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This is not my first review of Macallan 12. I did an “on the fly” review last year when I was on a trip to Boston, but the glass and atmosphere(a huge Bar Mitzvah party) were not really conducive to a proper in-depth review. It can be viewed here:
A long-time fan of high-powered whiskies, I was pleasantly surprised by this low ABV gem. Of course, it has not been available in Canada for a long time, and I had pretty much given up on the idea of owning a bottle (I tried and enjoyed a few pours of the 18 YO the next night, but that one would be out of my price range), but when @Victor was able to source a couple for me at just under $72 US (each) out the door, I jumped at the opportunity. Coupled with the sweet-talking expertise of @Paddockjudge to ensure there were no taxes at the border, this was a great acquisition.
Using the Highland Whisky Glass, this expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
I rarely comment on the appearance but after swirling around in the legs seem to last forever. The colour is a dark amber but I can’t say if it’s from the sherry casks or e150a.
Rich nose for its 43% ABV. Initially I get a vegetal note but after a few minutes this tones down and I get dried fruits predominating. Prunes for sure. Heavy syrup, baking spices. This is a sherry bomb nose. Water gives it some higher pitched notes, like cherry, and a little leather. (23/25)
Sweet sherry on the arrival. Slight alcohol nip. Some spices. Pepper, and slightly sour in the development. Water makes it bit more spirity but it settles down, and tones down the pepper. (22/25)
Dry, astringent, fairly short. Less peppery and a little minty on the exhale with water. (21.5/25)
The nose is a little more complex and richer than the palate but this is quite a full-flavoured whisky.
Score: Neat - 88 /100 With Water: 89.5/100
This was one of the first lower ABV Scotches to open my eyes and make me realize that they have a place in my cabinet. Benromach 10 was a pleasant surprise last year as well. Another I recently discovered, deep in my cabinet, was HP 12, which I hadn’t poured in several years. I took a chance by committing to 2 bottles after only tasting this at a party, and it looks like the gamble paid off.
I should note that I didn’t look at my previous review before writing my tasting notes this time, and they seem pretty consistent.
Macallan 12. If only it would come (back) to Canada…