Taste: The Macallan Fine Oak 12 year old

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

After the disappointment of the No Age Statement Amber Macallan release we’re now moving back into familiar territory with an age statement. This is the 12 year old Fine Oak edition which is an extremely popular Macallan. While expensive for a 12 year old, it sits at the lower end of the Macallan core range and offers a decent entry point for those who dislike the traditional sherried Macallans.

The flavour influence of casks is said to be around 60-70% in the final product, forming a huge if variable part of the equation. The Macallan pride themselves on the quality of their casks using these only once to impart as much flavour as possible. In this Fine Oak release a variety of oak casks have come together from Europe and North America, seasoned with sherry and bourbon to provide more balance and approachability.
Distillery: The Macallan
Age: At least 12 years old
Strength: 40%
Price: around £75
Additional: triple cask matured so a combination of European, American oak casks both seasoned with sherry and American oak casks seasoned with bourbon.
Colour: Has to be oak doesn’t it?
Aroma: A surprising rich fruity nose featuring a combination of fresh berries dosed in rum and sweetned with marzipan and pineapple. A faint waft of those traditional sherry influences such as raisins, leather and chocolate underpin the whole experience.
Taste: I was expecting a thunderous arrival of wood but on the palate it proves more elaborate. More dark chocolate notes, ripe pears especially, sultanas and underpinned by the casks as if I was standing in a lumber yard with rich vanilla filling the air.
Now this is more like it and as with most things in life you get what you pay for to a certain degree. I do believe this whisky is overpriced but Macallan deals in the premium end of the market. Factoring in some of the pricing for the 1824 No Age Statement series this 12 year old Fine Oak seems more of a bargain. I’d have no hesitation serving this to guests and letting them explore its inner depths over the course of an evening.

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