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Whisky Review: The Macallan Fine Oak (10 Year)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 11, 2010

Craigellachie Bridge near the Macallan Distillery (Photo Courtesy of J. Wheelock)

The Macallan is a single malt Scotch whisky, produced at The Macallan Distillery near Easter Elchies House, at Craigellachie in the Speyside region of Scotland.  Originally, The Macallan whiskies were (primarily)  matured in oak seasoned with sherry brought to the distillery from Jerez, Spain. Beginning in 2004, The Macallan introduced a new product, the Fine Oak Series, with whisky matured in seasoned American oak casks, (sherry as well as bourbon), as well as sherry casks from Spain. The Fine Oak Series is quite a departure for The Macallan, and the new whisky has brought rave reviews from some quarters (Jim Murray for example awarded it “Best New Scotch Brand” when it was launched), and dramatic criticism from others who considered the American barrels inferior (a puzzling criticism it seems to me).

Photo Courtesy of J. Wheelock and The Macallan Distillery

I was given a bottle each of The Macallan 10 Year Old Fine Oak and The Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak by J. Wheelock, the Brand Ambassador West for The Macallan, Highland Park, and The Famous Grouse. Mr. Wheelock asked me to do a comparative tasting of the two styles of oak as part of my series of reviews of The Macallan Single Malt Whisky. Both bottles presented to me were 750ml bottles, each bottled for the Canadian market at 40% alcohol by volume.  I thought I would begin my analysis with a review of The Macallan 10 Year Old Fine Oak Series:

Here is an excerpt from the review:

“…When I pour the Macallan Fine Oak into my glass, the first aroma is that of a nice oak spiced  butterscotch with a dollop of treacle. The treacle is not overdone such that this would smell caramelized or burnt, rather it is a steady accent on the butterscotch and spice thickening them, but also preventing too much sweetness to form…”

You may read the full review here:

Whisky Review: The Macallan Fine Oak (10 Year)

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