Monday, March 5, 2012

Review: Macallan Cask Strength

Macallan Cask Strength
Price: $55-$65
Strength: 59 %
I have to detract a couple of points from Macallan Cask Strength for its hot alcoholic booziness.  Yes, you can add some water, but the margin for error is a bit too small.  Too little water and it's still too hot, but a little too much and it gets a diluted flavor.  After several drams, I've found the sweet spot to be just a bit of water that still allows for a small alcohol bite.

Macallan Cask Strength is a sherry monster that makes Macallan 12 look weak by comparison.  Rich, deep sherry and oak define the whisky and actually give the drink something of an antique quality even though the liquid is probably younger than 10 years.  Mincemeat, chocolate raisins, dark cherries, and gingerbread.  A chewy whisky with good balance between sweet malty and fruit notes and dry oak and spice notes.  The finish is long and (assuming the right amount of water) has a good ginger kick to it.  A lovely, complex dram that pushes how far sherry should impact a whisky.  93 points (A-).

Other Macallan reviews:

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  1. I remember trying this at WAGG a few years back, and not being as impressed as I'd hoped. I was, however, pretty unused to cask strength anything, so I wonder what I would think of it now.

    I do recall a big alcohol burn getting in the way of the concentrated sherry punch I was looking for, but then I don't think I added any water. Adding water to stuff feels so awkward at WAGG/Whisky Weekend, I rarely do it.

    Macallan is weird to me in that I think of it as pretty amazing, yet I almost never seek it out.

  2. Definitely need water with this one. At tastings, I like to pour the water into the bottle cap, which lets me better control how much gets mixed with the sample. A plastic straw would work pretty well too.

    Macallan may be too "familiar" and feel like it will always be there while you go and explore other whiskies. It's like living your whole life in a city and never going to the art museum.