The Macallan has officially launched its Double Cask 15YO and Double Cask 18YO, which join the 12YO to flesh out the Macallan Double Cask range.
Leading whisky brand The Macallan first introduced the Macallan Double Cask 12YO back in 2016, at the time it was working on a new naming convention for its various whisky ranges. It was launched as part of the new Macallan Double Cask range; the new collection would see expressions that used both American and European oak sherry-seasoned casks. This differentiated it from Macallan’s Sherry Oak line, which featured whiskies matured exclusively in Oloroso sherry seasoned oak casks, or the Triple Cask Matured – what was previously known as the Fine Oak range – which were matured in European and American sherry seasoned oak casks, but also ex-bourbon American oak casks.
But one expression does not a range make, and it was only a matter of time before the lonely Double Cask 12YO would be joined by more elder siblings. This week – four years later – The Macallan finally introduced in Singapore two new expressions for the Macallan Double Cask range with a 15YO and 18YO.
Like the 12YO, the two new whiskies are matured in casks made with oak from very different provenances. The European oak is sourced from the forests of northern Spain and the French Pyrenees, while the American oak comes from the forests in the American states of Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky. Once chosen, the oak logs are then transported to coopers in Spain, who mature the logs and then turn them into oak casks. These casks are then filled with sherry to season them, and finally the seasoned oak casks are brought to The Macallan in Scotland’s Speyside to be used to mature new make spirit.
The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks are the single greatest contributor to the outstanding quality, natural colours and distinctive aromas and flavours of The Macallan, The Macallan’s Master of Wood Stuart MacPherson tells us. “Because of this, we invest in the sourcing, crafting, seasoning and caring of our casks, and over many years we have developed a deep level of understanding on how both the wood influences our whisky. The investment in our wood has shaped our future with the maturation and whisky making working hand in hand,” MacPherson explains.
According to The Macallan, The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old displays a golden butterscotch hue, while imparting aromas of dried fruit, toffee and vanilla, and delivering a warming finish with a creamy mouthfeel. The Macallan Double Cask 18 Years Old features a rich amber honey tone, offering notes of dried fruits, ginger and toffee. A warm oak spice finish is balanced by citrus flavours of sweet orange.
“Bringing together American and European oak sherry seasoned casks to achieve the perfect balance of flavours is incredibly exciting for the Whisky Mastery Team, and we are proud to offer two new expressions to this distinctive range for The Macallan Double Cask fans to explore,” shared Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker, The Macallan.
The Macallan Double Cask range is set to take front and centre as the distillery’s core offerings; according to MacPherson, portfolio changes are afoot. “As time has progressed, our brand has become synonymous with the use of sherry seasoned oak casks, therefore it is a natural evolution for us discontinue the 15 Years Old and 18 Years Old within the Triple Cask Matured Range. The Macallan Triple Cask Matured 12 Years Old will continue to form part of The Macallan portfolio.”
Older, more longer matured expressions are likely to join the Double Cask range in the near future.
Recommended selling price for the Macallan Double Cask 15YO and 18YO is $192 and $459 respectively. The Macallan Double Cask range will be available in The Macallan Online Shop, The Macallan Space at 1855, selected premium bars and retailers from 20th August 2020.
Official Whisky Maker’s Notes: The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old
colour Golden butterscotch.
nose Dried fruits, toffee and vanilla with smooth oak and baked apple balanced with notes of honey and chocolate.
palate Sweet raisin and sultana build with hints of vanilla, wood spice and citrus.
finish Warm ginger turning to caramel and citrus with a creamy mouthfeel.
Our Tasting Notes: The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old
colour Brilliantly burnished bronze.
nose Freshly baked Danish glazed with a ginger spiced toffee syrup.
palate A taste of tea time, with warm shortbread cookies along with ginger and orange marmalade.
finish Clear and present oaky backbone, lending heft and bitter almond notes that dries out in a medium-long finish.
verdict Classic Macallan that’s altogether familiar yet intriguingly new. A steal at its current price (our friends at Highest Spirits also agree).
Official Whisky Maker’s Notes: The Macallan Double Cask 18 Years Old
colour Amber honey.
nose Dried fruits, ginger and toffee with rich orange and hints of clove with nutmeg.
palate Rich raisin and sultana with notes of caramel, vanilla and ginger balanced by wood spice and zesty citrus.
finish Warm oak spice with ginger turning to sweet orange.
Our Tasting Notes: The Macallan Double Cask 18 Years Old
colour The dark orangey gold hues at dusk on a particularly warm day.
nose Warm baking spices left out to dry in the sun, dusty oak, a Scotch Old Fashioned complete with dehydrated orange slice
palate Bitter sweet caramel, toasted wood spices, bitter orange preserve, old oak.
finish Burnt caramel and sweet citrus on the initial attack that quickly mellows and rounds out to a bitter and dry finish.
verdict Those who complain that Macallan whiskies are generally too toffee sweet may take to this angrier, more masculine expression.
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