Whisky Review: The Macallan 12 Year Old Fine Oak
Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
Origin: The Macallan Distillery
What they say:
Triple cask matured in a complex combination of European and American oak seasoned with sherry and American oak seasoned with bourbon.
A lighter style of Macallan with flavours of citrus, vanilla and coconut.
The addition of American oak bourbon seasoned barrels imparts aromas and flavours slightly drier and more oaky than the American oak sherry casks, with more pronounced aromas and flavours of coconut, but still with the lighter colour and sweetness associated with American oak
12 Years old – the taste of a summers day
Complex with a hint of fruit and heather honey
Medium, balanced with fruit, oak and spice
Lingering with dried fruits, oak and spice
What I say:
During a recent visit to the Glenturret Distillery (& Famous Grouse Experience) we were tipped-off by the shop staff as to some rather sought after miniatures from Edrington Group sister Distillery The Macallan. Amongst the remnants of the distillery shop stock were examples of 10 and 12 year old Sherry Oak and 12 year old Fine Oak expressions. With the imminent re-build of the Macallan Distillery and also discontinuation of several expressions from their core range (replaced by the 1824 series) we took this last gasp attempt to try some classic Macallan before it was lost for good!
Sweet heather honey, butterscotch, toffee, cereal barley malt, fresh mown grass, orange pith/ expressed orange oil, citrusy lemon and melon
Mouth filling and luxurious, sweet honey and fruity melon and mango, old-fashioned pink lemonade, vanilla crème brulee, hints of nutmeg spice and caramelised sugars
Medium, oaky wood and sweetened citrus fruits
As it is discontinued there is not much point asking ‘Would I buy it again?’. The Fine Oak range from Macallan was an interesting experimental move by the Distillery away from their preferred pure Sherry cask maturation. This allowed a range of expressions to be released highlighting more of their spirit qualities when matured in bourbon casks or mixed cask maturations. Following the release of the 1824 (chromatic; i.e. colour based) range, several age-statement expressions from the Sherry oak and Fine Oak ranges have been discontinued. Rumoured to be due to a lack of aged spirit available from the Macallan, the Distillery appears to be addressing this issue by rebuilding into a much more modern establishment, reportedly costing £100 million and powered by Green energy (as well as supplying local homes too). As usual with re-builds I hope the essence of Macallan is retained during this renovation.
Read all about it at the Spirits Business here: The Macallan to close distillery and open another