the eight new bottlings will put a line under recent controversy and drive the brand forward.
The whiskies range in age from eight to 30 years old, and contain top quality whisky matured in a mixture of sherry and
Early indications are that the new releases will live up to the company hype. Experts who have tasted them are very impressed indeed. For instance, Dave Broom, who tastes the new range in this issue, describes them as “very exciting indeed. There are some very good whiskies here and a couple of crackers. Because the sherry doesn’t dominate you can taste the true distillery characteristics in them.”
The range is tasted by Dave and Gavin Smith in this issue’s new release section on page 60.
I tried the Fine Oak at a recent whisky show and was unimpressed. It is a decent speysider but nothing to write home about and certainly not worth the price. Here the 15yo is $110! The "winey, astringent" CS as MJ calls it, is not a bargain either at $95... though compared to the "Fine & Rare"s they are at least in the realm of affordability.
I've tried three different single cask Macallans that were ex-bourbon, and whilst they were good, drinkable whiskies, they didn't blow my socks off.
These days, a great Macallan is identified by its sherried richness, sweet fruits, and good balance. To change the formula by vatting in bourbon casks, they can't honestly expect a knowledgeable market to get excited about it!?
It strikes me as an exercise in cutting costs, and increasing profits: Bourbon casks are considerably cheaper than sherry casks, so - in theory, with all other things being equal - the Fine Oak range should actually be CHEAPER than the regular bottlings.
If Macallan want to return to their hey-day, just start sourcing some good sherry casks again, go back to using Golden Promise barley only, and then see the market start to sing their praises again!
Got to taste the new range at the Oslo Whisky Festival and they are good whiskies - misunderstand me correctly. But they lack the richness I want from a Macallan. Also the finish is a bit on the short side. The 25yo just left the palate shortly after swallowing - as compared to the sherry 25yo which lasts and lasts.
It's a good thing you can get purely sherry-style whiskies from other distilleries - e.g. Glendronach.
Admiral wrote:If Macallan want to return to their hey-day, just start sourcing some good sherry casks again, go back to using Golden Promise barley only, and then see the market start to sing their praises again!
I'm supposing this inplies that The Macallan is no longer made with Golden Promise only? The packaging on the newest Christmas gift sets seems to advertise only using Golden Promise. Is there any truth to this?
Good on them, a wonderful product with all Macallan inthere. Maybe not as dry as the old sherry ones but the character is still in there.
Even the old Macallan ,which i love, sometimes was to overpowering in sherry.
Very good to see a company as Macallan forseeing a shortage in good serry casks and try something else.
Maybe you should try more sherry if you miss the old Macallan, and it isn't them that raise the prices of the old series, that's retailers for you.
As a result, I don't anticipate purchasing any of the Fine Oak any time soon.
Given that (good) sherry casks are becoming increasingly harder and/or more expensive to source, perhaps they forecast that lack of availability will cause the market to turn away from sherried malts?
Just a thought.
Remember though that the Macallan, buys American oak, builds the casks, has them shipped to Spain and filled with the sherry of their choice for two years and then finally has them re shipped to Speyside for filling. Also in some cases the sherry in just used for seasoning the cask and is never bottled. You can imagine the expense, the average Macallan cask costs 10 more than a normal ex sherry cask.
Macallan has been producing non sherry finished whisky for Famous Grouse fillings, it seems to be a reasonable business move to want to expand their market share with a whisky that they already make.
We will see if the market will reward them for their past reputation by paying the very high prices they are now charging.
Your last point there sums it up beautifully.....identity is at risk. Macallan have marketed themselves in such a way for the last 10-15 years to the point where their status, policies, product and profile are legendary. They've definitely taken a new tack, and - at least to me - it seems to go against the profile and "aura" that they've created previously.
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