Macallan 40yo, 1977-2017, XOP - Xtra Old Particular
ABV: 45.2%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°°°°
Bottling: Douglas Laing
Cask type: Refill Hogshead (# DL11835, 218 btl.)

 

Colour: Amber.
Nose: Quite lively on the nose, fresh with lots of fruits - luscious oranges, red apples and dark fruits. Creamy with vanilla, toffee and a hint of ginger spice. Elements of roasted bread, hazelnut and a whiff of tobacco leaves, nicely mixed with tender spiced oak in the back. Very complex!
Palate: Sweet and creamy on the palate with plums, caramel, overripe oranges and hints of banana. Then warming with a pleasant and complex mix of oak, black pepper and leather. Lingering notes of cloves, ginger spice, hazelnuts and subtle tobacco leaves towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long, warm and lovely creamy with caramel and subtle grape peel. Floral notes emerge, followed by dry oak and white pepper on the tail.
With water: Water slightly tames the bold fruitiness while more toffee and butterscotch notes emerge. Slightly bitter on the nose with grape peel and a hint of floral notes in the back. Sweet and slightly warming on the palate with malted barley, toffee and creamy oranges and plums. The finish is a bit shorter but fairly dry with oak and subtle tobacco leaves.
Comments: Wow! What else can I say? A Macallan from the seventies of this quality class is hard to beat. Incredibly complex on the nose, excellently balanced and surprisingly fresh with lots of depth on the palate and a fantastic long finish. A highlight for every whisky lover.

 

I thank Douglas Laing for the sample and the photograph!


Macallan 12yo, Fine Oak, Triple Cask Matured
ABV: 40%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: American and European Oak Casks seasoned with Sherry, as well as American Oak Casks seasoned with Bourbon.

Colour: Gold.
Nose: Sweet opening notes of vanilla, toffee and malted barley, followed by dried apricots, nectarines and sultanas. Smooth with a whiff of alcohol in the back, nicely balanced with oak spice, white pepper and a touch of marzipan.

Palate: Initially sweet and fruity on the palate with dried apricots, oranges and subtle raisins. Pleasant notes of vanilla and sherry emerge, before an impressive spiciness of oak, white pepper and ginger takes over. Very warming indeed. Malted barley and creamy honey linger towards the finish.

Finish: The finish shows medium length with a sweet and fruity mix of vanilla, toffee, raisins, and milk chocolate. This is followed by a slightly warming and dry spiciness of oak, ginger and white pepper on the tail.
With water: Fresh on the nose with a few drops of water. There's more fruit coming through with oranges, nectarines, apricots and subtle lemons. Still sweet with vanilla, toffee and malted barley, while the spiciness is noticeably tamed. Again lingering fruity notes on the palate with lemons, oranges, apricots and nectarines. Pleasantly creamy with vanilla, toffee and sultanas, while the warming spiciness is slightly pushed in the background. Smooth and creamy with a medium long finish. Vanilla, raisins and slightly dry oak on the tail. Very savoury!
Comments: A tasty dram! Rich, smooth and nicely balanced with an attractive fruitiness, pleasant sweetness and surprisingly warming spiciness. Good interplay of the American and European oak-derived flavours. What surprises me most is the fact that a drop water or two brings out more of the pleasant fruity flavours, while the good balance of sweet and spicy elements is still present. Another positive 'aha moment' to me.

 

I thank Sietse Offringa and Beam Suntory Germany for the generous sample!


Macallan Sienna, The 1824 Series
ABV: 43%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Sherry casks (both American and European oak)

Colour: Reddish gold.
Nose: Opens with a subtle sherry nose, accompanied by plenty of juicy oranges, baked apples, and hints of bananas. Little honey, fine vanilla and a touch of cinnamon in the background, along with subtle oak and a whiff of white pepper. Elegant and mellow!
Palate: Sweet and malty start on the palate with typical sherry-derived flavours - dates, figs, and dried apricots, along with juicy oranges. This is complemented with a warming spiciness of black pepper, ginger, nutmeg and fine oak. Deliciously mouthfilling! Lovely notes of vanilla and raisins emerge, nicely intermingling with lingering dark chocolate and a touch of marzipan towards the finish.

Finish: The finish is long, creamy with honey, malted barley and vanilla. Fruity and syrupy with oranges, followed by a slightly warming spiciness of oak, ginger and anise on the tail.
With water: Lively on the nose after adding a few drops of water. Sherry-derived flavours and fruity notes, oranges in particular, remain while more oak spice is coming through. Still sweet and fruity on the palate with a slightly tamed but prickling spiciness of oak, pepper and nutmeg. The finish shows good length with a creamy, soft, even silky mix of malted barley, vanilla and honey. Gets slightly drier on the tail with fine oak and anise.
Comments: A pleasantly surprising dram! A delicate Macallan with a lovely interplay of bright, fruity notes (oranges!), rich dried-fruit sweetness and oak-derived spiciness. Well-balanced with no sherry overload. Very savoury with a multi-layered range of flavours and textures. Smooth, and creamy with a long and warming aftertaste. Even a small drop of water works fine with this whisky.


I thank Sietse Offringa and Beam Suntory Germany for the generous sample!