The Macallan 10 yo Cask Strength is not easy to come by these days and you have to be prepared to pay significantly more than for the standard 10 yo Sherry Cask. Yet I was fortunate enough to secure 2 samples of different batches. Varying batches are not marked as such on the bottle like for example with the Aberlour a’Bunadh, but they usually can be discerned by their bottling strength.
Let me take this rare opportunity to examine the two batches in a head to head comparison. This is a true Head to Head where I tasted both expressions simultaneously and not one after the other.
Sample #1, ABV 58.4%, bottled ca. 2007
My Tasting Notes:
Nose: Dried figs, raisins, cedar wood, cinnamon; impressive neat, even stronger with a little water.
Palate: Figs, prunes, lemon zest, tea, hints of nutmeg.
Finish: Long, dry and fruity.
Overall: A prototype sherry monster of very high quality.
Rating: 87/100 – Price Tag $$$$$ – Value for your Money $$$$$
Sample #2, ABV 58.6%, bottled ca. 2007
My Tasting Notes:
Nose: Caramel, fudge, dates, hints of cinnamon and vanilla; water releases slight citrus notes.
Palate: Caramel, orange zest, christmas pudding with slight wood tannins.
Finish: Long and fruity with a sweet dryness.
Overall: This malt is a bit unusual as it almost tastes like an old rum. But it is very enjoyable nevertheless.
Rating: 86/100 – Price Tag $$$$$ – Value for your Money $$$$$
It is really amazing how diferent these batches are. The nose of the first is your typical “sherry monster” style while the on the second it is is much more on the sugary side, almost like a rum. This also translates onto the palate. I prefer the traditional style of the first sample a litte, but both are excellent sherried malts that are on eye-level with the famous 18 year olds of the distillery.
Buy Macallan 10 yo Cask Strength (different batch, sorry) at The Whisky Exchange