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Macallan 12 Year Old fine oak

Average score from 13 reviews and 44 ratings 82

Macallan 12 Year Old fine oak

Product details

  • Brand: Macallan
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

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Macallan 12 Year Old fine oak

A couple of years ago, Macallan put its Fine Oak series in new livery, the so-called Pillar Series, where the box refers to one of the 6 pillars on which Macallan prides itself: 1) the spiritual home, 2) the exceptionally small stills, 3) the finest cut, 4) the best oak casks in the world, 5) the natural color and 6) the excellent spirit. This 12 years old Fine Oak is therefore an old acquaintance, but I gladly try it again. It is composed of 80% bourbon and 20% sherry matured whisky.

The nose is fruity and creamy with a rather limited sherry influence. Nice touches of banana and citrus fruit, butterscotch and toffee. So, very sweet. Totally void of spices.

It is very succulent, almost fatty on the palate. Again very sweet, but at the same time mildly drying. The palate is a good continuation of the nose, but now there is a spiciness in the guise of pepper, nutmeg and a pinch of cinnamon, making it warm and drying.

The finish is again very sweet, making this whisky very suitable as an after dinner dram.

Pleasant, albeit honeysweet, Macallan. Very accessible and mouth coating. This batch was much more to my liking than the one I had years ago.


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.


Unless you go to a real specialist restaurant you won't find many of your favorites on the menu. More often times I do find either Macallan or Glenlivet 12 year olds available. I always take the Macallan. To me, the most intriguing flavor that I get from it is raisins. There is some sweet sherry in there as well. Its a mid bodied dram that always pleases me. The older you go in the Macallan line the more flavorful they are.


This is what every Speyside single malt should taste like. Delicate and sensitive as well as bold and courageous.

Incidentally this is one of the first single malts I had ever bought and I think it was the reason I fell in love. Familiar aromas of honey, vanilla and hints of coconut remind me of why I got into malting in the first place. Robust barley light dusted with brown sugar and then rubbed on bright green pears makes this nose possibly one of my all time favorites to come out of Speyside.

The velvet delivery is almost perfect as it starts off honeyed followed by black pepper and cinnamon. Swish it around your mouth and you can discern the deftest of dark chocolate and a drop of citrus.

The medium to long finish is dry and quite oaky - I think that's where the Fine Oak comes into it's own - with a touch of nuts and an eyebrow raising stick of clove.

I have to admit; this malt makes me happy.


They have just opened an elegant pub near my flat with American old times theme. Although I usually don't drink Macallan I took this brand for a taste. I drank it flat, no ice (Of course :) )...

1st try - just out of the bottle sniff- gentle breaze, sea, gentle smoke taste- fresh juicy Banana.

2nd try- Sniff- Syrop maple quite dominant taste - Almonds

3rd try +2 drops of water - sniff - grapes taste butter.

finish - barley OR Talisker? I'm not sure.

didn't expect this taste. not bad at all...


So every payday I go out and buy a bottle or two of whisky. Lately I've been getting bourbons and some quite smokey Island and Islay whiskies which have been very enjoyable to me, however not so for my wife. My wife loves Speyside whiskies, which is fine since I enjoy them too, but I haven't been buying any lately. So this paycheck I decided to pick up some Speysides for her!

Now I've read some great things about Macallan and I've been wanting to pick up the 12 yr old Fine Oak for MONTHS now, but I was having a very hard time finding it over here so I had resigned myself to picking up the 10 yr old.

Now I had picked out 2 bottles to bring home this day, a Glenlivet 12 yr old and the Macallan 10 yr old Fine Oak. So as soon as work lets out I run out to Dan Murphys to pick up my new best friends!

I get to Dan Murphys and I find my glenlivet 12 yr old no problem, but I can't find my Macallan! This is unthinkable!! I'm running up and down the whisky aisles trying to find my bottle. Frustration!! Thankfully my wife is with me and she has more brains then me hahaha and she casually reaches into the row of whiskies and pulls out my Macallan!


Now when we get home I crack open the Macallan 10 yr old Fine Oak and pour a dram. This is in celebration of my new job!!

I nose the glass and some beautiful odors of apples, cinnamon, vanilla, fruit fly into my nostrils! Oh my god this is Speyside heaven!! Is there smoke? No! Is there peat? No!! Just lots and lots of fruit!

I take a sip and fruit jumps and down on my tongue! Apples, peaches, pears, cinnamon, vanilla, cream all swirl around my tongue! It's like someone has taken the essence of a hot tropical summers night and poured it onto my tongue. I think as this lovely dram hits the back of my throat I taste some rockmelon/cantaloupe. BLOODY BRILLIANT!!!!!

The finish was short with very little lingering on my tongue, but there was a creamy mouth feel. However there seems to be something missing. It feels a little thin?

Maybe it's because I've been drinking Talisker and Ardbeg blends with lots of smoke lately that I'm feeling a little let down that there isn't more, but what there is, is amazing! Absolutely stunning. Close to perfection is the only way I can describe it.

After dinner and my dram I go to look longingly at the Macallan 12 yr old Fine Oak online. This is so badly what I want to taste. Especially if the 10 yr old is this good! How awesome will the 12 yr old be?!?

As I look longingly at The Whisky Exchanges Macallan 12 yr old Fine Oak something slowly starts to dawn on me...

I didn't just drink the 10 yr old.

I ACTUALLY managed to buy the 12 yr old Fine Oak by mistake.

I bought the whisky that scored 95.5 in the whisky bible. I bought the whisky that scored the highest in the 11 to 15 yr old range by mistake! I BOUGHT the bottle that I've been hunting for months by mistake!!

This whisky is brilliant! Actually so good that I gave a dram to a friend of mine who I work with for her 18th birthday. Who doesn't like whisky. Who said it tasted like yummy fruit.

This whisky might just become my number 1 favorite whisky. I'm going to have to go out and buy 3 or 4 more bottles of this version because the odds of next years being this good are low.

My friend SystemDown in his blog (CHECK OUT HIS BLOG!!) whiskyoz.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/… reviewed Talisker 10 yr old and said that even though he loved the Talisker, it didn't suit a hot and tropical climate like Queensland, but would be an awesome dram for a colder environment (System if I am misquoting you at all PLEASE correct me!!)

Well my friends the Macallan 12 yr old is a whisky I wouldn't use for a cold winters night. But as a dram for a hot summers night this is a PERFECT dram!!

Jim Murray was right about this one!! This whisky is one of the best I have ever tasted and for a measly $85ish aussie dollars it's a steal of a deal!!!!


This is merely a starter review, please look elsewhere for reviews which cover the complexities better.

(At first tasting) The nose, taste and finish were all over powered by over-ripe fruit given enough time with this dram.

Oddly enough, the opening nose makes the brief finish relatively weaker than it should be.

(After being left 3 months at quarter-full) The nose is rich and much creamier than the taste. It contains aspects of nut (possibly macadamia), hints of banana, and a very strong note of white chocolate and rasberry.

The taste is no longer over-ripe, however the taste of bitter plum-pit is quite potent (if not dominating). There are obviously strong citrus tones, both zest and flesh. There is also a number of herbs, sage being foremost.

The finish is just as short, and much weaker, however it is a lot more pleasant overall. There is no real evolution from the taste, although there is a slight curling in the flavours - pleasantly aging while skirting around withering, to a respectful departure.

(I would have given the first tasting a 58 of 100, after 3 months of oxidation, I would give this dram a 68/100. The final score is the likely average that the Macallan 12 y/o would score in the interim)


have just bought a bottle of this whilst on holiday this week..... Very drinkable, lovely and smooth 12 yo offering from this renowned distillery. On the nose I'm finding apples and cinnamon with toffee and vanilla oak... The arrival is smooth and delicate with the perfect balance of sweet and savoury, a great after dinner dram... Nice coating of the palate, feel like you are experiencing something unique and rare.

Overriding flavours are apples, limes, cinnamon, light oak, sherry bourbon and nutmeg.


Neat. Not a hell of a lot of legs forming. An odd nose emerges of potpourri, spiced orange rind, grapefruit rind, mild smoke, heavy caramel, toffee, peanut brittle, savory and fatty meat. Comes across almost as a barleywine nose (a type of high gravity amber beer originally from England). Taste is sugary with sweet cherry. Spicy alcohol immediately piling on with spicy wood, cherry, limoncello, salt, more wood, spice. Over oaked for my taste and lacking balance.

I gave this one a better score, but I think we have the same opinion. In the Fine Oak range I've tasted the 12, 15, and 18 year old and I found all of them to be unimpressive.


This past Christmas I received the Macallan 12, 15, and 18, all in the Fine Oak range, from a very generous friend. The notes of each were taken in direct comparison of one another in one sitting.

Nose: Underripe fruits, bread, young floral notes. A bit spirity.

Palate: Seems younger than 12 years old. A bit of sweetness which quickly gives way to floral notes with salt.

Finish: Poof, it's gone. Oak hangs in the background.

This one seems a bit immature. My least favorite of the range. The flavors aren't bad at all, simply underdeveloped, in my opinion.



I'm not sure why this whisky isn't listed on Connosr (yet), as it's quite readily available in Belgium (so I presume in the UK and Scotland as well).

As was to be expected, the nose of the one is a little more complex than his younger brother, the 10 Year Old. Apart from the white fruit, honey and heather, this one has some freshly cut grass and light spices.

This 12 Year Old has a full body, nicely topped off with some spices. The obligatory malt, fruit and oak touches are present of course.

The finish on this one is much better because it's longer and has a spicy kick.

Hence, with a price tag of approx. 40 EUR, I believe this 12 Year Old to be the best choice in the Fine Oak series.

This is indeed a decent dram. The sherry oak range is basically unavailable over here in Australia, so we make do with the fine oak range. The 12 is where I would start.


This is the successor of the 10 year old Fine Oak, one of the best selling Scotches of all time (unfortunately, I have not yet had the pleasure of tasting the 10yo, or any other Macallan for that matter, but will add them to my wishlist). The expectations were high indeed.

Once the straw colored liquid is poured into the snifter from the elegant bottle, you'll find the body to be rather firm with nice legs running down the inside of the glass.

The nose is very fresh with vanilla and a hint of grass. Nice!

It rolls easily and lazily over the tongue and leaves an impression of light spices, without the bite. This is a soft whisky.

The finish is medium (I would have hoped it could last a little longer) with a slight bite and dried fruits as the dominant taste.

It is clear why this whisky is so popular, he is simply delicious.

Gymnazi, I beg to differ. Check this post on my blog, wich image : blog.whivie.be. It definitely says 12 year old 'fine oak' on the label. I'll give the 15 yo a try when I get the chance, thanks for the tip!

Do u mean the 12 year sherry oak? Macallan doesn't have a 12 year fine oak that I know of. And try the 15 year fine oak for a lingering finish. Its nicccce!!


The nose is initially vanilla sweet and gently evolves adding grassiness, fruitiness and burnt toffee notes. Very pleasant.

The taste is light but warm. Fruit - especially citrus, sweet toffee with a hint of wood to keep you interested.

The finish is not terribly long, and is full of toffee and fruit. The party piece though is the wonderful second hit - about 10 seconds after swallowing a wave of gently spiced warmth rolls up your throat to your lips.

I bought this one because I wanted to try out a Macallan, and it was the cheapest available. I wasn't expecting a lot, as it is basically a bottom-of-the range speyside malt (I was kind of mentally picturing it as the Macallan equivalent of the Glenfiddich 12 year old), but I was pleasantly surprised. It's not an A-lister by any means, but if this is the bottom of the range, that bodes well for the rest...

I would heartily recommend it if you want to try a Macallan and are on a budget...

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