The Macallan 12 Year (2004/05 Bottling)

Scotch Whiskey Review #166: The Macallan 12 Year (2004/05 Bottling)

Distillery: Macallan

Region: Speyside

Price: $12 for a 2 oz sample

Cask Type: ex-Sherry

ABV: 40%

Age: 12 Year (Bottled in 2004/05, Distilled in 1992/93)

Color: 1.5, Auburn/Polished Mahogany.


Nose: (according to the wife) It smells really nice. There’s a lot of very overripe red grapes along with raisins and well-ripened persimmons. The sherry is really noticeable and there’s a very wet, old oak note as well.

Palate: It’s very rich in flavor, and yet the mouthfeel remains very light on the tongue. It’s bursting of sherry, citrus, and raisins. The citrus mostly comes in the form of orange zest with the raisins being a mix of regular ones and golden raisins. There’s also a smattering of other dried fruit that’s harder to discern, it’s almost like shoving a fistful of dried fruit mix in your mouth. As it gets more air time, it becomes richer with more of the dried fruit mix and sherry coming forward.

Finish: Medium to long in length. The raisin mix continues on here before it is joined by that aged wood note. The very end is slightly dry after lingering for a bit. With some more time, sharp green apples join in as well.

Conclusion: I reviewed the modern Macallan 12 Year Sherry Oak almost a year ago and I wasn’t particularly impressed. In comparison with this older version, the differences are like night and day. This older version is full of lovely fruit layers with lots of sherry. The orange zest works very well with the raisins and other dried fruits. The bit of wood toward the end is enjoyable and far from the sawdust of the new version. It’s a shame that the quality of Macallan’s whisky seems to have dropped because they truly can make a beautiful whisky if they tried. Would I buy a bottle? If only I could find one.

Final Score: 83.

Scotch Whisky Review #166, Speyside Review #68, Whisky Network Review #228


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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