The Macallan is one of those whisky brands that gets a lot of hype. The result is that at times it can feel both overrated and, frankly, a little overpriced. That’s a damn shame — because there are The Macallan releases that can really blow you away. The Macallan 18 Double Cask is one of those bottles.
Before we go any further, yes, this is an expensive bottle. But there’s a long history of craft at play that makes this bottle worth that extra cash layout. This bottle’s MSRP is the price you’re paying at the cash register. It’s hyped, sure. But the price isn’t overinflated. It’s not a situation where you’re shelling out $800 for a bottle with an MSRP of $99. The money you’re paying for this bottle is going back to the distillery and not a middle man somewhere looking to profit off of buzz.
Now that we have all that out of the way, let’s actually dive in and see what’s in the bottle. And, hey, if this sounds like something you’d like to try, click that price to give it a shot. Spoiler alert: If you truly love Scotch, I can virtually guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
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The Macallan 18 Double Cask
Average Price: $350
This single malt from Scotland’s famed and stunning Highlands is matured for 18 long years in two separate cask programs. Part of the juice rests in American oak casks that were sent to Spain to hold sherry for a spell before they’re sent up to Scotland to hold this whisky. The other casks are European oak that also held sherry in Spain before their trip to the Highlands. Each wood brings a unique character to the mix that helps this single malt really shine.
Finally, those barrels are married and cut down to proof with local water before bottling.
There are very delicate notes of American oak on the nose with hints of dry vanilla, orange oils, and buttery toffee next to the finer European sherry woodiness, with candied fruit and a touch of eggnog spices, especially clove and nutmeg. The palate leans into the soft vanilla with a cut of raw ginger spice, golden sultanas, more orange, and a touch of salted caramel with a pure silk texture. The mid-palate hones those spice notes towards a mildly dry wood with the candied and dried fruit bringing a sweetness and velvet texture. The very end has a candied orange peel bitterness and sweetness that sits with you for a while, reminding you to go back for another sip sooner rather than later.
The Macallan bottles are sort of iconic these days. They’re hefty with wider shoulders than their base. The labels are bold yet not overfilled with information, leaving an understated elegance to the whole presentation.
The whole experience is so delightfully refined and soft that you’re left with only one word in your mouth: Smooth. This really is the nectar of the Scotch whisky gods.
95/100 — This is truly wonderful. It’s so easy to drink, so full of great flavors, so easy-going. The only way it loses out from a perfect score is in that it’s a little… well… it’s a tad too refined and easy. There are no surprises. There’s nothing that’s going to challenge you. It’s just a really, really f*cking good dram of whisky that will never disappoint.