The Macallan Sherry Oak Cask 12

Scotch Review #70: The Macallan Sherry Oak Cask 12

Distillery: Macallan

Region: Speyside

ABV: 43%

Age: 12 Year

Price: $60

Color: 1.4, Tawny. Natural Color.


Nose (according to the wife): Lots of honey, lots of sherry, and a hint of fresh honeydew melon.

Palate: Just as the nose teases, this dram is all honey and sherry. It’s not sherry bomb levels of it but you get a nice helping. There’s a lot of hot oak spices as well that make this seem a lot younger than a 12 year old.

Finish: Medium in length. There’s a lovely note of dark chocolate and a hint of ginger however, the finish is absolutely dominated by oak sawdust. It coats your mouth and just sticks to it afterwards.

Conclusion: Does this whisky need any introduction? I don’t know how many scotches are more famous than this one. Unfortunately, I didn’t particularly rate the old version so I was hoping that perhaps the new one might be better (even though it’s supposed to be the same stuff). I have to say, I think they’ve made it worse. While I don’t have a review of the old one, if I did it would read along the lines of “sherry, honey, and too much oak spice”. This one adds something else to it. The sherry, honey, and overbearing oak spice are all there but there is this lovely note of dark chocolate at the end that promptly gets drowned by sawdust. So much sawdust. It coats your entire mouth and throat and it’s just dry afterwards. The sherry and honey are nice and the addition of that dark chocolate is lovely but the oak is just too much in this. This guy will be banished to the shelf where I keep stuff I only pull out for guests who drink the whisky for the name rather than the actual juice. Would I buy another bottle? No.

Final Score: 73.

Scotch whisky review #70, Speyside review #32, Whisky Network Review #93


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 (if feasible).
  • 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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