The Macallan 12 Fine Oak

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Distillery/Brand: Macallan
Region: Highland
ABV: 40%
Colour: Pale Straw

Nose: 23
Taste: 24
Finish: 22
Balance: 23

Review
This is what every Highland single malt should taste like. Delicate and sensitive as well as bold and courageous.

Incidentally this is one of the first single malts I had ever bought and I think it was the reason I fell in love. Familiar aromas of honey, vanilla and hints of coconut remind me of why I got into malting in the first place. Robust barley lightly dusted with brown sugar and then rubbed on bright green pears makes this nose possibly one of my all time favorites to come out of the Highlands.

The velvet delivery is almost perfect as it starts off honeyed followed by black pepper and cinnamon. Swish it around your mouth and you can discern the deftest of dark chocolate and a drop of citrus.

The medium to long finish is dry and quite oaky – I think that’s where the Fine Oak comes into it’s own – with a touch of nuts and an eyebrow raising stick of clove.

I have to admit; this malt makes me happy.

Rating: 92

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The Macallan 12 Sherry Oak

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Distillery/Brand: Macallan
Region: Highland
ABV: 40%
Colour: Pale Gold

Nose: 23
Taste: 23
Finish: 22
Balance: 23

Review
There was a time when I remember wanting to drink only Sherry influenced whiskies and this expression was the reason why.

The nose is pretty much in perfect harmony. Big, fat, juicy, red grapes covered in sugar, sprinkled with black pepper, dipped in caramel and then dusted with dark chocolate are presented to you on a silver platter. A final nose brings out the beautiful wooden sherried oak that makes this nose what it is.

Like most Macallan’s I’ve tasted the liquid is pure velvet. Burnt toast with black pepper and tiny cloves is the first thing to greet you. This is followed by the unmistakable taste of charred orange rind. Finally the palate is wrapped in a swirl of caramel, jaggery and a hint of roasted nuts.

The lovely long finish with it’s dry clove and nuts feels quite mature for it’s twelve years.

Pour your self a dram, sit back and relax. It’s going to be a long night.

Rating: 91