Wednesday 7 October 2020

Tasting the new Double Cask range at The Macallan Room Hong Kong [Tasted #490 - 492]

If you make your way to Level 5 of the incredible K11 Musea shopping centre, you might find a small piece of Speyside, in the form of the new "Macallan Room" - a permanent space next to Liquid Gold which serves as a showcase for the brand, and event space for product launches.

A relatively cosy space (ideal for holding COVID-compliant gatherings at the moment), the space boasts a marble bar overshadowed by a wall (or perhaps wave) of Macallan bottles, with rare Macallans lining most walls, including a Macallan 72yo Genesis Decanter, Exceptional Single Casks (available for purchase from Liquid Gold next door, albeit not at original retail pricing) and Fine & Rare releases

Outside the room sits a more temporary exhibit currently, hosting "The Macallan Extraordinary Wood Journey Exhibition", using photography from Steve McCurry to tell the story of oak (and subsequent casks) that make up the new Double Cask range.

Double Cask is a whisky we first met back in 2016, although at the time the range comprised a single 12yo expression. Fast forward to 2020 however, and the range has been expanded with the addition of both 15 and 18 year old expressions. Both still 100% sherry maturation, but (like the 12 year old), from a 50:50 mixture of American and European Oak sherry casks (the better-known "Sherry Oak" Macallan range uses European Oak exclusively).

As nice as the new Macallan Room was, we weren't there just to see the space, with Edrington kindly arranging a tasting of the new Double Cask Range - 12 Year Old, 15 Year Old and 18 Year Old, expertly led by The Macallan Brand Ambassador Patricia Byott.

The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask (40% ABV, 12yo, Speyside, Scotland, $500HKD$105AUD / £51.95)
Colour: Yellow-honey gold.

Nose: Vanilla, honey and dried orange peel. It's clearly from sherry, and has trademark Macallan notes, but (as I found back in 2016), a bit more fruity and less intense than the Sherry Oak 12yo.

Palate: Still more honey and vanilla, with some oak spice and ginger tea.

Finish: Medium in length with a warming ginger note.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 90/100.

The Macallan 15 Year Old Double Cask (43% ABV, 15yo, Speyside, Scotland, $1,150HKD / $199AUD / £90.95)
Colour: Maple gold.

Nose: The European Oak has started to work some of its magic here. There's still orange, but the honey has become toffee, and there are some sultana and demerara notes too.

Palate: From the same family as the 12yo, but with more wood spice and dried fruits - sultanas, sweet raisins and pot pourri.

Finish: Long, with lingering dried fruit mix and woodspice.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 92/100. The "sweet spot" in the range, if you ask me.

The Macallan 18 Year Old Double Cask (43% ABV, 18yo, Speyside, Scotland, $2,200HKD / $499AUD / £249.95)
Colour: Copper gold.

Nose: Toffee and sultanas, but the orange has become grapefruit, and there's a noticeable Brazil nut quality coming through.

Palate: Less sweet than the 15, with more dried fruit mix, almonds and Brazil nutes, but also bitter dark chocolate (yum) and more grapefruit.

Finish: The longest of the three, with some oak tannins starting to show at the very end.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 92/100

The Macallan Double Cask range is available in Hong Kong now (with pretty keen pricing from Dram Good Stuff I've noticed - certainly better than Watsons and the like). Those wanting to visit The Macallan Room or the exhibit can find the details below:

The Macallan Room
To immerse, discover and savour The Macallan 
Address: Shop 507, Level 5, K11 Musea, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsimshatsui
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 10am – 10pm 
Contact No: (852) 5988 0777
Steven McCurry - The Macallan Extraordinary Wood Journey Exhibition
Address: Level 5, K11 Musea, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsimshatsui
Exhibition period: 22 September 2020 to 10 October 2020
Time: 10am – 10pm. 


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