I had a Cask Strength Christmas bottling of Glengarclas that was great in its own right... Surely in the nineties...
Aberlour is down a weight class in my mind; but the Abunadh (sp.) is not bad, too a little thin compared to the Sherry macallan of the past.
I found the Glendronach a disapointment despite all the Sherry. Balvenie is great (esp. port wood 21 --but its just not the same thing as the Macallan).
I'd love to hear what others have in mind...since we are all soon going to have to find a replacement...
I concur with others' statements that Glendronach 15 doesn't quite fit the bill.
The other alternative is Jon Mark & Robbos Easy Drinking Whisky, "The Rich Spicy One". This is a vatted malt, but it was created as an attempt to emulate the Macallan ESC bottlings. Given that it was created by David Robertson (former head distiller at Macallan), the pedigree is certainly there!
Here are a few wonderful whiskies to comfort you while you wait:
Edradour (mmmmmmmmmmm )
Glendronach (recent bottlings are well worth the money)
Glenmorangie Sherry/port/madeira wood finish
Actually, the probably short absence of Macallan from any market could be seen as an opportunity to widen one's palate....
Admiral wrote:The other alternative is Jon Mark & Robbos Easy Drinking Whisky, "The Rich Spicy One".
Just got done slagging that marketing concept on another thread...ah, well, at least it's real whisky, and if the concept gets some folks in the door, without really dumbing down, then I guess I oughtn't complain.
Glengoynes: Edrington get a good slagging here and elsewhere, but it's pretty hard to fault what they've done at Glengoyne recently. The 19yr cask strength might be worth looking out for - that should be under $100. This is dry rather than sweet sherry, but if you can find the 12yr cask strength you can get a cheapish idea.
Some of the older Glendronachs from IBs might also fit the bill. The 20yr-25yr sherried Signatory bottlings get terrific reviews, and they are usually about 50 pounds or so.
Last but not least: Mortlach 16 Flora and Fauna is fairly cheap (33 pounds = $60), and fits the bill for sweet sherry.
So far the most typical macallan taste has been found in some IBs from mortlach. especially from Murray mcDavid and Signatory.
The glenfarclas range doesnt quite do it IMHO because of the bourbon influence and second fill sherry. The vintage range is exceptionally good, but again not quite the same as macallan because the vintage range has much more profound sherry flavors then the balanced mac.
Oliver, you refer to a christmas edition from Glenfarclas. Wich one was it? i tasted two of them, both from 1971 The one that is bottled in jan 2000 cask 5959/5960 is the best Glenfarclas i had so far. but those are very very rare now and i doubt you can find them again outside an auction. Are you a Glenfarclas fan in general?
Though I really wanted to become an ardent amateur of Glenfarclas malts considering they are truly independant -as in free from marketing geniuses -- I have a few minor misgivings, alas.
I mentionned the Christmas bottling; the one I got was disilled around the 1980's and bottled in 2003 give a take a year or two. It was about 23 years old, single cask, first fill, cask strength and just out of this world. And the same price as a Mac 18 today.
Someone said that first fill sherry (or port) casks can overwhelm the Gelnfarclas and I would tend to agree. That being said, I prefer a first fill Sherry matured Glenfarclas over any second fill of Bourbon aged one!
For example the 21, was a slight disapointment, but a ten or 11 year old single cask or first fill bottle is always great and in my mind a better deal.
I guess the larger point is that unfortunately for us lovers of big mats, the glenfarclas is a supermiddleweight, or at best a lightheavyweight. While the Macallan is a heavyweight (and for example the Glenmorangie a lightweight). And no amount of trainning (re:Sherry casks!) will make up for it. Its really too bad. (I mena the Glenfarclas has brand integrity in spades and could teach the lads at the Edrington a thing or two in that department...)
I would venture the lighter nature of the Glenfarclas compared to Macallan comes from the stills at Glenfarclas which are the some of the largest in Speyside. While Macallan's are the smallest and create a heavier, more visquous, and I would say better, richer spirit.
Having said all this, I really enjoy the '105' truly a pioneer (or avant guarde) malt! And as mentioned they have great single cask and/or special bottlings. Yes they are expensive, and hard to get. But come to think of it, they are cheaper than the Sherry Mac 18 which is also mpossible to find in certain markets, and getting pricier where it remains available. (I am thinkin of doing a chart on my blog...)
Another idea is to classify Malt distilleries by 'weight' categories, like boxers....
Today's entry: the Marketing Geniuses!
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