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The Macallan used to be synonymous of sherried whiskies until they launched their Fine Oak range a few years ago.
Now they are back to their origins with a no age statement range of bottles called the Macallan 1824 series that is composed right now of 4 bottles all of the aged in sherry butts.
But if there is a Macallan that shine over all of them, yes, even over the 18 years old, it is the 10 years old Cask Strength.
You can’t go wrong with a Macallan. Or can you? As I were not longer sure I really wanted to give a try to the new range: The 1824 Collection, released a few months ago to replace their core range of bottles. So say goodbye to 10 years old, 12 years old, 15 years old Macallan ( stock while you can, you fools! ).
So when Steve from The Whisky Wire proposed a tweet tasting about Macallan new whiskies I couldn’t but to apply. I have to say that, as everything Macallan related, this is one of the best, most precious presented samples set ever.
In case you have been living under a rock in the last year, or just that you arrived here through Google looking for the Best Single Malt Whisky in the World, the Macallan has recently decided to replace their core range of bottles with a non age statement bottles. It is quite a bold movement.
The Macallan Master Distiller Bob Dalgarno, explains that this move allow them to deliver simply the very best product without having the burden of age statements. Other persons said that this desperate movement by Macallan is just the direct result of having run-out of old stocked whiskies ( just go and try buying a Macallan 25 years old ). I have my mind clear and open, and really I don’t care about how old is the whisky but how good is it… BUT… recently we have lots of NAS whiskies scaling above £100 easily. That’s no way!.
So I poured the samples and decided I could add a few more drams into the tasting: Macallan Elegancia 12 years old, and both Macallan 18 years old and Macallan 18 years old Fine Oak.
Well, hate is a too strong word, so maybe dislike may be better. Umm!… no, hate is fine, pure distilled clear hate. But anyway, let me explain it to you…
As you know I am from Spain, a country that in less than forty years moved from very poor to reasonably rich ( and it looks like back at fullspeed to poor again ) place. So, as in most in-development countries we had an special interest in those kind of luxury products that come from abroad, for example, Rolex watches, Mercedes Benz cars and Scotch whisky.
So imagine, a country where monthly income moved from £150 to £1500 in less than twenty years… so we were a nice market niche for Scotch Whisky industry, despite the fact that Spanish biggest selling whisky is DYC. So we were invaded with hordes of best whiskies Scotland could produce; Johnnie Walker Red Label, Ballantines, J&B, Cutty Sark, Dewars White Label,… you get an idea of the situation, don’t you?
In the last five years I have seen a constant increase in whisky prices I am interested in. I remember when a interesting new Ardbeg was only £60 or when a 25 years old Ardbeg Lord of Isles was so expensive at £150…
Many persons are now joining the wagon of whisky investment just for the future ( or immediate sometimes ) reward. So read why I think that this is quite a bad idea if you don’t know what you are doing.
I am a whisky collector, I collect whisky, really. Many friends have told me as an insult that I don’t open bottles. And yes, I don’t usually open them. I collect because I love the way the bottles look and love to see them one after the other, to put my hands on them. There is so little moments better than opening a box full of whisky… well, maybe having a dram of them may be better :)
An open bottle of whisky last several years on my cabinet, so I have an extra problem keeping open bottles at hand.
But I don’t buy whisky as an investment. I haven’t sold a single bottle of my collection nor I will (by now, until my country’s economy finally collapse I am forced to beg on a street corner). The whisky collection profit is an interior growth in knowledge and pleasure.
So, why do I think it is a bad idea to invest in whisky?
Master of Malt sent me some samples of their new range That Boutique-y and as I happen to have some samples too myself I decided to do a super tasting of this new ramge of whiskies!.
First thing that grab your eye on these whiskies is the precious labels they have created for each of them. And also the fact that the whiskies are bottled at cask strength. Looks like most of them are a vatting of several casks and there is no age statement in any of them but if they are as good as this first batch… :)
That Boutique-y Whisky Company
That Boutique-y Whisky Company bottles Scotch Single Malt Whiskies from a variety of renowned distilleries like Ardbeg, Macallan or Aberlour in limited batches. These whiskies are adorned with cultish comic-book style labels which feature prominent figures from the whisky industry upon them, as well as other little details for you to find!
The whiskies Batch 1
I have tasted several whiskies from the first batch and most of them are already sold out by the time you read this. On their webpage it is available right now a second batch of whiskies.
The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show 2012 took place at October 6th and 7th and although it has been a great experience it has been a short one. With over 450 whiskies to taste and just barely six hours ahead it was impossible to taste them all.
What I couldn’t taste
This post is just a set of photos of what I couldn’t taste. Sorry, people… I can write about this because I get sad… so great stuff that I had to skip… *sniff*
I visited Compass Box stand for saying hi to Chris and I take a few photos with the people on the show.
I have joined Jean-Marie Putz of whisky-distilleries.info and twenty other whisky zealots in the fifth blind tasting session of this year.
The principle is that whisky producers supply whisky they select themselves, according to their marketing goals. The sent whisky bottles are sampled and sent to about 20 tasters who write their impressions about every whisky. Their impressions and their quotation are published in Whisky distilleries blog.
The Whisky Tasting sessions are a flight of six whiskies tasted blind. Usually bottles are from independent bottlers that are really strong sellers in central Europe.
The samples arrived a few weeks ago in a supercool box. Each samples was 2.5cl and bottled in a small flask. Work has been been delaying me on tasting the six samples but finally this Thursday I had a few spare hours to taste them.
Usually I try to short the samples as explained in the how to taste whisky article, but this time I just decided to enjoy and go ahead. Mainly because if I sort the samples I will lack of time to taste them properly.
Sample Nº 1
“Unpromising nose but then a really delicious taste. Maybe Redbreast?”
Impressive whisky from Macduff distillery bottled by Malts of Scotland from the 1980 vintage.
This single cask malt has been matured in a bourbon hogshead and bottled at cask strength at a whopping 54,1% abv.
This dram has a gold-like color.
Nose (87): more than average.
floral, honey, spices, vanilla, citrus.
Very irish style.
Finish (89): longer than average.
honey, spices, nuts.
So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Macallan 1990 Fino Sherry Hogshead Malts of Scotland with 90 points over 100.
It has been a very nice tasting, really fun. And I have tasted two Macallans! Tasting the first one I was really really sure that I have already tasted it. Also really impressed by a very nice Bunnahabhain with its incredible peat and sherry style.