By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
To get an idea of how absolutely unusual it is for us to find a cask of Macallan in sherry to sell as an exclusive: this is literally the first time in a decade of selecting single casks that we've ever offered Macallan aged in sherry. Our teaspooned cask of William Hepburn three years ago was of course aged in ex-bourbon hoggies, as were the very expensive and older ones we've occasionally acquired as a thank-you from our best suppliers. Usually if it's available it's so outrageously priced we can't even conceive of a world where our customers would consider paying a premium at, or above, the ridiculous premium the distillery already charges. So we were extremely excited to taste this gorgeous butt when our guide brought us into the warehouse. This will most closely resemble the highly sought-after Classic Cut offering that's now popular in terms of its style, but of course we've got an older, single cask, and higher proof. The nose initially is punchy and full of dark malt, fudge, praline, hints of flint, and stone fruit. With air, more of the sherry character comes out, with a little bit of nutty oloroso aromatic framing the bold malt nicely. On the palate, sweet biscuits; very textured and rich, almost chocolatey finish. But this whisky at full strength is simply hidden, packed with quality, but slightly monotone. Now add water, not just a drop, but enough to see a little bit of cloudiness develop as the oils coalesce. Now we're truly in rarefied air. The nose is now this absolutely pristine expression of exotic fruits: kiwi, passion fruit, jujubes, quince, candied lemon peel, and nougat. On the palate, the dark malt is gone and replaced with candied nuts, creamy custard, hints of lemon oil and anise. It somehow gains weight and texture with water. So if you're one of those people that refuses to water down your whisky for whatever reason, than you should skip this. If you love to add water and experience a whisky in its many chimeric forms, then you'll fall in love just like I did.