Another one of those Darkness! reviews. And, let’s be forward here: my favourite of the bunch.
Macallan got a lot of flack over the last couple of years, more or less since the Fine Oak series came out and their marketing department committed homicide on their credibility. After years of ‘we only use Golden Promise barley’ and ‘only the best casks from Jerez’ they came out with an entirely line of whiskies at fairly high prices that were only so-so.
It didn’t improve over the years and last year their colour range series (Gold, Ruby and the lot) weren’t received all too well either. These actions hurt them more than they should have, since they also really limited their age-stated releases, matured in great sherry casks. After all, this is the stuff people adore from Macallan.
I think they should have kept up their formerly regular sherry releases and added to that, instead of more or less phasing them out.
For the last couple of year you have to look to indies for amazing Macallans at reasonable prices. These too have become more rare over the years and prices have soared (this one is no exception to that). A couple of years almost all bottlers had Macallans on offer but those too are few and far between nowadays, and if you can find them you have to shell out for a brand name that is no longer a guarantee of quality.
A very deep, rich and heavy profile hits you right away. Very fruity, with sweet oak influences. It has that summery Speyside character, but there’s a lot more than that. It does smell ‘aged’ too. Old fruit, sweet hazelnuts and Brazil nuts. Some vanilla and in general just utterly delicious.
The heavy, sweet layers continue here too. The nuts are back too, but slightly lighter than on the nose. Vanilla and oak and sweet bread. Something the Dutch would call brioche or kwarkbol. Both of them.
The American oak pops up here with some more typical flavours of that. Mostly the different tasting oak that shines through. It’s still heavy, sweet and rich, but all in a good way without ever getting cloying. A rather ‘old style’ dram.
Let’s be honest here for a bit. I don’t want you to buy this whisky. I don’t. But that’s just because at the moment I can’t buy any and I really hope there’s something left for me when I do have some money again.
On the other hand you should buy this whisky. Mostly because this is a modern, rather engineered whisky but in a way that it doesn’t taste like generic vanilla bombs like there are so many nowadays. This dram shows two things:
- Macallan can still make some epic, epic whisky.
- If you’re engineering whisky, this is how you should do it.
One of the more tasty release I’ve had this year. Of the new releases that is. It is a bit pricy though.
Macallan 15yo, Pedro Ximénez finish, 52.3% – Darkness! For sale at Master of Malt for £ 109.95
Thanks to MoM for sending me a sample. Me happy!