Monday, February 4, 2008

The Macallan Cask Strength

The Macallan Cask Strength
Single Speyside malt Scotch whisky
No age statement (but apparently aged 10-12 years*)
58.6% alc/vol

This is the second Macallan I've reviewed on this blog -- and one of my favorites so far. This one is cask strength, which means it was not diluted with water before being bottled, as most whiskies are. Thus, while most Scotches are 40-46% alc/vol, this big guy weighs in at a hefty 58.6% (116 proof)!

Keep this in mind when drinking cask strength whiskies. The high alcohol content means you should drink it more sparingly than usual, so you don't get sloppy drunk (unless that's your goal, of course!). It also means you should be careful when nosing and tasting it, since it can numb your sense of smell and taste, and inhaling its vapors deeply can be uncomfortable or even painful. If you usually like to dilute your whisky before nosing it, dilute this one a bit more; if you don't usually dilute it, seriously consider doing so for this one.

Oh, and I should also note that this is the USA/Canada bottling, rather than the 10yo cask strength bottling available elsewhere in the world.


The Macallan Cask Strength is a lovely brown sherry color. The nose bursts with brown sugar, subsiding into strong vanilla and caramel notes. Bananas Foster and baked apples.

It's very sweet. Creamy, thick, and sharp in the mouth; numbing. Cola. The finish is long, dry, and tingly. Oatmeal scotchies and cinnamon.

This is one of my favorite dessert Scotches. It's sweet, rich, and deeply satisfying. My bottle's almost dry, but I'll definitely pick up another. So should you.

What are you still doing here? The liquor store's still open. Get!

* Michael Jackson's Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch, p. 357.


Anonymous said...

I bought a bottle of this whisky today and mein Gott!
The body as you swirl it in the glass is like a cordial, but of course without the sugar. But is is sweet, not as smoky as most of my favorite malts.

No doubt, though, this is a delicious distillate. I agree, the "dew of the rose" may not be enough. I tend to add some Mountain Valley Spring water to the glass to smooth out the alcohol and bring the malt to full flower!

Sweet buzz! I love whisky!!!!

Will said...

I quite agree, Anon. This dram is highly recommended. :)

Anonymous said...

Mountain Valley water is the best for adding to any spirit. The water fell to the earth 10,000 years ago and has been filtering through limestone since.

I'm all about the whisky, but I always keep a bottle of the MVW around for the "dew of the rose." Now if I grew roses, well . . .

Oh yeah, the cask strength The Macallan is wunderbar, does need some dilution to be appreciated fully without dehydrating your tongue.

Good with a cigar or dessert whisky, though I do prefer the peaty malts myself.

Anonymous said...

Pay careful attention. While we did not enjoy the burning alcohol nose and taste of this scotch, inquiring minds led to careful experimentation and interesting results. Soaking a wick in this scotch and then lighting it off with a Diamond strike anywhere match led to immediate and sustained ignition with a bright blue center core flame supported by an ample amber corona. This scotch would make a better lighter fluid than after dinner appertif. Enjoy with caution.