Review: The Macallan Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

100% Oloroso Sherry Casks
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Macallan (Craigellachie, Scotland)

This whisky, unfortunately, has been discontinued. Many cried out for a cask strength Macallan, and this received very positive reviews. Bottled at natural colour, and without chill filtration. It seems a connoisseur’s dream! Matured exclusively in oloroso sherry casks. There were a few different batches of this, all at slightly different ABVs.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A (60.1%)

  • Bottling Code: L10 - 09 07 22 :27

  • Bottling Date: 2010

The nose is incredibly rich – intense sherry, rich toffee – but also, incredible malt underneath. In many of these sherry monsters it seems cask quite significantly over distillate – but here, the distillate is holding its own. Dried orange peel (as you see in some teas), milk chocolate, vanilla, raisins, and light spice – cloves and cinnamon – but not sharp, more softly present as in a spiced sauce of some kind.

The palate is full of spice, but in the middle is full of incredibly rich toffee and cinnamon before spiced butterscotch pudding and the lightest touch of malt takes hold in the long finish. I love the richness of the whisky, and it comes in quite spicy in feel as well, as might be expected from the heat. The oak gets a bit less with added water – it is densely present at full strength. The finish is a bit dry (though it does lighten up over time), but I always like that, and there’s also some vanilla which really shines through nicely in the finish. The toffee richness in the middle is incredibly impressive, I might add, once again, especially as the “middle” of sherry monsters often get lost. Undeniably Macallan, and very big.

Very Highly Recommended (18% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, based on $120.