A review of The Macallan 12, 15 and Rare Cask Scotch
by Anthony Sabatini and Alison Blackman
There are significant differences when talking about scotch. Separated along an axis having to do with “peaty-iness” there are blended scotches and single malt scotches, light scotches and heavy, and dark scotch. Both types are delicious, but true scotch aficionados generally laud the single malt scotch whiskey, the type that lives its entire life in a cask until it is bottled, and it is not blended from several different years.
One of our favorites brands in this single malt category is The Macallan Scotch, specifically The Macallan 12, 15 and the rare cask. the colors in Macallan Whiskies range from light to dark, and they’re created naturally from the wood of the oak casks in which they were stores. In fact, you can really smell the oak/wood in any scotch if you put a drop in your palm and gently rub your palms together (open your palms and sniff).
What makes the The Macallan 12 (Srp. $75.00) special is that it has spent its 12 years in a sherry cask from Spain, absorbing the sweetness and tastes of the sherry that once inhabited the barrel, from the wood of the cask , imparting a bit of creamy-ness and vanilla .This scotch has a flavorful slightly heavier, taste than a lighter scotch of the same age. It pairs well with the sweeter sauces of rich meats or as an after dinner almost apertif class of drink.
- Short Glass
- 2 shots The Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Years Old
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 barspoon Pure Canadian maple syrup
- Garnish with Orange Zest
Add 1 shot Macallan and other ingredients in short glass over 2 cubes of ice, stir for 15 seconds, add remaining shot of Macallan and orange zest, fill glass with ice, stir for 15 seconds.
The first thing you notice of The Macallan 15 (average price $114.99) is how incredibly smooth and deep, the flavor is. Despite it not being as peat-y as some scotches the 15 years it has spent in the oak barrels has mellowed it and “developed” it to a perfect before dinner drink or a good match for such as duck and flavorful fish (e.g. swordfish). Deep gold yellow color, the first bursts of bouquet will remind you of dried fruits. The palate entry is seductive, honeyed, and sweet.
The Macallan Rare Cask ($300.00) is truly a celebratory drink. It is a special and very well aged scotch that spends two decades in first fill Spanish Sherry-seasoned oak) oak, which give is depth and a rich oak finish. It is designed to be sipped straight not over ice. To some it me appear strong, but if it is, you are probably drinking it too quickly. As you let it linger on your palette, you understand what all good single malt scotches aspire to. This is really meant to be appreciated “solo” without mixing in cocktails — you don’t even really want to have “nibbles” with this one.
In summary: we enjoyed all three of the Macallan styles, but we will personally be drinking the Macallan 15 for private dinners with special friends and the Macallan 12 for those events where there are more people with varied tastes. We will save Macallan Rare Cask for those special moments when nothing less than luxurious will do.
Tip: If straight scotch is too intense for your taste, try an ice cube or a spalsh of water to dilute or soften it, but don’t douse it!
You can buy The Macallan from retailers and online, but first, for more information please visit the Macallan Web Site