The Sherry Project Part V: Macallan 10yo CS
It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for the tasting notes of the last of the five contending whiskies in The Sherry Project. So far I’ve reviewed a couple of fine cask strength, sherried whiskies, with the Glendronach CS batch 2 taking the top spot in the preliminary standings. But today will feature the most serious challenger yet in the form of a Macallan 10yo Cask Strength.
It’s a whisky that’s been discontinued, but The Macallan has long been synonymous with the highest quality sherried whiskies. Back when it was still being made, The Macallan 10yo CS was actually in the same price category as the other participants in The Sherry Project. That makes it a fair comparison in my mind, because we’re talking about a whisky that used to be just as affordable as an Aberlour a’bunadh or a Glengoyne CS. That’s why I had to add this 10 year old cask strength-version to the line-up, just to see if today’s top sherry drams can keep up with an all-time classic.
Macallan 10yo CS (56,4%, OB)
Nose: Heavy, chock-full of aromas. Lots of dark, bitter chocolate, coffee, leather and some smoke, burnt caramel. It gets gentler after a couple of minutes with dried red fruits, succulent cherries, watermelon and grapefruit. Fantastically layered.
Taste: Thick and oily mouth-feel with some pepper and a slight saltiness. A meaty and spicy dram (cloves). But the smoke and the burnt caramel rear their head as well. I love it.
Finish: Bitter, spice and leathery. A tiny bit of red fruit in the end. Long and warming.
A fantastic whisky that, sadly, is very difficult to obtain nowadays. If anybody who’s reading this is willing to part with a bottle for a reasonable price, please hit me up. You might make me very happy.
Standings after Part V:
1. Macallan 10yo CS (89 points)
2. Glendronach CS batch #2 (87 points)
3. Glengoyne CS batch 001 (86 points)
4. Aberlour a’bunadh batch #46 (85 points)
5. Glenfarclas 105 (84 points)
Tomorrow The Sherry Project comes to an end with a quick recap and some musings on the former greatness of The Macallan.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.