Macallan is one of those distilleries that have spent ages getting their reputation to a stellar level.
Age was important, golden promise barley was important, the best sherry casks from Jerez were important. Only to be kicked down again by themselves when suddenly all these things were no longer valid points.
Suddenly there was the Fine Oak range which diluted half their own arguments, and they followed that up by a nigh innumerable amount of releases without an age statement.
Of course, there are still great whiskies from the distillery, but you have to look for them, and have to be willing to shell out for them.
So, when you get the chance to try a dram from decades ago when everything was better (was it, really?), you do. So, tasting notes to a late eighties bottling of the regular 10 year old as it was then.
Very smooth with a lot of fruity sherry. Plums, dates, peaches, but on top of that a lot of Valencia oranges. It’s very gentle, but not thin.
The palate has a note of black pepper that brings a bit of punch, but is otherwise a tad thin. More so than the nose. Still, there’s a lot of fruity sherry, oranges, peaches, mandarin. More oak than I expected too.
A bit dry on the finish, and nicely warm. It becomes a bit more malty and wood focused than it was before. Less fruity. Some raisins towards the end.
A good look into whisky from the eighties, and Macallan from the eighties, but with the relatively young age and low abv it falls quite short of greatness. In all honesty I expected more from this, and it doesn’t do Macallan’s reputation justice, I think.