Macallan Fine Oak 17 Review

This is a 17 year expression from Macallan which is matured in a combination of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks. It’s bottled at 43% ABV.

Nose: Caramel & vanilla, candied apples, not much sherry coming through. Cinnamon, red wine vinegar, and toasted walnuts.

Palate: Caramel & fudge with black tea – oak heavy with sweet notes developing after a bit. Black cherries, honey, and biscuits.

Finish: Bitter oak and dark chocolate with cherries lingering and anise appearing shortly.

Rating: 85/100 – At a higher proof, I’d think this has a lot of potential, but still enjoyable at 43% for an easy sipper.

Value for the money: Lowest US retail I’ve seen is $140, with it looking to average closer to $175 or so. As with most Macallans, it’s overpriced, and I’d not pay full retail. I’d pay up to about $80-90 or so based on what you’re getting.

Speymalt Macallan 42 (1971/2013) Review

This is a 42 year old sherry cask matured Macallan from the Speymalt line that was distilled in 1971 and bottled in 2013 at 43% ABV.

Nose: Thick, luscious sherry notes full of rich spices and leather, oak presenting as dusty antique furniture, and an overture of heavy dates and figs.

Palate: Bold sherry up front both very sweet and spicy with bright peppercorn notes. Huge sweeping oak follows right after filling palate with leather and ashy tobacco.

Finish: Oak fully takes over here and unfortunately turns very bitter with slightly acidic grape skins.

Rating: 82/100 – Nose is quite nice, but the oak is just too overwhelming afterwards – especially on finish which is tremendously overoaked.

Value for the money: I think this retailed for close to $1000 and that is a very, very easy pass for that much money.

Speymalt Macallan 19 Review

This is a 19 year Macallan that was matured in an Oloroso sherry cask and bottled at 43% ABV.

Nose: Lots of brine off the bat which is odd for a sherried Macallan. Sherry is minimal here which is also noteworthy on the color given how light it is. Morello cherries, strawberries and cream, and a hint of tobacco smoke.

Palate: Very little sherry here as well – strikes me as a fine oak Macallan profile with pepper, anise, and subtle fruits.

Finish: Banana cream pie, oak, and vanilla.

Rating: 86/100 – must be a refill cask as the sherry influence is so minimal here for a 19 year maturation.

Value for the money: These look to have retailed around $135 which is an easy pass for me.

Speymalt Macallan 22 Review

This is a 22 year Macallan from the Gordon & MacPhail Speymalt line. It’s bottled at 43% ABV.

Nose: Big sherry bomb – oak is quite powerful as well with ripe bananas, wet grass, dates, and apricots.

Palate: Spiced oak with heavy Oloroso and orange rind up front. Turns a bit spicy on mid palate, but sherry remains dominant throughout.

Finish: Spicy, dry oak with sherry tapering off gradually.

Rating: 87/100

Value for the money: Looks like these retailed around $195 which is too high just like most of the other Macallan expressions.

Macallan 18 Review

This is part of the Macallan core range of expressions. It’s a 18 year malt matured in sherry casks and bottled at 43% ABV.

Nose: Huge sherry notes as expected – walnuts, seasoned oak, fresh green beans, and grape juice.

Palate: Honey and sherry up front turning a bit salty as oak/malt start to pull through the sherry.

Finish: Rich blend of sherry, oak, and subtle spices – very long overall.

Rating: 91/100 – A quintessential sherry matured OB.

Value for the money: These keep climbing in price and now retail for $220+ or so which is too high. I’d be happy paying up to $150 retail for these.

Macallan 10 Fine Oak Review

This is part of the core line from Macallan – it’s a 10 year malt that is triple matured in three different casks (two of which are seasoned with sherry). It’s bottled at 40% ABV.

Nose: Bright and salty malt right off the bat – very clean presentation of the grain. Sherry fairly subtle on nose. Nice crisp pear notes.

Palate: Malty up front becoming sweeter on mid/rear palate. Sherry influences is noticeable here – nice blend with the malt/oak/sherry with a bit of pepper.

Finish: Spiced malt with slight burn – sherry leaves a bit of a raisin note behind.

Rating: 90/100 – A gentle, sherried dram that isn’t a cask strength sherry bomb, but a nice study in sherry’s effect on malt.

Value for the money: These retail around $40 or so and I think it’s a great buy at that price.

Macallan Rare Cask Review

This is a NAS release from Macallan a little over a year ago. It’s made up of 16 first-fill sherry casks and bottled at 43% ABV.

Nose: A true sherry bomb with waves of oloroso and raisins flying at you. Very sweet nose with a hint of smoke/tobacco. Malted barley tucked beneath the layers of sherry along with some cherries, vanilla, and apricot.

Palate: Super sweet sherry up front with tobacco and spices developing nicely. Stewed fruits with black pepper and honey. Very little oak leading me to believe these casks were fairly young.

Finish: Very long – a good mix of spice and sweeter notes.

Rating: 90/100 – Doesn’t compare to some of the legendary sherry bombs, but I’m very impressed.

Value for the money: I’ve seen this as low as $270 and I think it’s pretty close to the sweet spot there. If this was under $200, I’d buy one for sure.

Macallan Director’s Edition Review

I was sent this sample as part of a mystery review/swap hence the cryptic 3 label on the sample bottle. This NAS expression was released in 2011 and is bottled at 40%.

Nose: Big sherry up front in typical Macallan fashion – smacks of an oloroso/PX hybrid. Ripe cherries, new leather, and a hot tabasco note.

Palate: Not as sweet as the nose let on – earthy sherry and buttered biscuits. Palate falls flat after a few seconds.

Finish: Bitter oak with slight sulphur notes. Sherry fades quickly leaving behind some spices.

Rating: 78/100 – Nose is quite nice, but palate and finish fall short for me. Semi-reminiscent of regular Macallan 12, but not quite up to par.

Value for the money: I believe these originally retailed for $75 which is a pass for me. I’d peg this closer to about $45 in value.