I'm spending my Sunday afternoon reviewing two Macallans (though really tasting three). The first is a newer product called the Double Cask 12 Year Old, which is a combination of whiskies matured in both American oak and European oak (both sherry casks). This bottle has been open for about a month or so.
The colour is a light-to-medium amber. Very nice on the nose, with butterscotch, macadamia nut, plums, toasted almonds and creme caramel. Quite fruity with orange, cherry and overripe apple skins, all anchored by a healthy serving of oak. Water brings out malt, wood smoke and herbs such as mint and sage. Hits all the right notes of fruit, nut and wood.
Creamy on the palate with golden raisins, caramel, more macadamia, fino sherry, toasted oak and some gentle spices. Milk chocolate. Light honey. The tannins are only slightly mouth-pulling. A bit maltier - and spicier - with water. Pleasant but needs a bit more oomph.
The finish is not as smooth as it should be, with oak, cloves and apple compote. It's nice to have a 12 year old Macallan back on the marketplace, though it lacks the richness of the Sherry Oak 12; but it's an improvement over the Gold or Amber, that's for sure. I'm tasting it next to a freshly opened bottle of Gold and it is much richer, with more sherry, oak and fruit (conversely, the Gold is a little spicier). Definitely worth buying if you want a Macallan that leans more in the direction of what it used to be.