Macallan. That Iconic distillery, which by now I suspect is more of a monetary instrument in the whisky investment portfolio than actually a drinking whisky for most… Or is it?
With the surging prices of OB Macallans (Have you seen the price of say a 18 year old sherry oak? a 30 year old Sherry Oak? if you can find any), due to the dwindling stocks of sherry matured Macs, It’s just logical to seek the Independent bottlers who still can offer good value, and some excellent casks (those above 40% i mean: *hint hint*).
To make a long story short : I was lucky enough to score two lovely samples from two friends, both Macallan, about the same age (give or take a few years), to try head to head. The first is a 1993 Speymalt by G&M (I’ve tasted it’s much older sibling which was AMAZING – the 1970 vintage ), and the other is a very interesting Raw Cask 15 yo Blackadder. who’s going to win the battle? Let’s start!
Nose: spicy oak, with zingy lemon on the side, warming barley sugars, sweet nectar, and more oak. some fruit too : tangerines, gets a bit farmy with water , nutty and more varnish effect. some dry fruit but not a lot.
Palate: this is nicer, warming oily mouthfeel, sweet with quite some dried fruit on the palate, much more than the nose suggests. quit malty with some nuts too and malty / pastry kind of feeling to it.
Finish: rich, lots of sultana on the finish, with a hint of smoke.
A very nice Macallan, but does not live to the expectations of the older Speymalts. not a lot of oak there… but the palate is lovely.
This is a very interesting whisky, actually the entire RAW CASK range is. By Raw Blackadder means it has quite a bit of cask remains in the bottle, and when you pour it, your glass looks rather interesting (check out the image below)
Nose :Really sweet stuff feels almost bourbon-y with that nose. Not a lot of dried fruit or sherry on first whiff a lot of vanilla. Caramel. Butterscotch. Almost candy like, but not only that… Some water (and it needs some) will reveal more exotic fruit and a some lemon sherbet.
Palate: Wow. At that abv it’s huge! It’s mega sweet. Rich and thick. Smoky. Spicy. Oily. Chewable. Some vanilla and then sultanas in golden syrup. Chilly peppers. Spicy oak, and more of those exotic fruit. Sublime.
Finish: Oaky with pepper and sweet juices.
This is a cracking whisky. brilliant stuff. rich, fruity and spot on.
It’s quite easy to see who the winner is here. A superb bottling from Blackadder, and my very first Raw cask. Surely not the last, by the looks of it.
Many thanks for the samples, mates!