This is a somewhat unusual Macallan as it is from a single bourbon cask. Macallan’s own
We’re Running Out of Sherry Casks and Need to Change Our Story Fine Oak series, of course, includes ex-bourbon whisky in the vattings but I’m not sure if any of those are from only bourbon casks (the labels all say “Triple Cask Matured”). At any rate, it’s the only Macallan I’ve had that I know to be from only bourbon wood. Now I wait for my readers to tell me that in Belgium and Austria only bourbon cask Macallan has ever been available.
Macallan 15, 1995 (46%; A.D. Rattray; bourbon cask 11251; from my own bottle)
Nose: Mellow fruit–dried apricots, figs, pluots (no, I haven’t forgotten that this is a bourbon cask). With time there’s some citrus and a mild musky note. With more time there’s a hint of toasted wood as well. Water brightens it up, emphasizing the citrus and bringing out more malt.
Palate: Fruity just as on the nose but there’s a lot more citrus here–oranges, candied lemon peel. A malty sweetness below the fruit and then some toasted wood shows up, trailed late by some wood spice that doesn’t quite mesh with the fruit. Water gives it a little more acidic bite and integrates the wood a little better with the fruit.
Finish: Medium. The fruit lingers but at the end the wood/spice has a little too much to say. Water integrates the notes on the finish as well.
Comments: I opened this bottle for a tasting last month, and I have to say I didn’t like it quite as much then as I do now. I wish the fruitiness were a little more intense and the wood/spice a little less obtrusive on the finish, but I really do like it tonight. I wonder if it was bottled at 46% because the wood was far more expressive at full strength. But, on the whole, this is a good advertisement for bourbon cask Macallan: bring it on, I say, and stop messing around with colour-coded whisky.
Rating: 85 points.