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Macallan 18 Year Old Sherry Oak

A Fantastic, Overpriced Whisky

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@jwiseReview by @jwise

14th Jan 2011


Macallan 18 Year Old Sherry Oak
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I have tasted this whisky before, but I confess it was a while back. In addition, I tasted it while comparing it to the 12yr Sherry Oak, and probably others as well. What I'm trying to say is that my initial tasting was probably not the best, as it was clouded with other whiskies and before I had developed my palate (not that my palate is now "developed", but it was even more immature than it is now).

I found a miniature of the 18yr at a local package store for $8, and figured it was high-time to try this whisky again. So, here goes the Macallan 18yr Sherry Oak, round two:

The color is a pretty dark gold, maybe an amber gold? This bottle is 43% ABV.

Nose: Straight away I am getting sherry, oak, currants, and dark chocolate. Hmmm... This is shaping up nicely. Let's see what else I find in there! A little orange peel. Cinnamon, and a touch of crystalized ginger. The nose is truly delightful.

Body: Medium body with a rich profile.

Palate: Nice, spice coming into play. Warming, sweet, candied orange peel, dark chocolate, ripe fruits, dried berries. Not really ripe red fruit, or peaches or plums, but a nice sweet apple or pear. This whisky is exceptional on the palate. I could really hold this in my mouth for the whole evening. If only I didn't have to talk to anyone...

Finish: Smooth! Wow, that just slipped over the tongue like it was water! Nice, short-ish finish, with a bit of spice and chocolate again on the end. Ok, more spice this time. Nice. Again with the dark chocolate! Some could almost call that a whiff of java or smoke, but it reminds me of the really dark (72% cacao) chocolate. There is a sweet taste left in the mouth. Not winy at all. Just a nice taste of candied oranges. Wow. Really nice.

Well, I must say - this is a nice dram. I am quite enjoying this afternoon nip! I am VERY happy that I was able to find a 1/2 bottle of this whisky, and even more glad that I was able to find it for only $49! I only pulled 2/3rds of the 50ml bottle out for this tasting, so I can try it again in a few days. The 1/2 bottle will probably stay put up for a while, and wait on a special occasion to be opened. Quite nice, and I am sad that I wasted the first bottle on my youthful palate! At the time, I found it quite boring and only mildly smoother than the 12yr. Silly me...

Frankly, I'm not sure if this is really all that better than the Aberlour 15yr Sherry Finish or 16yr Double Cask. It is quite similar, both with a very nice sherry flavor and plenty of spice at the end. This is dramatic, as the 16yr Aberlour costs less than $60/bottle, and Macallan 18yr goes for $140-160/bottle. I will have to do some more tasting to be sure, but I think I stand by my original assessment that this is a nice whisky, but not worth the price. Still, a very good dram, indeed!

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indynoir commented

I bought this whisky related to the legendary nature of Macallan 18. Just had to try it. I hadn't been a huge sherry fan but must say I love this bottle. However, I'm with you...as good as it is...don't see myself plunking down another $140 for a second bottle. Too many others to try...and too many other good ones with similar profiles at lower prices.

11 years ago 0

whiskydallas commented

Great review. My comment regarding price is that the richness and overall quality and consistency of this whisky or any other pricey dram, depends on how much you are willing to pay for it. Compare this to other 18 year old sherry bombs, you can' beat it. But are you willing to pay for the subtle upgrade in quality

6 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

@whiskydallas Both are a distant memory, but by my recollection this one beat Aberlour 18 hands down. I wish I had more 18 YO sherry bombs to compare it to...

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

Victor commented

Ah yes, I remember it well, 2011, when Macallan 18 Sherry Oak could be purchased for "$ 140-160". What's an extra $ 100 now? (Answer: too much for most people)

$ 160 seemed like a lot in 2011. $ $260 seems like a lot more in 2018. A mere $ 15.6 per 45 ml is what a pour out of your home bottle of Macallan 18 Sherry Oak now costs.

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

whiskydallas commented

I know that prices have risen dramatically for a variety of reasons, marketing and consumer demand to name a couple of reasons. The quality is undeniable despite the outrageous price

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented

@whiskydallas, The last great batch of Macallan 18 YO that I have tried was 1993, bottled 2011. Not every release from The Macallan is a brilliant success, but when they get it right, it is magnificent - Oloroso at its finest. Mac Cask Strength is a shining example of this greatness. The last few NAS N American releases were stunners, the last few before it was discontinued.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?