The Macallan is famously known for the quality sherry cask used to mature the spirit they produce. The Macallan works closely with the only fully integrated ‘tree to finished seasoned cask’ company in Spain, to identify the oak trees in the forests of northern Spain, fell the trees, saw and air-dry the oak staves before shipping the staves to the south for further air-drying to reduce the moisture still further. The casks are built by the coopers of Tevasa cooperage in Jerez. If the casks are ready to be seasoned at the time of the grape harvest, they will first be filled with ‘mosto’ (first fermentation of the Palomino grape juice, the most traditional form of seasoning) and then with dry oloroso in one of the sherry bodegas of Jerez. Outside the immediate post-harvest period, the casks will be filled directly with dry oloroso sherries in the bodegas. The Macallan’s casks are seasoned for eighteen months, before being emptied of the sherries and shipped to Scotland to be filled with The Macallan ‘new make’ spirit. Spanish oak, with its open grain and high tannin content, imparts the classic aromas and flavours. American oak sherry seasoned casks are also used in the maturation and Some of The Macallan’s new fill sherry casks are made from American oak. The oak is sawn and air-dried in Ohio, before being shipped to southern Spain and built into casks by the coopers of Vasyma cooperage in Jerez. These casks are then also seasoned in the same manner as the Spanish oak before being shipped to The Macallan for filling with the ‘new make’ spirit. The Macallan is part of the only Group building fresh oak sherry casks from American oak to impart a lighter colour, with sweet, soft aromas and flavours of vanilla and fresh fruits. American oak bourbon barrels American oak barrels, seasoned with bourbon whiskey are sourced from American oak, grown in the extensive woodlands of the eastern United States, charred in the cooperages of Kentucky and then seasoned with premium bourbon whiskey for up to eight years. They then import these barrels to Scotland to fill with the ‘new make’ spirit.
The Macallan double cask 12yo is matured in both American and European sherry casks although a higher percentage of American oak is used compared to the 12yo Sherry oak expression. Bottled at 40% and is natural colour.
Nose.. Takes a little time to open but once it has there are some impressive dried fruit aromas like dates, raisins and a hint of Turkish delight. chocolate orange, coffee and liquorice give this that classic sherry aroma along with vanilla, toffee and marzipan.
Palate.. Starts of softer than expected but it’s classic sherry matured flavours with those dark fruits, spices and sweetness all showing up to the party..
Finish.. Elegant and lingering.
Thoughts.. This one is quite Classy and seductive.. The Double cask shows up all musty and shy before becoming the life of the party, that slow start is just the perfect tease that just tempts you to hang around long enough to get the full effect.. Once again this just teases you to what you might get if you step this up a few notches..
Thanks to Steve from the Whisky wire and The Macallan for the sample and invitation to take part in the live Twitter tasting.