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Macallan 18 yo ‘sherry oak’ (1985/2003, OB, 43%)

It would be offensive to your knowledge of whisky things to premise this review with a useless explanation: let’s not kid each other, the Macallan 18 year old series in sherry casks with the vintage indicated does not require any of this. Consult Whisky Paradise if you want some Macallan pornography and you want to study the variations of the labels: here we’ll only tell you about this eighteen year old boy from 1985.

N: a very ‘orange’ whisky, in which the suggestions tell us about a nice warm apricot croissant, strawberry jam, fresh red apples and honey. A pinch of vanilla, the classic baked donut and beeswax. The latter testifies once again a great truth: Macallan’s distillate has broad shoulders. Milk bread with raisins (and raisins alone); almond paste. It’s very warm, even if it’s far from the depths of the mythical 18 yo from the 70’s. Generous barrel wood whiffs, pleasantly toasted, almost ‘tobacco-like’ after a while. On closer inspection, the orange is there.

P: powerful, but also very elegant: it seems almost cask strength, judging by the kick and the texture. The hints of red fruit (the raisins deserve a special mention: very evident) here are definitely more lively; still very malty and also buttery, which reminds us again of a nice freshly baked cake. More orange and honey. Basically, it’s very consistent with the nose, although it certainly shows a surprising character.

F: long and persistent, notes of toasted butter, orange and raisins.

Let’s say fresh but not too much, because the wood gives depth, a toasted atmosphere and a lot of facets: probably it’s not a monster of complexity, and certainly we are far from the myth, from the historical, supersherried Macallan distilled in previous decades … But we do not feel like condemning it just because whisky from the past were perfect. On the contrary, we like to enhance its modernity (there are hints that make you think about American oak…), consistency and satisfaction. 89/100, very good indeed. Please, look for yourselves at the prices, because we’re bursting into tears.

Recommended soundtrack: Guns n’ Roses – Estranged.

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