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The LCBO is keen to remind everyone that this expression was, at one time, so popular worldwide that stocks were virtually depleted. Well, fear not, for the intrepid purchasers at the LCBO have ample enough supply to see everyone through the next Global Macallan 18 Armageddon. Sadly, at $250 a bottle it rarely seems to venture much further than from its vaunted position in the vintages section.
I should not complain, though. This bottle was a gift from my brother on account of my fecundity. Smitten by Macallan 12, he felt that the 18 yo expression would be a suitable step up. Macallan 18 is aged exclusively in Oloroso sherry casks from Jerez, Spain. That's exclusive sherry aging - not a sherry finish, or hint o' sherry, or tickled by sherry, or a hot sherry injection. So, if you are after a nice sherried whisky you could do much worse than this Macallan.
Nose: you guessed it - sherry. Definitely grapey, with lots of dark fruit, fruitcake, spice, orange, and hint of cream. A great nose.
Palate: quite silky and smooth, until the spice emerges. Sweet arrival, with grape and dark fruit emerging in the development. There is bitter orange, vanilla, and a drying tannic spice that is wonderfully balanced by the initial sweetness.
Finish: the hint of sweet grape and sherry devolves into a long, drying finish with a pleasant spice.
Overall, a wonderful sipping dram. I would never pay $250 for it, but I certainly wouldn't turn it away. This one of my first drams (my 'gateway' dram, as they say), so it was nice to be able to return to it and spend a little time getting to know it better.