Gather round, my friends, and give unto me your ears, for I shall tell you about the time-honored art of “dusty hunting.” Before we go any further let me say that this whisky hobby phenomenon is less about art and more about science. Allow me to define terms: dusty hunting is the pursuit of rare or hard to find bottles that have, for one reason or another, been passed by on the whiskey shelf and simply gather dust. Store location is a factor, as you might imagine, because the likelihood of finding a hotshot bottle of whisky in a crowded, busy liquor store downtown is quite low, for every one has gone looking there many times over. One generally finds these coveted dusties in less frequented stores. Simply put, you’ll never find Pappy in a Total Wine and More in Spokane. You find it untouched and gathering dust in Jim’s Booze Shop in Broken Whistle, Montana. Any questions? Probably, not, since it is a pretty simple endeavor.
You can probably gather why it can so much fun when you stumble upon a bottle you have been looking for your whole life, and there it is staring back at you, covered in dust. Snatch that baby up and give the clerk your money. It’s happened to me a few times, and generally by accident. And that brings me to today’s review, a review of Macallan Cask Strength. The day I found this bottle it had already been discontinued for some time, and up untill that point I had not previously seen it in a store. The price wasn’t terrible so I did what I had to do. And yes, not joking, I blew dust off the top of the box. I smiled because of the sheer poetry of the moment.
At this point in the review I offer technical details, or what I call particulars. In this case there is not much info out there on CS, but it should be noted that this is the NAS version, which was replaced by a 10 year old version, which was also discontinued. We clock in at 58.6% ABV and as always with classic Macallan, our whisky was matured exclusively in sherry casks from Jerez, Spain. Onward….
Nose- Pretty thick and concentrated. A bit of mustiness and vinegar to start, but fades over time to brandy feel. Dates and sugared raisins. Meaty and savory underneath (weird). Sawdust. Jam and fruitcake. Vanilla bean.
Taste- Thick and fruity. Syrupy with apricots. Meh.
Finish- Bit of a hot, sour thump. Short.
Comment – One of a kind nose. Love the heavy character but a bit too many off notes for our taste and a disappointing finish. I wonder if there will be another cask strength sherry bomb from Macallan in the future, as I am sure they could nail this. Today’s bottle did not.
SWC Rating – 79/100
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