Thursday, April 28, 2011

Macallan 17 year ~ Fine Oak

Photobucket   The Macallan - speak its name and no matter who you are or where you are and they will know its name. Long before I was enraptured by the single-malt, I knew of Macallan, even if only by name. An unassuming gent fondly known as the Whisky Chaser wrote a book or three which this amateur whisky chaser has read from cover to back. Enraptured not just by the picturesque Scottish isles, mores, highlands, and beyond, his slight of pen and prose brought me back into the mystical world of the malt, single of you please, even blended. If you let the malt speak for itself, then limitless discoveries await. I know. I see, smell, taste, and savor.
The Macallan is no stranger to the stoic nature and whimsical fancy of the malt and those who fancy her. Wood is an important partner in flavor and recently Macallan has been dabbling with beauteous White Oak. The white oak Macallan prefers for her Fine Oak series hails from three legendary regions of Spain which have been host to the great Spanish Oak; those regions are Galicia, Cantabria, and Asturias. Once the casks are complete, a little bit of love between legendary Jerez sherry and oak makes for a divine resting place for the awaiting malt. On occasion, even American Oak from the elder forests of Eastern United States which are then shipped to Jerez for a scintillating date with Jerez sherry before lying with Macallan malt.
For my first foray into Macallan, I find it rather appropriate that she be not just a Macallan but a Fine Oak Macallan bottled at the tender age of 17. My love for white oak is no secret and so let the journey begin.

Color: clear burnished coppers. deeper along the edges than in the middle.

Nose: sweet and honeyed. pervasive coconut. banana skins. raw oak, sweet and spicy, mingles with the coconut. guava and plantains. honeycomb raw and dripping. orchard must. pear and apple skins essence. teasatory tickle of heat and spice in the back, dry. golden biscuits without the sausage and gravy.

Body: oily, sticky, and mouth-coating in the middle. leaves dryness on the lips and along sides of cheeks and tongue.

Palate: clean and dry along the sides with white oak, spice, and fruit skins - pears and apples. coconut is everywhere, toasted, then dryness of husk. papaya, guava, and plantain greenness. spicy oaky planks in the breath. orange peel. sticky sweet earthiness of fresh honeycomb.

Finish: long, spiced, delicately sweet, and oaky. continues to dry sides of cheeks and tongue while the lips remain sticky. heavy in the middle from start to finish.

A thorough delight from start to finish. Now that the tasting notes are done, I am eager to savor a few drams sooner than later because as I write this, a thirst calls my name. The Fine Oak series is a welcome diversion from the long centuries old tradition of Macallan which I believe will become a tradition all her own.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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