When I was at the Limburg Whisky Fair with Thomas we ended up talking to Jurgen, from Jurgen’s Whiskyhuis in Belgium. Of course we also shared a couple of drams, but we mostly talked about some bottlings that were exceptional. He recommended up to a 1988 Macallan by Silver Seal that tastes like a Macallan from 15 years earlier. Thomas and I bought one (half bottle each) and yesterday I thought it was a good idea to taste it.
Light sherry that focuses mostly on oranges and grapefruit. Also reine claude (those little green plums) and apricot. Loads of fresh fruit! There’s also quite some wood influence and I expect this was European oak. The oak is also of a lighter character and doesn’t overpower any of the other scents. Later I get cinnamon and cloves, while it stays fresh. After about an hour I suddenly get yellow raisins.
Very sharp, and a lot sharper than I expected from the nose. There’s a lot of sharp wood influence here with quite some chili heat. After the initials heat blast the orange comes back really quickly. The sweetness is always on the background supporting the flavours. I also get high cocoa chocolate that feels a bit grainy. Like the brown goo at the bottom of an espresso.
The finish gives me the chocolate first and then goes back to the orange with some pink grapefruit. Fresh, sweet and zesty citrus fruits. It’s not a very long finish.
I didn’t really know what to expect with an ‘old style Macallan’. I expected a more feinty dram that was more in the style of the Macallans bottled in the sixties. The seventies style is quite different from before then. Not a whisky that blows you away, but one that is very flavourful with loads of goodness to be discovered!
Macallan 1988, 22yo, Silver Seal for Whisky Antique, 56.7%, € 187 at Jurgen’s Whiskyhuis.
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