Macallan Fine Oak 15 Years
Colour: straw yellow.
Nose: Wild flowers, quite noble, lots of oak spices.
Palate: starts smooth and sweet like thinned maple syrup but that turns woody, green and piney but all these are not overdone.
Finish: Unlike the start on palate, the finish is dry and more bitter, orange with a little spice, maybe clove? Oh hello, that’s bitter orange marmalade. Most reviews I’ve read define chocolate all over, but I don’t get much, or is it that bitter chocolate that is described? I get the bitterness.
With a few drops of water I found some pepper in the finish, which helps to bring out the differences between sweet and spicy and lower the strength a little.
I do like this whisky, it’s primo and I enjoyed it, so don’t get me wrong (starting a new topic here) but I think I prefer purely ex-sherry/port cask whisky rather than a mix of bourbon and sherry, or pure bourbon casks. On researching some more, it’s interesting to know that this whisky is triple matured in a trio of Spanish oak ex-sherry wine casks, American oak ex-Sherry casks, and American oak ex-bourbon casks, all matured separately for 15 years, then married. So, even having two sherry casks and only one bourbon in the dram, why is it that I’m missing the “winey” flavours then? I need to research more on the different outcomes from using sherry casks vs. bourbon casks vs. both.
I may be identifying some clear and present direction here for my true whisky character. It could never be that I’ve had one too many…
@murrayaitken I agree. Give me traditional Sherry oaked Macallan any day. I had the fine oak 15 about 5 years ago and haven't bothered since. I think the whole Fine Oak range was sub-par and overpriced. But you gave it a decent mark, so I might try it again if I come across it at a decent price (which is highly unlikely).
Nice review. When it comes to sherry - matured Scotch Macallan is an excellent specimen. The CS is fantastic, and while I haven't had enough time to really get to know them, the 12 and 18 (the old ones) were really something, even at 43%.
In terms of your comment about what you like, I felt that I preferred sherry matured CS whiskies. Over time I've broadened my scope. One of my favourite Amruts was a single bourbon cask offering. So I wonder if maybe it's the low ABV and some poor cask selection that is somehow at play.