In support of Compass Box’ Transparency Campaign, That Boutique-y Whisky Company have decided to add age statements to all their whiskies. This is a curious decision since the concept of the brand initially was to not do this.
It might also have something to do with the flack NAS whiskies are getting all over the world, and the fact that with this campaign support there’s some marketing spin off. I cannot blame them. I love them for it.
So, the first whisky I tried of the samples I got in last week is their 25 year old Macallan. On Master of Malt’s website this is already sold out, but since they also sell TBWC through other outlets, you might be able to find one if you want.
Macallan is a bit of a strange one at the moment. Once they were the pinnacle of branding and luxury whisky. But when they started releasing the Fine Oak series little over a decade ago many whisky fanatics think of them as a waning whisky. They used to be great. They used to be awesome. They used to be proud for doing things their way:
Golden Promise barley, only sherry casks from Jerez, no compromises. Not much of that is still left and it’s even getting harder and harder to find proper sherry cask matured whiskies from them. Unless, of course, you’re willing to shell out massively.
Then this. A vatting of at least a lot of sherry casks. There might have been some bourbon casks involved, or just American oak sherry casks.
Typical old style Macallan with lots of orange, orange zest and fruity sherry. Slightly fatty, like a custard and some vanille. Sweet baking spices with a hint of pepper. Caramel sauce and orange peels.
The palate is slightly more spicy than I expected, and less sweet. Black pepper, peaches and citrus fruits. I get Valencia oranges and tangerine. The orange is both fresh and candied, and there’s a hint of cheese cake. Not as much wood as you’d expect of a 25 year old.
The finish is drier than the palate was, with more oak on the forefront. Slightly less fruity too. The caramel lingers, as do the sweet spices (cinnamon and clove). Dried oranges.
Well, this is a gorgeous whisky. The migration from really fruity on the nose to more and more spicy towards the finish makes for a really interesting, and delicious drink. It doesn’t feel inconsistent at all.
What also works is to take your time with a drink like this. I found that after half an hour of airing there were more leathery notes. The caramel was a bit more pronounced and it didn’t go flat at all.
With the way Macallan is going, it’s a good thing these bottlings are around. It’s a shame there’s so few of them and that too is reflected in the price. Still, quite recommended, since it’s lovely.
89/100 (gaining point because of added goodness after airing)
Macallan 25 years old, Batch 5, 48.8%, That Boutique-y Whisky Company. It used to cost just under 500 quid.
Thanks to Master of Malt / That Boutique-y Whisky Company for supplying the sample!