Thanks to scotchandponder for the mystery dram!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: That place was on fire when I showed up and I don’t know where my collection of oily rags is located at this time.
In addition I’ve bemoaned the fact that when it comes to something, I’m not inherently gifted or amazing at it, but I am persistent and organized. If nothing else I keep track and keep trying. That’s the reason I have the amount of reviews I do.
It’s been awhile since I’ve attempted a mystery review, so when I was handed one by scotchandponder while we were pouring things for one another, I jumped at the chance.
Based on the title and everything you know he picked out a variation of a Macallan I’ve already reviewed, which I think is super neat. Why? Because some distilleries pride themselves on variation, and some pride themselves on consistency. I haven’t decided on which I like just yet, but let’s see how a cask strength vatted Macallan tastes as part of it’s 2019 release, shall we?
Price: € 200
Cask type: Sherry Seasoned Oak Casks from Jerez
Colour: 10YR 6/8
Nose: Walnut, brown sugar, chemical, raspberry, cumin
Nutty, a bit of rich molasses, and fruity. Initially my thought is the sherry is really, really taking over. Hard to say if the nuttiness is because of the sherry or the base malt? Good amount of earth.
Sadly there’s this off note in there, bit chemical. It’s not a game changing: I’m living in 2022, I’m used to the smell of chemicals with everything from fake cheese to the rain.
Taste: Cloves, honey, raspberry, cola, anise
Much nicer taste than the nose: The sugar is more floral, the spice is less earthy, and there’s a sweet/cola note that’s really nice.
Very sweet versus the 2017 is very butter forward. This one got more beat up by the sherry cask, however my initial concern about the chemical note meaning shite cask was unfounded.
Reminds me more of a Highland, earthy whisky versus a Macallan.
Finish: Nutmeg, rosemary, molasses, coffee, mushroom, cherry
That’s a lovely finish: More earth, more herbal, and feels less beaten up by a sherry cask at this point. That coffee note threw me off completely: I was so sure this was a Highland when I got that.
Conclusion: Earthy, bit over sherried, not bad for a modern sherry cask. This reminded me more of the sherry whiskies that are out now, in which you lose a lot of the whisky, however that finish felt like they realized that and reigned it back in.
I originally called the 2017 as a less complex Cask Strength release. This is not that. This is a simpler, if still nice, sherried whisky. There’s little in terms of complexity, as it mostly goes on red fruit, sweet, spice, and earth forward whisky.
I hope that they go more towards the 2017 with future releases, but we’ll see, as that takes more expensive casks and doesn’t really allow for any mistakes. Blind I had a hard time telling this was a PX cask. The 2021 is supposed to show how “ex-Bourbon plays a role in [Macallan] whiskies”, so maybe they did, maybe they didn’t.
Guess: Sherry cask, 50%, Highland, 9-13 years old, Deanston? Maybe GlenDronach?
Actually: Macallan Classic Cut 2019
Scotch review #1496, Speyside review #425, Whisky Network review #2201