I've come across some young Macallans through my Scotch Whisky Auction shopping, so let's compare two of them: A G&M 2005 9 year old Speymalt, and a mini of the standard 10 year old. Let's start with the G&M, matured in first-fill and refill sherry butts. The bottle has been open for about six months or so.
The colour is a medium gold. On the nose we have thin honey, poached pear, underripe banana and candy cane. Lemon meringue. Pineapple. Mackintosh toffee. Rather floral. The spirit is a little biscuity. Even fruitier and more herbal with water. Very nice balance between the fruity spirit and the gentle sherry.
The lemon meringue has become lemon pith on the palate. The fruity theme is still apparent, with papaya, banana peel, peppery spices and a lot of mint. Macadamia. Thin mouthfeel. Water gives it a nice spicy kick. Light and very approachable.
The medium-long finish is buttered toast and cloves. This is a lovely aperitif-style Macallan, with a nice balance between fruit, sherry and spice. Definitely one of the better young Macallans I've tasted.