The Macallan Rare Cask

Scotch Review #57: The Macallan Rare Cask

Distillery:Macallan

Region: Speyside

ABV: 43%

Age: NAS

Price: $49/2 oz pour at a bar (Happy Hour special, regularly $65)

Color: 1.4, Tawny. Unfortunately it is chill filtered and has had color added.

EDIT: A few folks have pointed out that this, and other Macallans, are all natural colored. Thanks for the correction!

DISCLAIMER: I was in a bit of a celebratory mood last night after some things went very well at work and may have gone a little overboard in celebration. Please note that the notes in this review were taken while on an incredible emotional high and that may have affected my thoughts.


Nose: Really smooth sherry with nutmeg, lots of orange, a bit of honey, and a little bit of oak. Pretty nice.

Palate: The mouthfeel here is lighter and than I’d like and expect but man, it is oh so smooth and goes down way too easily. The main note is a rich plum pudding accompanied by oranges, nutmeg, coffe grounds, and a little bit of raw oak spice. Towards the bottom of my dram after this a lot of time to oxidize, I got a delightful caramelized brown sugar note.

Finish: Short to medium in length. There’s a bit of oak, a little more nutmeg, and bitter orange rind.

Conclusion: For a celebratory dram, it’s a pretty good one. The nose sets the tone with those lovely notes of nutmeg and orange that last through the entire dram. The palate is rich and smooth with lots of lovely plum pudding in it and caramelized sugar to marry with those notes. The finish brings it full circle with more nutmeg and orange. If the Macallan Edition No. 2 wasn’t such a ball of heat, I’d imagine it would be a lot like this. The lightness of the mouthfeel and the shortness of the finish do let this down a bit along with that odd note of raw oak that pops up. Overall though, it’s a pretty good whisky. Would I spend $300 on a bottle? Unless I win the lottery, I highly doubt it. While the dram is good and the bottle is beautiful, there is definitely better value to be had. For a third of the price, I’d rather stock up on Edition No. 4 bottles. If you’re looking for a statement piece to put in your collection for very rare occasions and to impress folks though, this probably isn’t a bad choice.

Final Score: 85.

Scotch whisky review #57, Speyside review #26, Whisky Network Review #75


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection.
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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