I started the month with a review of a 10 yo whisky that is only available in a few markets (the Highland Park 10); here now is a review of a 10 yo whisky that is available everywhere: the Macallan 10 from the distillery’s Fine Oak line. This line was launched in 2004 as Macallan tried to make us forget that for a long time they had tried to get everyone to agree that heavily sherried whisky was where it’s at: the Fine Oak line features whisky vatted from sherry and bourbon casks. I’m sure that at the time the distillery would have said that this offered customers another exciting view at the nuances of the Macallan character; and I’m sure that if I’d been blogging then I would have remarked that it probably also offered the distillery an opportunity to constrain and allocate its heavily sherried stock for more expensive releases (or maybe that’s with the benefit of hindsight).
I’ve tasted the younger whiskies from this line many years ago. They didn’t make a strong impression on me then—at the time the Macallan 12 was easily available at very reasonable prices and I was a big fan. I am curious to see what I make of this one now.
Macallan 10, Fine Oak (40%; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: A bit of honey, some citrus (somewhere between orange and lemon) and some sour oak. Gets more grainy/prickly as it sits and also a little porridgy and vegetal (reminding me just a bit of Tobermory, actually).
Palate: Sweet in an indistinct kind of way; a little bite from the oak: not much else at first. On the second sip the oak is the most prominent note, which is not to say that this is particularly oaky; light caramel too now, a bit of orange peel and a touch of milk chocolate. The mouthfeel is rather thin. No development as such—if anything it seems to get thinner.
Finish: Short. Nothing new and everything fades out pretty quickly. With more time the orange peel returns here.
Comments: Well, this is inoffensive malt with no flaws but also nothing to particularly recommend it. But it does remind me that I should try to track down some of the Sherry Oak 12 yo and see what I make of it now.
Rating: 80 points.
Thanks to Florin for the sample!