In a parallel universe where there are many peat greats oozing a unison of brine, smoke and seaweed there are the equally populous sherry stalwarts, whose highlights are a glorious fusion of rum, raisins and dried fruits, one such wonder being the house of Macallan.
This ‘limited edition’ is one of many 12 YO expressions from the distillery, uniquely positioned in between its other siblings – the ‘Fine oak‘ and the ‘Sherry oak‘. The Double Cask’s contents are a fusion of whiskies laid to rest for a minimum of 12 years in both American and European barrels that previously held sherry, a great proportion of the former influencing the whisky. The Sherry Oak differs mildly with the latter being the greater influencer. The fine oak strays a bit here, leveraging ex-bourbon and ex-sherry american casks.
The shoulders of the bottle have a sharp, confident appeal, tapering mildly as you traverse south. The golden neck brace and the embossed arrow, inspired from the ‘M’ in Macallan adds a few bold edges and therefore oomph giving it that classy, simplistic and niche character, that is in all ways traditional Macallan.
Eye: Deep gold
Nose: Rich vanilla greeted with red apples, peaches, oranges along with hints of tropical fruits. Raisins and rum, mild grassy influences and crushed green pepper.
Taste: Vanilla infused with smoked wood, melted brown sugar and milk chocolate. A mild earthiness soon overtaken by sweet floral tones, peaches and sundried figs along with sprinkles of almond flakes.
Finish: Almonds, golden raisins, some citrus and a mild spice with a soft warmth left lingering at the back of the throat.
The limited edition is rich, flooding the palate with lovely satisfying sherry goodness, though a notch lower than the ‘Sherry Oak’. The texture is quite silky but not as heavy as the Aberlour 12; surely not a bad thing, but different nevertheless. Depth and breadth are certainly strong traits to this whisky but if I were to rant, it would be the lowered strength that makes it feel a bit watered down.
The Double Cask is certainly a great dram with the pricing being a bit of a miss considering they are bottling at 40% ABV. But surely you won’t regret if you were to get your hands on this bottle. This expression exuberates a melancholy of sherry influences, with a non tainted natural colour that is neatly packaged in an equally satisfying bottle.
Preference: Adding a few drops might bring out subtle nuances but I also fear a bit too much might over dilute it.