression of their Sherry Oak range.

The nose is fruity and brilliantly sherried. I detected orange jam, apricots, toffee and a whiff of smoke.

The palate is medium-bodied and extremely well-rounded. It is silky on the tongue as every Macallan expression from the Sherry Oak range, very smooth and sweet. There are again hints of orange and toffee.

The finish is not overly long, sweet and with lots of oranges.

I like this expression quite a lot. It is much sweeter than the 12yo and very distinct in its emphasis on oranges and toffee. This is one of the few Macallans where in my opinion the price performance ratio is very good.

@SquidgyAsh

So my wife and I have been planning on going to the whisky bar in our city for months now. Every time we make plans SOMETHING always come up. I get called into work a day early, we can't afford to go out, a public holiday that we forgot about is occurring on the day we're going and they're closed or as just happened this last time around, my wife and I got sick.

This has been extremely frustrating for me as this bar has quite a few whiskies I've been meaning to try for a while and so as the day was ending yesterday I was feeling a wee bit down. To the rescue comes my brother in law! I get a text message from him saying "If you can't go to the whisky then the whisky shall come to you!"

A couple hours later my brother and sister in law arrive at the house and he brings with him a bag of whisky. In this bag are a couple whiskies I've never had before along with a couple I've tasted.

So first out comes one of my favorite speyside distilleries Macallan. This Macallan is a 10 yr old Sherry casks which I've never tasted, having tasted, bought and loved the 12 yr old Fine Oak I know I'm in for a treat!

Now as I nose this lovely whisky the smell of sherry strongly comes through the glass. Wonder why that is...oh yeah this is the sherry casks haha. But along with the sherry comes a bit of apples and cinnamon. Quite an enjoyable nose and I know right away that I'm in speyside land!

Now to taste! No big surprise but the sherry shines all the way through the palate with a bit of the cinnamon and the apple are there, but they're there in the background. Now this bottle had been open for quite a while and I could tell that there had been a bit of oxidation but the flavors were nice, the problem that I could tell is I'm sure that the whisky would have been a bit more complex when first opened. I enjoyed the flavors, but I'm pretty sure I would of enjoyed a freshly opened bottle more.

The finish is what I register as a Macallan Finish. Lots of sweetness, in this case sherry with a bit of vanilla that lingers for a bit and does make you want to go get another drink. A lovely dram that I really could have tried brand new.

It's not the most complex malt in the world, but a very enjoyable one just the same. Just from the drinks I had out of this bottle that had been opened for weeks if not longer it made me want to go out and buy the Macallan 10 yr Sherry cask. Another A+ in my speyside ring!! This would be a whisky that I'd be happy to introduce a newbie too.

@coin

Macallan was the first single malt I ever bought. Just as back then, I am very fond of the heavy sherry tone in this one. It's full bodied and coats the entire mouth with it's smooth oily texture. Figs, dried fruit and apricot with a toffee and vanilla finnish makes this dram a very enjoyable one. It is also a perfect malt for beginners, especially with a dash of water in it.

I forgot to mention that it does have a slight bitterness to it in the finish, which (for me) is a small but noticeable minus. It would score a bit higher without it.

@jdcook

My wife and I have been parents of our little girl Zoe for a grand total of 6 days now, and I've been trying to decide on a dram to toast her birth. So when I got a newsletter from my usual retailer, and I saw the Macallan 10 year old sherry oak was on sale (it's pretty rare here in Australia), I jumped at the chance to get an early fathers day gift! In the same order I also purchased a local dram, the Hellyers Road Distillery Slightly Peated and a Glengoyne 10 year old. Initially my wife said I wasn't allowed to have any until fathers day, but she relented and has allowed me to start tasting them early, which gave a chance to toast little Zoe!

On to the dram itself, the nose is a deep mix - full of sherry, cinnamon, toffee, dried apples and just a hint of smoke. Bewitching, with every sniff emphasising a slightly a different aspect. The sherry smoke alone could keep me tantalised for hours!

The taste is big, warm and rich.The same mix of sherry, cinnamon, toffee and smoke is there, but there is an added nutty creaminess to it. It's a very smooth warm wave that wafts nicely into the finish.

Speaking of which, the finish hits with a wave of sherry smoke and toffee, that quickly starts to get a spicy cinnamon tingle. As it slowly fades over several minutes the dried fruit makes a reappearance. Very, very nice.

This is a genuinely excellent dram, and ranks with the very best 10 year olds from any distillery out there. It's also excellent value for money. Plus for me it will always be associated with the birth of our little girl, so while it rates a definite 9, in my heart it feels more like a 9.5...

@jdcook, what wonderful news that is. And Zoe is a beautiful name. Congrats, mate (raises glass, winks and sips to JD's family). Tip for JD: kids are wonderful. For one thing (I've got three children), you can ask them each to buy you a bottle of Scotch for Father's Day LOL

Really good review. You will be connected to that whisky forever. I also think Zoe is a very nice name and as I see, she had her first birthday party already! Ordered my first Macallan 10yo yesterday and I am so much looking forward to open the bottle :)

@OJK

Nose, Taste, Finish and Balance are graded out of 2.5 each:

Nose: Well, before we even open the bottle, we know that we're dealing with one of the oldest names in Speyside aristocracy, so much so that it has definitive article "The" as a prefix to its name. One hears about Macallan all the time, its long history is apparent for all to see every time you step into a specialist whisky shop, and see the dusty pre-second world war bottles adourning the shelves, protected by the locked glass cabinet. This, allied to its deep sauternes colouring, and its famed sherried depth, adds to a sense of expectation when one pours "The" Macallan into The glass. Now expectation is a difficult thing to live up to, and even though of course this is but a fledgling 10 year, the youngest heir to the great Macallan dynasty, the famed sherried depth is immediately apparent. And it's very deep indeed. The cooked cherry is quite exquisite, as is the sweet aroma of burnt marshmallow - perhaps not an image that one would associate with such aristocracy, however I suppose it shows that the nobility can still rough it. An altogether mouthwatering experience. 2.0

Taste: Very smooth and appropriately velvety. The marshmallow is very much present, as are the cherries, all blended together in a creamy butterscotch sauce. 2.5

Finish: Spice and ginger. It is as if swallowing a rich gingerbread cake, with the flavours still coating the mouth, and savouring every moment that they linger there. Thankfully they're sticking around for a while, but the rich Jamaica Ginger Cake finish, much like the marshmallow on the nose and palate, prove that The Macallan isn't just a stuffy old suit, or, to quote the great Morrissey in 'Panic', "with nothing to say about my life" - there's fun to be had here too. 2.0

Balance: I remember when I was at school, I'd have the same attitude to Shakespeare, when it was constantly drilled into you by stuffy teachers that he was the greatest of the classic writers, and that his plays had been enjoyed by generations long before you, and therefore so must they be by you. Often when you are told these things, it is almost basic instinct to be turned off by it, in a form of youthful rebellion. Then, there's that almost frustrating yet nonetheless exhilarating experience when you first sit down on your own, away from the classroom, and read your first Shakespeare play, and you realise that in fact, despite your instinct, genius lies within those pages, and you understand why for generations it has been so consistently lauded. Suddenly you find yourself reading it in the same way that the first reader must have done, with excitement and awe, as if it were completely fresh and that you yourself were that very first reader. This was my experience with Macallan, and much like with Shakespeare, one struggles to declare a love of it without being accused of pretension. Therefore, as with all classics, to be truly appreciated they must be discovered by the individual, and not preached by the masses. 2.5

(another) great review! Makes me wanna try this malt immediatly. As your words suggest, "Strangeways Here We Come" playing in the background and a good old classic, may just create the ideal predispositions for The perfect tastng experience!

Hi @drinix, many thanks! I would highly recommend this whisky, especially under the tasting conditions you suggest! If you enjoy it I would then highly recommend trying the Macallan 15 Fine Oak, another stunning dram at very good value.

@Aedan382

The nose is sweet and strong, with fruit and vanilla The palate is vanilla and fruity with light smoke and warm sherry. The finish is smoky with a smooth draw that leaves me wanting more

Overall I think thus was a great scotch to start my cabinet. As i've said, I started my single malt affair with Bushmills Single malts in 10 and 16 year vintages. The 16 was similar to this Macallan 12, but not as smoky/ peaty. I am definey pleased with both of these selections. I'll put up my notes on the Macallan 15 y.o. Fine Oak after my bachelor party on 8/22

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