And so ends this week of Macallan 12, 2008s. As a reminder, this is the third of three casks released at the same time by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society this year. All started out as spirit matured in first-fill oloroso butts before being filled into ex-bourbon, ex-oloroso and ex-PX casks respectively for two more years. An interesting prospect, this juxtaposition but in reality I was not hugely impressed by either Monday’s ex-bourbon cask or Wednesday’s ex-oloroso. I thought both were overpowered finally by both the oak and the crazy high abv at which all of these were bottled. Will this PX cask finally be the one I really like? I hope so.
Macallan 12, 2008 (63.1%; SMWS 24.149; oloroso + PX casks; from a bottle split)
Nose: Ah, this is very nice from the jump: plum sauce, orange peel, leather and just a bit of oak to frame it all. Brighter citrus emerges after a few minutes in the glass along with some pencil lead and some damp autumn leaves. As it sits further it gets stickier, the oak gets a little spicier, the plum expands further and it’s better integrated still. A few drops of water push the oak back and soften it up a bit: quite a bit of toffee now and some apricot to go with the plum.
Palate: Comes in as promised by the nose. Unlike the sibling casks, this one does not present either overbearing oak or overbearing alcohol burn (despite similar strength). The citrus expands as it sits and there’s a bit of sweet pipe tobacco as well. More oak with time but it’s not out of balance with the rest. Water pushes the oak back here as well at first but the spicy notes swell again as I swallow.
Finish: Long. The plum and the orange peel. The oak gets spicier and gets the last word. As on the palate with water.
Comments: Well, after disappointing/underwhelming outings with the first two, I really liked this one. The oak is not overbearing and as a result perhaps the alcohol burn is not exaggerated either. I’d guess whatever the size of the cask this was placed in, the wood was far less active. If I were to spring for whatever insane amount of money was asked for any of these casks [I wouldn’t] it would be for this one.
Rating: 87 points.