Macallan: Fine Oak 12 Year (Scottish Speyside Single Malt Whisky: 12 years: 40% ABV)
Visual: Clear gold.
Viscosity: Medium speed thick streaks.
Nose: Thick. Honey and caramel. Pencil shavings. Sulphur touch. Brown bread. Golden syrup cake. Water adds apples to the mix.
Body: Slick. Custard and toffee. Slight fire. Treacle tart. Oaken. Smoothes out over time. Chocolate notes. Water brings out apples and more toffee.
Finish: Malt chocolate. Heavily oaken. Fudge. Marmalade. Water adds apples and cinnamon and a touch of menthol.
Conclusion: You know, I think I may have been giving Macallan a bit of a short shift. I tried this a few years ago and found it unremarkable, but, with it vanishing I decided to give it a final goodbye and a tasting notes.
Taken neat it was pretty much as I had remembered – ok, sweet but slightly fiery and too oaken. I never had chance to try water last time I encountered it – It helps immensely. The entire thing softens, and while it still has the typical toffee heavy notes it also brings out soft apple notes. With that to work with what was initially a heavy and slightly simple whisky gets a bit of room to play.
While, with water, it is much better I still don’t quite get what it is that makes people give Macallan such a legendry status. It is very nice, and with water very balanced – but it seems to be a very good example of the base expectations for the region. Very well done but not beyond expected flavours.
There are a few flaws, even with water the finish feels a tad dry and musty. Overall though it is a very competent sweet and fruity whisky even if it is one that needs water to stand out. Not however a whisky that is so unique that I will overly miss it once it is gone.
Background: The fine oak series, what was Macallan’s American oak aged version of their whisky. I saw was as it has pretty much vanished now, but I managed to grab a miniature from Independent Spirit before they all completely vanished. So here we are. Drunk while listening to some Propagandhi: Supporting Caste – because punk and whisky go together like. Erm. Punk and whisky. I may not have mastered comparisons.