The Macallan 12 Year Old Review

The good people at The Macallan Distillery seem to know how to raise the bar in terms of branding, but most importantly, they also seem to apply that standard to whisky making itself. They have the world’s second best selling single malt behind Glenfiddich, and also boast the world’s most expensive whisky ever sold at auction when a 60yr old bottling landed $460,000 in 2010. Sadly, simply because of its popularity and availability, Macallan 12 isn’t given a fair shake by critics or enthusiasts alike. Whether it’s the tired, old and boring excuse of “it ain’t what it used to be” or the fact that it’s a corporate, not family owned brand, we think of all sorts of reasons to not like something. We can’t help you with that attitude, but what we CAN do is offer our opinion.

Today, we look at The Macallan 12yr Old Single Malt whisky. While a large percentage of Scotch is aged in American bourbon barrels, The Macallan ages their 12 year old exclusively in sherry oak procured from Jerez, Spain. This type of aging, along with smaller stills yielding thicker, more flavorful spirit, there emerges from the fog of mediocrity something unique. The Macallan also gas heats their stills thus caramelizing the component grains. Lastly, Macallan also boasts the narrowest spirit cuts in the industry. With all this said, it’s a safe bet to call this distillery and their flavor profile singular.

So how does their flagship malt hold up? Read on…


SWC Group Review

Nose – Rich sweetness. Perfect aromatic oak. Waves of fruit – raisins/dates with plums and apricots. Butter toffee and vanilla as it opens up with toasted nuts.  Elevated level of aroma.

Taste – Evocative and weighty. Fruity, creamy smooth. Tangy fruit.

Finish – Big, long finish. Oaky with some smoky char. Slight dryness towards the end. Fantastic.

Comment – Big flavor. An enjoyable, readily available malt. We don’t care about it’s popularity; there is a lot to love here. Don’t worry, snobs, it’s okay to like stuff from the evil big boys.

SWC Rating – 87/100


Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section below.

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