This is not an official Macallan bottling. In the last decade, we were still producing more liquid than we could sell so when we had filled enough casks for our own uses, we sold the surplus new make spirit to independent bottlers to store and bottle in their own time under their own label. This is a case in point.
Once the casks are sold to the third party, we have no control over the storage conditions or the quality of the final bottled liquid. The only connection to The Macallan is that we produced the new make spirit but in this case, that spirit was not monitored by The Macallan Whisky Maker like the whisky that we bottle is.
We have not tasted it as it is not available in this country so are not in a position to give a comparison to The Macallan 18 years old.
I hope this clarifies.
This sheds a little light on the bottling and where it came from, I think the taste will ultimately tell the tale whether this is a good buy or not. I've got my bottle ready to go this weekend, side by side with my 18yr Mac I'll compare the drams and report back.
Let me start by saying that both whiskeys were exceptional.
The Costco 19yr is only 40% vs. 18yr Mac 43%
This did have an affect on the overall nosing and warmth of the whiskey.
Where as the 18yr had a very familiar long lasting finish with all of beautiful subtleties you would come to expect from this regal vintage, I found the Costco stuff a little short in that department.
The 18yr Mac was a bit richer in color and depth.
I also tasted some Macallan 12yr, and the Costco 19yr was a significant improvement from that vintage as far as flavor, finish and overall smoothness.
The flavors up front in the 19yr are very similar to the 18yr Mac, but I don't know if it is the alcohol content or what, it does not have the lasting impression on the palate like the 18yr.
You can roll both of these spirits around on the tongue for a few and get a very similar taste and experience, but as you swallow and let things settle in, that is where the difference is. I don't know about the medicinal flavor that others have mentioned, but I do see their point as far as a slight shortcoming in the finish.
My friends felt that same way. All in all, the Costco 19yr is a good buy in my opinion and I would not think twice about buying another bottle.
If you can find some add a bottle to your bar or liquor cabinet, you won't be disappointed.
Happy New Year.
MacallanFTW wrote:The flavors up front in the 19yr are very similar to the 18yr Mac, but I don't know if it is the alcohol content or what, it does not have the lasting impression on the palate like the 18yr.
One can only assume that Macallan would be loathe to sell their best casks to Costco. It's like store-brand toothpaste--all the same ingredients, but somehow just not quite right. Glad to hear this stuff is pretty good, though--I had my doubts.
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