The Macallan: The Rolls Royce of Single Malts

“From the refreshing, delicate, fruit flavors of Fine Oak, to the rich, spicy, chocolate orange characteristics of Sherry Oak and the eclectic, individuality of Fine and Rare, The Macallan portfolio is acknowledged by whisky experts as being of the highest quality and greatest diversity in the world.” – quoted from The Macallan websiteThe Macallan - photo copyright Cheri Loughlin  - Cocktail Stock Photography www.cheriloughlin.comWhen I was asked to sample The Macallan, my answer was of course “YES!”  However, The Macallan needs no evaluation.  The story of The Macallan speaks for itself as does a single taste.  It is little wonder The Macallan has been named Best Malt in the World and Best Whisky by spirit connoisseurs.  This is the whisky all others are measured against.  For good reason; The Macallan is an exceptional Scotch whisky.  What causes this Scotch whisky to stand apart from all others begins with the reputation of The Macallan itself.

The Macallan’s reputation is built upon the foundation of six pillars (found on their website www.themacallan.com):

Spiritual Home – Easter Elchies House built in 1700 which looks out across hills, fields and rivers that provide the backdrop and fundamental ingredients for The Macallan.

Curiously Small Stills – The Macallan is distilled in the smallest stills on Speyside.  Their unique size and shape ensure the rich, fruity, full bodied flavors.

Finest Cut – The Macallan takes only the finest “cuts” or the best of the best of any distillery in Scotland.  (To read exactly what that means you absolutely must visit the site.)

Exceptional Oak Casks – The Macallan Master of Wood, George Espie, selects only the finest in hand-crafted or hand-picked oak casks for The Macallan to ensure the proper aroma, flavor and color  in each variety.

Natural Color – Spirit and wood alone combine to create The Macallan. 

Peerless Spirit – Bob Dalgarno, Master Whisky Maker keeps a watchful eye on each cask, selecting the moment when each is perfect for bottling to create “The Macallan…the world’s most precious whisky.”

The best source to go to for not only The Macallan, but nearly every malt whisky available up to 1998 is Michael Jackson’s Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch (fourth ed.).  Michael Jackson was a chief reviewer of whiskies and beer.  His evaluation and scoring of whisky is highly regarded in the liquor industry.  He was perhaps the most noteworthy Scotch whisky writer in history.  Although Michael Jackson passed away August 30, 2007, his influence lives on in his writings and throughout the single malt whisky world.  His opinions not only helped shape the single malts people decided to sample, but his views influenced how distilleries developed single malts globally. 

Sampling The Macallan 12-year-old may whet your appetite to explore the vast array of single malts.  It would certainly encourage further exploration into The Macallan line.  The Macallan 12 is the real bedrock of The Macallan line.  It is a great example of a Highland Speyside malt, one that appeals to newcomers and connoisseurs alike.  The Macallan 12 is readily available and at a reasonable price point for the quality.  The Macallan 12 is an excellent value. 

My thoughts on The Macallan mean nothing in comparison to what the premier expert in the field of Scotch whisky had to say.  Taken from Michael Jackson’s Malt Whisky Companion:

“‘The Rolls-Royce of Single Malts’ is a soubriquet often bestowed upon this persistent winner of competitions.” 

The distillery rated five out of five stars.  Michael Jackson viewed anything over a rating of 75 worth purchasing.  His ratings across the board for the entire Macallan line…a score of 81 for a Seven year old Macallan to a rating of 95 for The Macallan 25-year-old.  The Macallan 12 with its exceptional value and full, smooth body with rounded finish remains the Scotch whisky standard all others aspire to be.  Michael Jackson gave The Macallan 12 a score of 91 and deservedly so.

When Scotch whisky first rose in popularity many years ago it was difficult to find a wide selection to choose from on liquor store shelves.  The great news is in recent years this has changed to such a great degree that not only are there many Scotch whisky’s to choose from, but there are now pubs and bars that cater to Scotch whisky enthusiasts.  Such places may have extremely rare collections that are a once in a lifetime treat to sample.  While you may not be ready for the entire range of single malts there are to choose from, The Macallan 12-year-old is the ideal Scotch whisky to begin with. 

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2012 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved. All opinions, reviews and spirits’ coverage are the personal opinion and decision of Cheri Loughlin.

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