So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Macallan 1988/2009 Carn Mor Vintage Collection cask 9171

The last time I reviewed a Macallan I failed to include a picture of the famously small dumpy stills:

Macallan stills

You can’t tell from the picture, but the stills are not 4m tall. In such small stills copper action is lessened, so the Macallan by design has to run its stills slowly and takes a comparatively narrow heart cut. Also it is worth remembering that Macallan still direct fires its stills.

Macallan also likes to advertise the fact that it still uses a portion of Golden Promise in its malt – this was a strain once used by the industry that is famed for it’s quality but suffered from low yield. It also uses two yeast strains where most distillers use a standard one, but till the 90s it used 100% Golden and five yeast strains, so draw your own conclusions here.

The warehouses:



The stillhouse:






Easter Elchies House, the Macallan Easter Elchies release is named for this house, and people will queue for this, like Ardbeg at Feis Ile.





Macallan and sherry casks traditionally go hand in hand, like its stablemate Highland Park. They do benefit from owner Edrington’s wood policy, which sees oak harvested on land they own to be sent to Spain to be used for sherry for a period then returned to Scotland for whisky. But what of Macallan’s distillery character? I have wondered so:



This is one of the older bottles in the collection, which frankly were not from the best casks, but at 21 years in a ex bourbon cask, maybe just maybe…

Nose  Nose: Ok, showing promise. It’s definitely weighty and oily, there is some complexity too on top of the usual malt mingling with creamy buttery wood plus all the associated oak spices. There is unripe fruit and a big green sap slap, like freshly crushed tarragon. Also a pleasing daffodils in the meadows kind of floral sweetness. The whole is held up by a fairly big boned structure, making it quite attractive really, if just somewhat plain.

Taste  Palette: As expected it’s quite oily and full bodied, I can see how this distillate can hold down an active sherry cask for years. More cream, more malt and more unripe fruit. An almost mentholated pepper making this a rather hot mouth. Gets sour and tangy, and a little spirity too (21 years!) with more green sap. Doesn’t sound like it but there is some depth here.

Finish  Finish: Medium long, still more residual sour tangy-ness, like after a slice of pineapple.



Again I’m guessing this was not the best cask, but how the spirit still pushes on nonetheless.. One of the better ones.

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This entry was posted on January 12, 2015 by in Macallan and tagged .
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