Wednesday 22 August 2018

Tasted #394: The Macallan 55 year old - Exclusively bottled to celebrate The Macallan distillery opening 2018

As mentioned a few weeks ago, at the launch of The Macallan's new distillery and visitor centre we were treated to a spectacularly rare whisky - a Macallan, in which the youngest Macallan was 55yo, of which there were only 20 bottles, and which was served only to guests of the distillery launch events for a week in May.

As far as welcome drams go, it's fair to say it was a good one.

Upon picking up a glass, we weren't given any details at all. We were asked to hold off for a few minutes until a toast was made, but that didn't stop me giving it a good long nose...which was all I needed to tell me this wasn't your average sherried Macallan. This was something unique.

We later learned it was a special bottling, released only for the distillery launch events, but weren't given any other details apart from its age. A few days later, Siobhan Sellers (@herguide) posted up the following post (edit: since removed), confirming the ABV (50.3%). I'm sure I also read somewhere that it was limited to 20 bottles, but can't seem to find that info anymore.

The Macallan 55yo - Exclusively bottled to celebrate The Macallan distillery opening 2018 (50.3% ABV, 55yo, Speyside, Scotland, Not commercially available)
Colour: Burnished copper-gold.

Nose: Sweet orange zest initially. Sultanas. Sultana Bran, figs and sweet dates...but so much more. Leather. Slightest hints of smoke, nutmeg and mince pies. If you search hard enough, some dunnage warehouse. Clean, beautifully sherried and complex.

Palate: Raisins dusted with nutmeg. Some pepper. Apples, cloves, more orange, but then...grapefruit? Lots of grapefruit - both flesh and hints of zest. Ginger, dried fig and candied apricots...this dram had a lot going on, and it was all delicious.

Finish: Long with a slight citrus bittnerness leading to a subtle, lingering earthy smoke.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 92/100. Delicious, just a beautiful example of an incredibly well-aged sherried whisky. To enjoy it amongst friends, as one of the first in the world to tour the new Macallan Distillery was just an incredible experience.


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