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Macallan Double Cask 12 Year Old

Two Macallans - Part I

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

20th Aug 2017


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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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.

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OdysseusUnbound commented

Nice review. Question: are you sensitive to sulphur? I ask because I'm only mildly sensitive to it and when I tried this malt at a friend's place, I found it to be sulphur-tainted. I'm sure @Victor would have been very put-off by the one I tried. That said, I wouldn't mind getting an age-guaranteed Macallan in my cabinet, since the Sienna (the only acceptable whisky I've tried in Macallan's Pole Dancer series) is almost twice the price of this one.

4 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound I have been told by those who don't like sulphur that this one is tainted. However, there could be different batches. Given both bottles in question were from the LCBO, I suspect it's the same batch.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

talexander commented

I'm usually sensitive to sulphur but I didn't find it in this bottling (though I have found it in a number of newer Macallan bottlings).

4 years ago 2Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented

@talexander, I purchased a bottle of this from LCBO for my birthday and was disappointed to find a strong sulphur note....interesting.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

Victor commented

@talexander, lots of badly sulphured malts taste OK when first opened, then later, after a few months...you taste the sulphur in spades. I've seen that with Glenmorangie Companta, Auchentoshan Three Wood, and Chieftain's Glenburgie 13 yo. I don't doubt that you can taste sulphur or that you didn't taste any in your Macallan 12 Double Cask yet, only that that means that the sulphur isn't there. If I had a second bottle of a delayed-effect sulphur evidence whisky I'd drink down that second bottle quickly, before the burnt-matches-rotten-eggs-bitterness sets in.

4 years ago 0

talexander commented

@Victor Interesting. I have definitely encountered sulphur in some Glenmorangies (including the Pride 1984), Macallans and especially Mortlachs.

4 years ago 0

BlueNote commented

@talexander the 43% Mac 12 sherry cask I got recently in Oregon is absolutely fine...so far. It is certainly thinner than versions from 10 years ago, but still very good. I hear mostly bad reports on th Double 12.

4 years ago 0

talexander commented

@BlueNote Well, maybe try it at a bar if you can - it's not what the Mac sherry 12 is but it comes close, IMHO.

4 years ago 0

BlueNote commented

@talexander Will do. I shouldn't write it off before trying it myself.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

Frost commented

Tried one of these recently (not my bottle), and my friend and I didn't detect sulphur.

Not that we were looking for it, but we didn't recoil from any "pong"

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

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