When an offer comes along buy a sample of a dram like this at an acceptable price, there is no time for doubt. Luckily I was in time to snatch up one of these babies before they sold out at Van der Boog.
The bottling is 14 years old, so from 1966 it’s 32 or 33 years old. For a Macallan that is significantly old. I don’t come across samples of this kind of whisky all that often, and certainly not at a price level I can afford.
It’s from Gordon & MacPhail’s Speymalt series, which is more or less a rather acceptably priced series of mostly Macallans. There have been some other distilleries in the series, like Highland Park, but normally when someone says Speymalt, they mean Macallan. Gal tasted an even older one recently and that got me even more anxious to try it.
It starts with really rich and woody sherry. The wood is very much present, but not overpoweringly so. Not bitter either. European oak with wood spices and apricot. There’s the slightest hint of sellery sticks (like in Zuidam’s Millstone 1999). The focus stays on the oak but it’s very gentle.
A lot more spicy at first with black pepper. It eases out really quickly though. Peach and apricot with a hint of orange. It does suffer a bit from the 43%, or maybe the time in the bottle since it feels a bit thin after a while. Still, quite some spicy oak.
Again, the spices in a gentle way. Nutmeg, ginger and also some orange notes. Canned peaches too. It’s not very long.
While this is a lovely whisky, I am not as thrilled by it as I hoped it would be. The flavours are all there but I had hoped for a bit more intensity and a bit more complexity. There’s quite some oak and spices but apart from a, rather typical, orangy note not much is happening.
Bummer, but no biggie. Let’s just hope this week of posh whiskies picks up a bit. I know it will. Review for tomorrow is not the most expensive one, but a rather great dram nonetheless!
Macallan 1966-1999, 43%, Gordon & MacPhail’s Speymalt. By the sample price it should be worth about € 280 to € 300.
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