Friday, January 12, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #10

Macallan 10yo Cask Strength
Single Malt Whisky
57.8% abv

A perfect way to start a weekend, and an appropriate way to end the second week of this malt mission, a week that explored Dave Robertson and the Macallan.

As a final note for Robbo's influence at Macallan, he created the spider diagrams used by many people today to describe the taste "fingerprint" of whiskies(more info HERE).

This cask strength is the UK version, available exclusively at UK travel retail and duty free. There is an American version that has no age statement.

Below my notes are taken at bottled strength(57.8) and then at a reduced abv, after I "cut" the whisky by adding a touch of spring water.


(Full strength)First a bitter tickle in the nose that turns sour and then finally sweet. Very interesting. Vanilla, oak, marzinpan and chocolate. Crême brulee, candied almonds, maple, demerara sugar. Does not prickle the nose as it could at this strength. Still, breathe carefully...
(reduced) Chocolate cake, a French patisserie, strawberry essence, oranges, dust and the pages of old books, freshly stained wood. Hot or burnt hair, like the smell in a hair salon.

(Full strength)Dry wood, oaky, thick and pungent sherry influences of sweet dried fruits. Burnt sugar. Toasted chestnuts. Oak again. Long finish that is very warming, sweet, and woody.
(reduced) More pleasant in the mouth, but seems to yield less flavour. Still nutty, flavours of wood resin, sweet sherry, prunes and raisins. Perhaps a light peat whiff? Smoke for sure. Shorter finish. I would advise against cutting it, if your ulcer can handle it... Probably just depends on mood.


No messing about, this is Macallan. Sherry, fruit, oak in beautiful elegant balance. Many people complain that Macallan's sherry casks kill the 'whisky', ie. the barley spirit character. At times I might agree, but that doesnt make this malt a failure as a whisky. Really gorgeous wintery stuff. It is a real star, and if you have the opportunity to get it at travel retail or UK duty free shops, it would be just silly to fly without.

***btw***- if you find I am not nerdy enough or that my notes are too boring, or that I dont say "wood" as well as you would like, please see THIS

Malt Mission #6
Malt Mission #7
Malt Mission #8
Malt Mission #9

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