Thanks to /u/slackerdude for this sample!
Macallan. They sell a lot of whisky. So much so they have to drop the cask strength, drop the age statements, and are running out of juice. They are one of 4 of the whisky companies that accounts for the majority of sales in the Scotch boom.
And I’m not the biggest fan. Just because I’m not the biggest fan of their whisky, not due to some ancient blood oath or secret war. And I’m totally not in a fight club.
The Fine Oak line, for those of you who aren’t in the know, is a triple casked whisky line with various age statements. And it’s getting harder and harder to find in Ontario, as our market isn’t big and our governments are kinda dumb (all of them, no specific party).
The three casks used are European ex-Sherry oak, American ex-Sherry oak, and American ex-bourbon oak. I was going to list out what each will give to a dram, however I realized that I’m quite tired. Suffice to say, from what I can remember, European oak gives more spice and fruit, American oak more mouthfeel and oak. Sherry gives red fruits and spice, and ex-Bourbon more vanilla.
Anyway, let’s see how the Macallan Fine Oak 12 tastes, versus the 10 year or the 15 year.
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 2.5Y 7/8
Nose: Honey, oak, strawberry, pepper, whipped cream, wheat, funk
Better nose than the 10 year. More to it. Not by much, granted, however I remember having trouble picking up anything off of the 10 year, and at least here there’s some light notes.
Not as pungent as the 15 year. At all. And the flavours are simple in comparison.
Taste: Caramel, raspberry drink, lemon juice, oak
No real surprise on the taste. It’s pretty consistent across each dram, which has it’s ups and down.
Better tasting then the 10 year, though still as simple.
Not nearly as complex as the 15 year. Doesn’t hold a sulfur candle to it.
Finish: Butter, strawberry powder, ginger, sea air, cocoa
Interesting finish. I’m actually surprised. Yes the fake notes keep popping up in it, however I’m enjoying it as a summer dram. Not too long.
Much better finish than the 10 year. And you already know what I’ll say compared to the 15 year (it’s getting closer though)
Conclusion: Buy this over the 10 year Fine Oak, and if you have the extra cash and love Macallan, buy the 15 Fine Oak instead. Pretty simple really. This dram is light, tastes nice on a summer day in the sun, and doesn’t confuse people too much. It’s easy drinking while still being complex enough not to be useless.
I’d have it as a sipper. Probably wouldn’t buy a bottle though.
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