AnCnoc launch 2000 vintage

anCnoc 2000 visual

anCnoc Vintage 2000 is here

anCnoc 2000 visual

anCnoc Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky is proud to announce the release of Vintage 2000, another remarkable single malt in the line of exclusive vintage releases from Knockdhu Distillery, celebrating the art of whisky-making with a modern twist. It has become a tradition at anCnoc to annually offer vintage releases from consecutive years to the most dedicated whisky fans around the world.

Only 1,000 cases of anCnoc Vintage 2000 will be made available in select markets from September 2014. The whisky was selected and bottled with the most discerning whisky drinker in mind and will offer a wonderful insight into the distillery style and the impact of on-site maturation in a combination of Spanish oak ex-sherry butts and American oak ex-bourbon barrels.

anCnoc 2000

anCnoc Vintage 2000 has been bottled non chill-filtered, at its natural colour and at the premium strength of 46% ABV.

Hot copper in colour, the whisky is dark and masculine on the nose. A surge of ground Oriental spices, burned vanilla and unrefined cocoa beans gradually relaxes its grip and subtle aromas of lemon grass, orange peel and fragrant cut flowers come to life, unmistakably highlighting the provenance of this remarkable Vintage. On the palate it is smooth but firm-structured, envelops the mouth in creamy vanilla, spicy sherry notes, pralines and silky tannins. Lively citrus follows shortly after leading to a long, balanced finish, finally revealing a whiff of wood smoke.

anCnoc Assistant Brand Manager Stephanie Bridge commented:

The unique taste profile of the Vintage 2000 is set to be a hit with malt enthusiasts everywhere. Releasing the next Vintage in the anCnoc collection marks the end of a very exciting spring and summer for the brand. I’m confident that the exclusive expression will be a welcome addition to anyone’s malt collection.”

anCnoc Vintage 2000 will be available in the UK, Sweden, Japan and Russia, to name but a few markets, at a recommended retail price of £55.

Thanks to Lukasz Dynowiak at Alembic Communications for Press Release

Water Of Life Society Tasting 14/1 – Tour Of The Regions (17/09/2014)

Water Of Life Society Tasting 14/1

Tour Of The Regions

(17/09/2014)

For the inaugural Whisky Tasting of the Edinburgh University Water Of Life Society (WOLS) 2014/2015 season we began again with a tour of the Malt Whisky Regions of Scotland. The origins of regional provenance or declaration of region appears to be lost in the fog of time, however producers have long stated that whisky distilled and matured for a minimum of 3 years in Scotland is awarded the right to be declared “Scotch Whisky” upon the bottle. The Scotch Whisky Association regulations 2009 section 10 also states:

10.  (1)  A whisky or whisky-based drink must not be labelled, packaged, advertised or promoted in a way that includes the name of a protected locality or a protected region unless—

(a)in the case of whisky, the whisky is Scotch Whisky that has been distilled in that locality or region; or

(b)in the case of a whisky-based drink, the only whisky in the drink is Scotch Whisky that has been distilled in that locality or region.

Furthermore:

(5) The protected localities are—

(a)“Campbeltown”, comprising the South Kintyre ward of the Argyll and Bute Council as that ward is constituted in the Argyll and Bute (Electoral Arrangements) Order 2006(1); and

(b)“Islay”, comprising the Isle of Islay in Argyll.

(6) The protected regions are—

(a)“Highland”, comprising that part of Scotland that is north of the line dividing the Highland region from the Lowland region;

(b)“Lowland”, comprising that part of Scotland that is south of the line dividing the Highland region from the Lowland region; and

(c)“Speyside”, comprising—

(i)the wards of Buckie, Elgin City North, Elgin City South, Fochabers Lhanbryde, Forres, Heldon and Laich, Keith and Cullen and Speyside Glenlivet of the Moray Council as those wards are constituted in the Moray (Electoral Arrangements) Order 2006(2); and

(ii)the Badenoch and Strathspey ward of the Highland Council as that ward is constituted in the Highland (Electoral Arrangements) Order 2006(3).

(7) In this regulation “the line dividing the Highland region from the Lowland region” means the line beginning at the North Channel and running along the southern foreshore of the Firth of Clyde to Greenock, and from there to Cardross Station, then eastwards in a straight line to the summit of Earl’s Seat in the Campsie Fells, and then eastwards in a straight line to the Wallace Monument, and from there eastwards along the line of the B998 and A91 roads until the A91 meets the M90 road at Milnathort, and then along the M90 northwards until the Bridge of Earn, and then along the River Earn until its confluence with the River Tay, and then along the southern foreshore of that river and the Firth of Tay until it comes to the North Sea.

So there are 3 specified regions (Highland, Speyside and Lowland) and 2 specified localities (Campbeltown and Islay) that can be declared on a bottle of Single malt scotch whisky. Due to the variety and number of ‘Highland’ distilleries a further un-legislated distinction is often made for those distilleries that are geographically located on islands – giving rise to the concept of the ‘Island’ whisky region.

For our trip around these regions we chose:

1. Auchentoshan 12 Years Old 1999 ~ 58.7% (Wm Cadenhead)

Auchentoshan12yoCadenheads

Possibly the best example of a Lowland whisky as Auchentoshan distillery near Glasgow is the only distillery left in Scotland that continues the practice of triple-distillation (previously a characteristic  feature of Lowland whiskies). The Lowland region has 2 active (Glenkinchie & Auchentoshan), 1 recently silent (Bladnoch) and numerous new or regenerating (Annandale, Glasgow, several in the Borders plus Daftmill, Kingsbarns and Eden Mill) distilleries.

Lowland whiskies tend to be gentle, light whiskies  often very dry and grassy and devoid of peat influence.

2. Edradour Super Tuscan 8 years old 2006 – Batch#1 ~46% (Edradour Distillery)

Edradour Super Tuscan

With such a wealth of distilleries and geographical locations as well as styles of whisky to choose from, the Highland region example was always likely to be difficult. A brave choice was made, as we couldn’t deliver something that totally typifies the style, so we decided to go with the contentious wine-finished example from Edradour Distillery in Pitlochry. Edradour claims to be the smallest distillery in Scotland as it possesses the smallest non-movable stills. The location however beautifully exemplifies historic distillation sites as the distillery is tucked perfectly into a glen out of sight of the excise officers, similar to the setup of many early illicit stills.

Highland whiskies range in diversity from the big-bodied, cereal and sweet ‘North Highland’ whiskies, lighter, drier, fruitier ‘Southern Highland’ whiskies, full-bodied, fruity, dry and pungeunt ‘Eastern Highland’ whiskies and finally the peatier, smoky, full-bodied and maritime-influenced whiskies of both the ‘Western Highlands’ and ‘Island’ sub-category

3. Glenfarclas 15 Years Old ~ 46% (Glenfarclas Distillery)

Glenfarclas 15yo

The Speyside region of Scotland has the highest concentration of distilleries, with around ~ 50% of the currently active distilleries being located here. The reasons for this concentration range from the artistic (Speyside’s wonderful water and local barley quality resulting in superior tasting whisky), to the mundane (the building of the railway and switch from peat to coal enabled whisky to be made cheaper in Spesyide). Interestingly Campbeltown previously was the whisky capitol of Scotland until almost all of the distilleries here were closed following the advent of Prohibition in the US. Make of this switch in regional fortunes what you will, currently Speyside is king in production terms. Glenfarclas Distillery near Ballindalloch is in the upper-Spey valley and is still owned and operated independently by the Grant family.

Speyside whiskies tend to be lighter and honeyed and either develop body with age or are matured with a heavy sherry influence (Glenfarclas falls into this latter category).

4. Springbank 15 Years Old ~ 46% (Springbank)

Springbank15yo

 The Campbeltown region is currently home to only 3 distilleries (namely Springbank, Glengyle and Glen Scotia), much of this is thanks to the Mitchell family who own Springbank and almost single-handedly kept distilling alive on the peninsula after all others had failed. Campbeltown malts historically were much more accessible when sea-trade was in power. A reduction in domestic sea-trade, US prohibition and the opening of the railway system to Scotland’s east coast subsequently shifted the focus of the whisky economy to Speyside.

Campbeltown whisky is known for its dry, pungent and slightly maritime/coastal character with sometimes a mild to heavy peaty influence.

5. Lagavulin 16 Years Old ~ 43% (Diageo)

Lagavulin 16yo

The Islay region is renowned for producing the peatiest of whiskies. This is mostly due to geographical reasons; 1. Islay peat has a stronger maritime and phenolic content than most peat derived from other peat bogs 2. Most water sources on Islay are already strongly influenced by peat and are used for fermentation and distilling and 3. Islay’s island status made the potential shift away from peat to coal for (kilning) drying malted barley and firing stills much less economical.

Islay whiskies are considered amongst the most powerful, with lashings of peat smoke, brine and medicinal flavours

Though I agree with the protection of these regions in terms of statements upon bottles, they are no more indicative of the flavour of the whisky in the bottle than most of the other information on the label. For example heavily-peated Lowland (Bladnoch), Highland (Ardmore), Campbeltown (Longrow) and Speyside (e.g. anCnoc peaty range) have all been produced that may match Islay whiskies for their peatiness. Similarly Bruichladdich on Islay has only a mild peat influence and resembles more of a Northern or Western coastal Highland style. Essentially any distillery can approximate the style of any region regardless of its locale. The maturation of casks also only requires storage on Scottish soil, so Lowland-filled casks could be matured on Islay and breathe its sea air if the whim was taken, etc.

Studies have shown that 30-40% of the flavour of whisky arises from the water, barley, fermentation & distillation, whereas up to 60-70% of the flavour results directly from the cask (or casks) in which the spirit is matured. Thus regionality can only influence 30-40% of the character of the whisky at most.

Glenfarclas 15 Years Old ~ 46% (Glenfarclas Distillery)

Glenfarclas 15yo

Glenfarclas 15 Years Old ~ 46% (Glenfarclas Distillery)

46% ABV, £46.95 for 70 cl available from Royal Mile Whiskies

Score: 84/100

Glenfarclas 15yo

What they say:

Colour: A rich golden amber.

Nose: Complex, sherried, deliciously peated, light butterscotch aromas, with a hint of dried fruit.

Flavour: Full bodied with super balance of sherried sweetness, malty tones and peaty flavours.

Finish: Long lasting, gloriously sherried, sweet, gently smoky, and distinguished.

Comment: With greater complexity than our younger whiskies, this is a great whisky drinker’s whisky.

We bottle this at 46% simply because my grandfather preferred it at this strength. It’s still a family favourite.

In his 2007 Whisky Bible, Jim Murray gave Glenfarclas 15 Years Old a score of 95/100, one of the highest scores he has awarded.

Glenfarclas 15yo

What I say:

Dram #3 from our WOLS tasting 14/1 Tour of the Regions. This Glenfarclas 15 years old was chosen to represent the Speyside region, and more specifically the heavily-sherried whiskies it produces

Colour:

Amber with red highlights

Nose:

Tannic leather, dusty old books, sweet heather honey and toffee/caramel, dried fruits, fruit cake mix, sultanas and raisins, orange oil or zest

Taste:

Smooth and silky in mouthfeel, this had sweet honeyed syrup, sweet fruits, damson, dates, fig, raisins and cereal barley malt, with a little orange essence

Finish:

Medium, sweet leathery sherry

Would I buy it again:

Sadly for me I had expected much more from this dram, I love a good sherry bomb but this seemed incredibly safe. Just enough sherry influence as to leave you no doubt but not enough to make my toes curl. I found this expression incredibly reserved, well balanced, etc. (a bit blah actually).  Perhaps tamed for the more occasional drinker, this has lots of complexity but pushes no boundaries.

Edradour Super Tuscan 8 years old 2006 – Batch#1 ~46% (Edradour Distillery)

Edradour Super Tuscan

Edradour Super Tuscan 8 years old 2006 – Batch#1 ~46% (Edradour Distillery)

46% ABV, £44.95 for 70cl available from Royal Mile Whiskies

Score: 85/100

EdradourST#1

What they say:

There have been a few noticeable bottlings of whisky matured in Super Tuscan wine casks as of late. Edradour have released this heavy bodied dram using their vast experience of wine cask maturation to bring something different to the trend.

Nose: Dusty on the nose. There is woody, leathery notes and with an almost medicinal note coming through.
Palate: Woody notes and deep red fruit. It has an oily character with a briny and salty undertone.

Edradour Super Tuscan

What I say:

Another Wine-cask matured Edradour, this time using Super Tuscan barriques. The Super Tuscan region originated in the 1970’s when the Domaine Origine Contollee (D.O.C.) for the Chianti region in Tuscany restricted Chianti production to specific grape varietals. Perhaps as an aftermath of phyloxera or just experimentation by viticulturists a lot of the region had adopted classic French grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot onto their vineyards and subsequent use of these grapes ruled them out of the Chianti D.O.C. Thus they dropped the age-old name and struck out to produce the new Super Tuscan wines, in time earning recognition and now becoming household names with wines such as Sassicaia. Andrew Symington the owner of Edradour certainly knows his wines and will likely have hand-selected the very best casks on offer to impart some of this Super Tuscan character to the Highland malt hand-crafted at Edradour.

Colour:

Ruby amber

Nose:

Musty, dunnage warehouse and old hay barns, fruity with red berries and sweet honey, a little tannic like a polished leather handbag

Taste:

Musty oak wood and damp wine cellars, jammy red berry fruits, strawberry, tart plums, cherry and elderberry, more oak wood and a pinch of salt and malt (marmite)

Finish:

Long, oaky wood and jammy fruits, the malty coastal nature recurs

Would I buy it again:

Absolutely, this is a cracking example of marrying wine and whisky. The activity of the casks masks the youthfulness of the spirit and also imparts an almost Campbeltown-like quality with lashings of malt and a slightly briny/coastal effect on the palate. These latest offerings from Edradour distillery represent a move away from the Straight from the Cask series which have been excellent over the last few years. Dilution down to 46% however has been uncompromised by refusing to chill-filter and so the whisky retains all that lovely wine-y goodness from the cask. To be honest the SFTC series revealed their best when diluted at least a little, I would be interested in trying more from this 46% series to make a better cross-comparison between finishes.

Auchentoshan 12 Years Old 1999 ~ 58.7% (Wm Cadenhead)

Auchentoshan12yoCadenheads

Auchentoshan 12 Years Old 1999 ~ 58.7% (Wm Cadenhead)

58.7% ABV, £55 for 70cl

Score: 83/100

Auchentoshan12yoCadenheads

What they say:

Distilled at Auchentoshan Distillery in the Lowland in 1999, this was matured for 12 years in a Bourbon Hogshead and bottled at Cask Strength of 58.7% ABV with a 254 bottle outturn in October 2011

What I say:

Dram #1 ‘Lowland’ from the WOLS tasting 14/1 Tour of the Regions. An awesome cask strength bourbon-matured Auchentoshan.

Colour:

Golden amber

Nose:

Clean and crisp, hordes of vanilla, a little coconut, some spirity vaporous notes like polish and a little perfumed heather (flowers)

Taste:

Crisp green apples, a lightened sugar syrup and vanilla custard and crème brulee, more spirit and vaporous notes again perhaps a little estery overripe and sweet banana

Finish:

Short and a little harsh, drying sour new wood and pencil shavings

Would I buy it again:

Easy drinking and despite the finish very enjoyable, youthful and exuberant with an intense Vanilla pod flavour on the palate making it a pleasure to dram.

Compass Box Great King Street Artists Blend ~ 43% (Compass Box)

compass-box-great-king-street

Compass Box Great King Street Artists Blend ~ 43% (Compass Box)

43% ABV, £24.95 for 50cl available at The Whisky Exchange

Score: 74/100

compass-box-great-king-street

What they say:

What if we were to apply Compass Box Whiskymaking principles to a line of Blended Scotches? That is exactly what we are doing with Great King Street.
Five key things set apart our approach to making Great King Street from any other Blended Scotch Whisky brand.
1. Great Grain. First, we start with the very highest quality single grain Scotch whiskies. Grain whiskies are the foundation of good Blended Scotch. We source ours from a renowned Lowland distillery and all of it is aged in ‘first fill’ American oak barrels, which makes the grain whisky much richer and sweeter on the palate than those aged in larger, refill casks.
2. More Malt. Secondly, we use a higher proportion of malt whisky than most other Blends. For instance, ‘The Artist’s Blend‘ consists of over 50% malt whisky, far more than the 30 or 40% most blends use. This provides more character and complexity.
3. Better Oak. At Compass Box we are known for our fanaticism about quality oak casks. Every cask of whisky used to make ‘Great King Street‘ is of a much higher quality than is typical in Scotch whisky: first-fill American oak casks, first-fill European oak ex-Sherry butts and, something no other Blended Scotch uses, new oak. For our ‘Artist’s Blend‘, we use new, heavily-toasted French oak.
4. Bottled Naturally.Great King Street is bottled at its natural colour (no E150 colouring agent added at all!) and without the chill filtration prior to bottling that most Scotch whiskies go through. This leaves the whisky full of its natural complexity and mouthfeel.
5. Traditional Strength. We bottle ‘Artist’s Blend’ at 43% alcohol by volume, a strength traditionally used in Scotland many years ago. We bottle at this strength so Artist’s Blend has more presence and character when mixed with soda as a Highball, or in cocktails.
We believe in transparency. These days, more and more people are interested to know what is in their whisky. Here is a breakdown of the whisky components of ‘Artist’s Blend’.

WHISKY (Spirit Character)
A Lowland Grain Whisky (fruity/perfumed) 46%
B Northern Highland Single Malt (malty/fruity) 28%
C Northern Highland Single Malt (grassy/perfumed) 17%
D Speyside Single Malt (meaty) 9%

WOOD (Flavour Impact)
1 First Fill American Oak Barrel (vanilla) 66%
2 New French Oak Finish {New-Headed Barrel} (Grilled Marshmallow, toastiness, roasted coffee) 26%
3 First Fill Sherry Butt (wine, dried fruits) 8%

What I say:

Great King Street range of blends are purely grain and malt blends, non chilltiltered and vatted before bottling. GKS is constructed from a lot of Clynelish matured in both Bourbon and new French Oak casks and Teaninich matured in Sherry casks with a typical average age of around 9 to 11 years maturation. Approximately 45% of this blend is Girvan single grain although Gregg stated they usually use Cameronbridge Grain at around 11 years old.

Colour:

Full Gold

Nose:

Honey sweet, floral, toasted almonds/marzipan

Taste:

Very smooth vanilla, apple, sweet, slightly sour, grapefruit pith, oranges, light malty, peanut and almond flavours

Finish:

Short, mellow, sweet then sour

Would I buy it:

Well constructed all malt blend made using innovative techniques, resulting in a complex blend that doesn’t push any flavour extremes.

Darkness! Benrinnes 15 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish ~ 53.3% (Master of Malt)

IMG_0536

Darkness! Benrinnes 15 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish ~ 53.3% (Master of Malt)

53.3% ABV, £59.95 for 50cl from Master of Malt (Sold out)

Score: 85/100

Darkness-BenrinnesPX15-big

What they say:

As Edward Teller probably once said, “When you come to the end of all the light you know, it’s time to take the step into Darkness!”. This intense Benrinnes was finished in fresh, first-fill Pedro Ximénez casks that were specially rebuilt to be just one tenth of the size of a standard butt for 3 months. The greatly increased surface area to volume ratio of these casks helped develop even greater richness and concentration in this magnificent Speyside nectar.

Nose: Rich, deep oak alongside jammy fruit, greengages and nut oil. Soon you’re into crème brûlée, prunes, Corinth raisins and hints of anise, sticky toffee pudding and bread dough.

Palate: Big, sticky dried fruits, wedding cake with a little marzipan, unsweetened liquorice and bitter marmalade.

Finish: Some Christmas spices, dried cherries, clove and stained glass window cookies.

Overall: All the desserts. Dark, delicious and creamy, you could use this whisky to catch yourself a Gregg Wallace.

IMG_0536

What I say:

The second sample in our collaboration with Tom at Toms Whisky Reviews was another 15 year old Benrinnes in the Darkness! range but this time finished in a Pedro Ximenez sherry mini-cask (as opposed to Oloroso sherry). The original review appeared here: Benrinnes 15 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish (Darkness) while you are there check out Tom’s other reviews and the rest of his website too for more Whisky knowledge!

Colour:

Burnished Copper/Gold

Nose:

Perfumed, sweet and floral sugar syrup, fruit cake mix, plum jam/sauce, cinnamon and star anise spices, raisins and bitter Seville oranges (marmalade oranges)

Taste:

Syrupy and sticky sherry mouthfeel, jammy fruits: black and morello cherries, plum, strawberry, date, fig, Seville orange marmalade and bitter hazelnut coffee

Finish:

Medium/long, nutty, dried fruits (like Cadburys fruit and nut chocolate bars) a little drying

Would I buy it:

I preferred this one more than the Oloroso finish (my taste in Sherry I think). Again this had distinct sherry character (this time the PX) and was a little more savoury and nutty than the Oloroso cask finish. I didn’t try this with water – it went down too quickly/easily as it was.

Darkness! Benrinnes 15 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish ~ 52.9% (Master of Malt)

IMG_0529

Darkness! Benrinnes 15 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish ~ 52.9% (Master of Malt)

52.9% ABV, £59.95 for 50cl from Master of Malt (Sold out)

Score: 85/100

Darkness-BenrinnesPX15-big

What they say:

Are you afraid of the dark? You shouldn’t be, with the Darkness! range serving up a whole variety of delicious bombs worth savouring! Each bottling is finished in tiny first-fill Sherry casks for 3 months with these casks having a much greater surface area to volume ratio than ordinary butts. This brings buckets more dark goodness to the table, in this case delectable dark berries, liquorice and walnut.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt
Nose: Some fresh dark berries support dried fruit and pepper, with touches of kiwi, dried toast and toffees as well as orchard fruit and a little citrus zing.

Palate: Apricot jam, Christmas cake and brandy butter – both rich and sweet. Drying Sherry mouthfeel.

Finish: Sweet, juicier fruit cake with walnut and Champagne.

Overall: Embrace the Darkness!

IMG_0529

What I say:

Born out of a chance conversation with Tom Thomson (of Toms Whisky Reviews), I happened to mention that I am a real sherry-head / sherry-bomb lover when it comes to whiskies, Tom recently had a non-too pleasant experience and was (hopefully temporarily) avoiding heavily-sherried whiskies. So a collaboration was entered into as Tom had several samples of heavily-sherried whisky from the Darkness! releases to review. The original review appeared here: Benrinnes 15 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish (Darkness) while you are there check out Tom’s other reviews and the rest of his website too for more Whisky knowledge!

Colour:

Golden Brown (almost Rum-like)

Nose:

Treacle, treacle toffee or fudge, figs, Parkin cake with ginger & orange marmalade, elderberries (tart and earthy), walnut, wood polish, cherry liqueur (Kirsch), and cocoa dusted almonds

Taste:

Intensely fruity: strawberry, blackberry and plum jam, sweet molasses, zingy ginger spice, treacle with a little burnt/over-caramelised sugar crystals, Christmas pudding flambéed with brandy butter, rich syrupy sherry

Finish:

Sweet, Medium/long, with date & walnut cake and dried fruits With water a distinct rubbery/sulphuric (car tyres) was unmasked in the finish – much better straight as this was masked by the fruits

Would I buy it:

There is a lot of the Oloroso sherry character in this (more so than more conventionally ‘sherry-finished’ whiskies) almost like you have mixed the whisky and sherry in the glass. The fruity Oloroso flavour was prevalent but integrated well with a sweet toffee flavour

 

35.97 Boozy Christmas Cake ~ 58.7% (SMWS)

IMG_0509

35.97 Boozy Christmas Cake ~ 58.7% (SMWS)

58.7% ABV, £? – 10cl part of the membership pack

Score: 88/100

SMWS

What they say:

Society single cask No. 35.97 Boozy Christmas Cake

Sweet and spicy on the nose neat; a[[le chutney, balsamic vinegar and burnt sultanas. The taste is that of an old Armagnac and dark bitter chocolate. With water, lamb koftas with mint yoghurt sauce and in the taste Chorizo sausages and rum soaked raisins.

IMG_0509

What I say:

So I finally was convinced to take the plunge and join the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (mostly thanks to Tom of www.tomswhiskyreviews). Within my presentation/gift package were 3 different drams to welcome me as a new member to the Society. The first I dove straight into was this 10 year old sherry-matured example from Glen Moray – even the tasting notes had me salivating in anticipation.

IMG_0501

Colour:

Blood red/ruby

Nose:

Sweet tanned leather, sherbet, creamola foam, apple and cinnamon Danish pastries, a little like walking into an exotic apothecary or spice shop (Tangiers or Morocco perhaps) or an old fashioned sweet shop with jars of dried fruits, plums and cherries

Taste:

Warming, popping candy, fruity plums, figs and raisins, juicy strawberry, marshmallows, then Christmas pudding with vanilla cream and brandy butter

Finish:

Long, sweet and fruity with exotic spices

Would I buy it again:

If available Yes I would be very tempted to acquire more of this delicious Single Cask whisky

The Macallan 12 Year Old – Sherry Oak ~ 40% (Maxxium UK Ltd.)

IMG_0471

The Macallan 12 Year Old – Sherry Oak ~ 40% (Maxxium UK Ltd.)

40% ABV, Discontinued £75 for 70cl still available from The Whisky Exchange

Score: 82/100

 Macallan 12yo Sherry Oak

What they say:

Colour: Rich gold

ABV40% (USA 43%)

Nose: Vanilla with a hint of ginger, dried fruits, sherry sweetness and wood smoke

Palate: Deliciously smooth, rich dried fruits and sherry balanced with wood smoke and spice

Finish: Sweet toffee and dried fruits, with wood smoke and spice

The Sherry Oak range is exclusively matured in sherry seasoned oak casks from Spain and America for a beautifully dark, full flavoured single malt whisky.

The Macallan imports the majority of all new sherry seasoned casks into Scotland from Spain to mature scotch whisky. These are the most expensive of all the cask types used to mature scotch whisky.

The Macallan’s oak maturation casks are the single greatest contributor to the outstanding quality, natural colours and distinctive aromas and flavours of The Macallan. We control the whole journey from forest to cask for both our Spanish and American oak sherry seasoned casks.

A study commissioned exclusively by, and for, The Macallan showed that the exceptional oak sherry casks account for some 60% of the final aromas and flavours. So we invest heavily in the sourcing, crafting, seasoning and caring for our casks.

Spanish oak with its open grain and high tannin content. imparts the classic aromas and flavours of dried fruits, spices and chocolate orange. American oak imparts a lighter colour, with sweet, soft aromas and flavours of vanilla and fresh fruits.

What I say:

The Macallan 12 Year Old was another miniature bottle we picked up at Glenturret Distillery as part of their end-of-stock sale

Colour:

Golden blood orange (Identical to the Macallan 10 Year Old Sherry Oak)

Nose:

Red berries and cream, spicy nutmeg/cinnamon, strong vanilla pods, tannic, like a wet leather school satchel, oranges and sweet honey

Taste:

Smooth, balanced with syrupy/watery mouthfeel (less oily than the 10 Year Old), barley sugars, oaky wood, and the oranges and dried cherries amongst other sherry fruits

Finish:

Medium, wood polish, oak, vanilla and toffee

Would I buy it:

Preferentially over the 10 Year Old, Yes. This is definitely an improvement though the identical colouring was a little dis-heartening (indicative of colouring perhaps) the mouthfeel and flavours have developed significantly with a couple of extra years of maturation. Sadly this expression is also discontinued in the wake of the Macallan 1824 series so snap one up fast while they are still available!

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,522 other followers