Archive for the ‘Macallan’ Category

Carn Mor Black Gold Macallan 1987 (28 year old) 43.2%

Sherry Cask 3330/ Dist: Apr 1987 Btl: Oct 2015/ Tasted: Nov 2015

Seriously dark aromas of dark chocolate, prunes, raisin, treacle and a touch of burnt wood. Beautifully mature with hints of lightly oxidised stewed fruit but a subtle vanilla coated dusty barley note adds some lightness. With time hint of apricot, green fruit, turmeric, cinnamon.

Thick, moist and treacly on the palate with raisins, prunes, figs and hints of dark chocolate, burnt wood and earthy chenin-esque notes.. Superbly juicy and succulent with a touch of balancing citrus. Like the nose some barley and vanilla add a touch of lightness. Deep and long with vibrant, citric green fruit, cardamom, cinnamon and pepper along with lingering raisinated fruit and malt. A big wow!

Carn Mor Black Gold Macallan 1985 (30 year old?) 52.8%

First Fill Sherry Puncheon/ Dist: 1985 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Sept 2016

Mature and woody on the nose with huge dollops of treacle, dried grape, dark chocolate and hints of blueberry. Thick and malty with a touch of toasted spice and walnut shell. The pure Oloroso character continues to unwind to display hints of lightly herbal prunes, raisin, plum and balancing citrus notes.

Luscious and very treacly on the palate with walnut, almond, prune, plum, dates and dried fig. Poised and beautifully balanced by a sliver of citrus and hints of chocolate orange and bitter spice. It does become a little woody on the middle with a little wood smoke appearing but the sheer depth of saturated, treacly, malty Oloroso balances. Long and citric with a beautiful mouth-watering freshness. A little drying tannin right at the death but those tannins are pleasantly spicy and chocolaty. Impressive!

Highland Laird Macallan 1995 (15 year old) ?abv

Dist: 1995 Btl: 2015

Aromas of gorgeously dusty American oak – vanilla pod and custard powder. Hints of summer flowers, herbal honey, malt and earth follow. With time the aromas darken a little and become very herbal. Hints of acacia and white liquorice appear.

The palate is succulent and moist with honey, apricot, apple, malt and vanilla pod. Like the nose it becomes quite herbal and the alcohol begins to nip a little. Good length with the barley and vanilla lingering.

A drop of water unfortunately brings out the oils to the extent where they mute all the other aromas. Whilst on the palate it emphasises the earthiness and it has also brought out a faint mustiness. I must admit that I didn’t expect it to take water this badly.

Highland Laird Macallan 1995 (15 year old) ?abv

Dist: 1995 Btl: 2015

Aromas of gorgeously dusty American oak – vanilla pod and custard powder. Hints of summer flowers, herbal honey, malt and earth follow. With time the aromas darken a little and become very herbal. Hints of acacia and white liquorice appear.

The palate is succulent and moist with honey, apricot, apple, malt and vanilla pod. Like the nose it becomes quite herbal and the alcohol begins to nip a little. Good length with the barley and vanilla lingering.

A drop of water unfortunately brings out the oils to the extent where they mute all the other aromas. Whilst on the palate it emphasises the earthiness and it has also brought out a faint mustiness. I must admit that I didn’t expect it to take water this badly.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Macallan 1997 (16 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2414/ Dist: Oct 1997 Btl: Aug 2014/ Tasted: Sept 2014

Soft and full of juicy Satsuma, toasted toffee and grassy/ herbal notes. Some tart citrus develops and gives the aromas an edginess. 

Plenty of creamy oak to begin with but the vibrant citrus slices through it. A touch of dusty, sweet spice comes through on the middle along with a light herbal note. Long and very spicy with a tongue tingling finish and the citrus lingering.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Macallan 1992 (20 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2247/ Dist: Oct 1992 Btl: Apr 2013/ Tasted: May 2013

A pungent and earthy nose which appears to be displaying quite a peated character. This is very unusual for a Mac! Quite raw and visceral with an intensity of raw honey, dried, baked fruit and loads of dunnagey aromas. With time some lightly creamy oak and toffee appear along with a touch of camphor. This is not the usual polished Macallan, it’s gone over to the dark side! 

The palate is cleaner, less dark and there doesn’t appear to be any sigh of the peated note. Honeyed and more floral in character with the oak building to a creamy, toffee’d middle. Quite spicy with a touch of syrup and the oak has a beautiful, mature sheen to it. A lovely citrus intensity with a granity finish, although the light syrup note lingers and counterbalances the citrus. It’s definitely a whisky of two halves.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Macallan 1993 (20 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2287/ Dist: June 1993 Btl: June 2013/ Tasted: July 2013

A very elegant, full and honeyed nose. Lightly perfumed with a touch of dense, slightly mature, sweet oak and sweet barley. Quite exotic with some sub-tropical fruit and a lovely floral note appearing. 

The palate opens with plenty of toasty oak along with a little grainy spice. Dense honey coated sub-tropical fruit is shot through with a vibrant minerality. Very spicy on the middle with the lovely honey, tropical fruit and oak lingering. Slightly salty finish.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Macallan 1997 (15 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV0975/ Dist: Oct 1997 Btl: Apr 2013/ Tasted: May 2013

The nose is a little muted and woody with hints of apricot, vanilla, honey and spice. 

The palate is soft and quite light with a touch of barley, honey and spice. Some toffee-fudge oak comes through on the middle and finishes with a granulated sugar/ spice finale.

Singlemaltsdirect.com Macallan 1993 (18 year old) 51.9%

Bourbon/ Dist: 1993 Btl: 2011/ Tasted: July 2011

Slightly leafy and herbal with a good depth of honey coated dried fruit. It seems quite youthful with an almost grainy note. Quite edgy but balanced by quite a bit of oak. Water mutes the nose emphasising the inherent oiliness. Slightly straw like now but the oak has all but disappeared.  

Quite grainy to begin with on the palate with some old straw and no shortage of alcohol. With water it becomes quite dull and flabby. Ok length, but becomes quite confected with water. 

Conclusion: It’s ok neat but dull with the addition of water.

Wilson & Morgan Macallan Marsala Finish 89-06 17 year old 46%

Sherry (?) –  Masala/ Tasted: Sept 2007

Lovely sherried orange fruit, earth, liquorice and mature honey notes. Takes awhile to open but when it does it is seamless and luxurious with glorious cinnamon spices. I would swear it was older! Lovely maturity. The palate is soft, smooth and creamy with orange, and mature honey. Lovely complexity with loads of dried mixed fruit – raisins and lemon/ orange rind. A little bit drying at the end. The business! 

The finish has lots of wood tannins which dry the mouth, yet it is gloriously smooth and spicy. Almost Cognac-esque. In conclusion – Good sherry. Absolutely blemish free. Maybe being a bit picky but would have like to see more spirit character on the palate. Did try a drop of water with it and it did lessen the sherry impact and brought out a herby note.

Speyside Distillery Private Cellar Macallan 1985 (19 year old) 43%

Sherry/ Tasted: Apr 2005

Clean on the nose, displaying some maturity. Initial aromas of sherry fruit give way to earthy Seville orange with a touch of smoke, cinnamon and ground spices. Dry, medium-full bodied with an intensity of mouth filling, slightly smoky sherry fruits, earth and dried fruit notes. Lovely depth with spicy orange fruit coming through on the finish.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 24.96 ‘Scented and Soporific’ 1990 (16 year old) 57.4%

Sherry/ Dist: 1990 Btl: 2007/ Tasted: Sept 2007

Huge Oloroso sherry aromas. Quiet deep with coffee, spice and hints of nuts and chocolate.. A drop of water changes nothing. The palate is alcohol dominated, pretty much the same as the nose. Intense with a good length. Touch of late spice. In conclusion its fine if you like a big booming sherry dram, but I want balance and more spirit character!

Murray McDavid Macallan 1990 (12 year old – at the time of tasting)

Sherry

Tasted: Directly from the cask in 2003

A very intense oloroso nose, displaying similar characteristics to the 1990 Mortlach. Rich, vegetal and complex with honey, candied oranges, nuts, raisins and fruit cake aromas. 

The palate is superb, rich, tangy and fruit cakey, with layers of tangy decadent orange and dried fruit flavours. Very intense and very long with a touch of vegetal in the finish.

Murray McDavid Macallan 1990 (12 year old) 46%

Sherry Cask MM1967/ Dist: 1990 Btl 2003/ Tasted: Mar 2004

A lovely, clean, sherry rich nose. Deep and rich with plenty of waxy orange fruit along with an almost autumnal burnt leaf/ wood note. A mouth-watering hit of  alcohol and sherry wood dried fruit and spices. Lovely and clean. A textbook sherry casked whisky. Long tobacco leaf and wood smoke finish. 

Murray McDavid Macallan 1990 (16 year old) 46%

Bourbon – Madeira/ Dist: 1990 Btl: 2006/ Tasted: Mar 2008

A big, rich and fruity nose of apricot, peach and nectarines. The Madeira presence gives it a shortbread biscuit and a raisiny note. It is nicely complimented by a touch of coastal, demarara sugar and a slightly floral top note.

Dry, soft and polished on the palate. The Madeira influence is obvious from the start – shortbread biscuit and a raisiny dried fruit and demarara sugar followed by coastal notes and loads of developing spice. Full flavoured, robust with a good length and a toasted coconut after taste. An interesting twist on an old favourite. 

Murray McDavid Macallan 1973 (26 year old) 46%

Refill Sherry Cask MM4755/ Dist: Dec 1973  Btl: May 2000/ Tasted Dec 2000

A pungent nose of mature leafy sherry, caramel, coffee and hints of burnt raisins. Dry on the palate, full of mouth watering dried fruits with a heavy cask influence. I would assume that it must have only been its second filling. Plenty of bitter chocolate and coffee as the oak bites. Long and powerful. 

Murray McDavid Macallan 1995 (14 year old) 46%

Bourbon – Chateau Y’quem/ Dist: 1995 Btl: 2009/ Tasted: Feb 2010

The nose is clean and somewhat linear – toffee-caramel-brown sugar. Basically the cask holds sway over the malt. It becomes oilier over time and the toffee aromas increase. 

The palate pretty much mirrors the nose, although it is a lot more biscuity, reminiscent of a Madeira finish. Again it’s all toffee and buttery, the alcohol attempts to balance out the sweetness but fails as the toffee returns with added sweetness. Somewhat lacking in balance for me. 

Murray McDavid Macallan 1991 (16 year old) 46%

Fino or Manzanilla Sherry/ Dist: 1991 Btl: 2007/ Tasted: Feb 2008

Quiet a heavy nose with light-manzanilla note of salted nuts. Like the previous Macallan it is toffee’d and sweet but only slightly this time. The heavy oils continue to roll in adding butter shortbread nuances, but the salty-wine and the spirit balance it well. 

Linear yet elegant on the palate, again the cask pervades with a crisp salty nuttiness.  The wood and alcohol bite on the middle and dries it out ready for the buttery toffee to attempt to balance, which it tries hard to do but eventually looses out. Good length, leaving a salty residue and an impression of sweetness. I actually quite enjoyed this dram! 

Murray McDavid Mission Series Macallan 1968 (35 year old) 40.2%

Bourbon/ Dist: 1968 Btl: 2003/ Tasted: 2003 (from cask)

Wow (see!) Macallan dosen’t get much better, especially when it is aged in Bourbon oak. Intense and very complex butterscotch aromas rise from the glass, mingled with vanilla, crème brulee, rich fruit with a touch of citrus fruit and a hint of exotic spice oil. Soft and mellow, medium-bodied, with layers of soft rich fruit, a hint of vanilla and a touch of salt. The finish was exquisite and extensive with a slight crème brulee finish. 

Murray McDavid Mission Series V Macallan 1986 (18 year old) 46%

Bourbon – Port/ Tasted: Nov 2005

A clean, subtle, yet immense nose. It opens with lots of ripe, clean cherry fruit floating above a crisp cereal and vanilla base with spices, liqueur seeped stoned cherries, peach, dried fruit, crystallized orange. Complex, you aren’t kidding, all the while the port notes dangle on the edge of this superb malt.

Dry on the palate with a sensuous, luscious sweetness, full of soft cherry fruit conserve, a touch of wood tannins, spice and vanilla. The mid palate is truly sensational, all mouth-watering and spicy with a creamy/ glycerol mouth coating intensity and finally the American oak put in an appearance in the after taste. This malt just clings to the mouth and refuses to leave. Absolutely stunning. 

Murray McDavid Mission Series Macallan 1988 (20 year old) 51.9%

Bourbon – Amarone/ Dist: 1988 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: Feb 2009

My, this is an unusual Macallan. Big and stinky. A Spey in Islay clothing? Bog myrtle and vegetal-peat notes swim amongst the rich, sweet red fruits, along with hickory and rubber. The wine cask adds a faintly butyric note and it bears a striking resemblance to the mad Springbank Gaia Barolo finish. This is a definite love it or hate it nose. Me? I love it. It’s the whisky equivalent of a Tarantino movie! 

The palate is soft and slightly woody to begin with. Very complex with orange, tangerine, redcurrant jelly and rich semi-dried grape notes. The piquant alcohol adds to the intensity. Damn, it’s a real car crash! Good length (once the alcohol has subsided) with a dry, menthol and bog myrtle finish. 

Water really ramps up the wine. The grape now holds the spirit in a vice-like grip. Then the rich, sweet orange fruit powers through all the redness. The palate is much the same, except it has gone a bit overly sugary-sweet. So if this sounds like your cup of tea, then drink neat!