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Macallan 12 Year Old fine oak

A solid big brand 12 year old...

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@hunggarReview by @hunggar

3rd Mar 2014


Macallan 12 Year Old fine oak
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Nose: A wave of wood and spice. Old musty oak, cedar, and pine. The wood is beautiful. Crisp, clean, dry, and spicy. There’s also something quite grassy in here. I’m momentarily reminded of a well aged rye. Next comes fruit. Apples, pears, citrus rind, and dried mango. Sherry, sweet caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, rosemary, and floral notes seem to pop up and then disappear at different intervals. This is a fresh and dynamic nose, and I detect something different with every whiff.

Palate: Medium bodied. Sherry notes seem to come on first, with the usual sultanas and dried red fruits. Chocolate, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and an assortment of other baking spices.

Finish: More gentle spices. More cinnamon, nutmeg, and sultanas. This is followed by a particularly interesting mocha note. I wish it stuck around longer. The finish is short but pleasant, and is characterized mainly by an integration of spice, sultanas, and oak.

There’s a healthy serving of wood in this, and there’s also youthfulness here. Now, that could mean either satisfaction or disappointment, depending on who the reviewer is. For me it’s the former. I like that this is young and I like the dry spices and oak notes. Over-oaked? I don’t think so.

As one of the ubiquitous big brand 12 year olds, I have to say that Macallan has done a good job here. The 12 year old ‘livets and ‘fiddichs of the world could learn a thing or two from this. However, while this has an outstanding nose for a 12 year old at 40%, unfortunately the palate and finish can’t quite live up. What starts off great ultimately becomes a pleasant, but reasonably standard whisky. But with its rich nose, oaky spiciness, and sherry influence, it’s a step above a lot of the other standard 12 year olds.

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