Macallan 10-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Cask Strength
Stated Age
10 years old
Sherry Oak
58.8 % Vol.
1000 ml
Added on
27 Aug 2008 5:20 pm
Cask Strength

Average value

€ 1259.02

25 × in wishlist

113 × member ratings

199 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Macallan 10-year-old

17 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 89.81 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    [July, 2017] Tonight I emptied the last samples left from this bottle together with good friends who are into single malt whisky for more than ten years, too. But surprisingly I noticed that even these experienced connoisseurs did not know what constitutes an "old-school" sherry maturation versus a modern style sherry maturation. Actually, they resounded this marketing bullshit from the whisky industry like "it all depends on how long the casks contained sherry before the malt was filled in" which is completely nonsense.

    To cut a long story (see below) short - it simply depends on the quality of the sherry wine: If the cask contained high-quality (fully matured) sherry wine it is able to support a complex, harmonious and smooth malt whisky maturation while casks which contained low-quality young (unmatured) sherry wine lead to a rather spiky, battling and more simple sherry maturation style. Do not get me wrong, there are great sherried malts of both styles out there (as well as there are sub-standard sherry maturations of both styles). But the marketing guys (and gals) do not like to talk about low-quality sherry used to season modern whisky casks, understandably...

    If you are interested, here is the long story (resp. history) of the different whisky maturation styles using sherry casks:

    Forget about tasting a dram which matured in a cask used to mature sherry wine before, this simply will never happen. Sherry wine matures in a so-called Solera system of casks for many years until it reaches its final quality and can be sold to demanding wine connoisseurs. Depending on varying techniques used (e.g., with or without oxidation) the different sherry styles like Oloroso, Fino, PX etc. develop during this long maturation process. Because of these sophisticated techniques a Solera system is very sensitive to any change, especially to new casks as tannins can kill the quality within a Solera very quickly. For that reason no bodega ever replaces any cask in its Solera system unless it is completely broken and cannot be fixed again (in which case it is of no use to whisky distilleries either). In addition to that a Solera system cask owns almost no tannins anymore and hence does not support the whisky maturation very well (tannins are needed here). So where do the sherry casks for whisky maturation come from if they were not used to mature sherry before?

    Until the mid-seventies almost all sherry wine was shipped to the destination markets (e.g., UK) using so-called transportation casks. These casks either were newly coopered or used to ferment the wine or store young (unmatured) wine before being cleaned to serve as a transportation cask. The finally matured sherry was drawn from the Solera, filled into the transportation casks, shipped and bottled upon request in the destination markets (e.g., in London, Glasgow or Edinburgh). Depending on how long the shipping and marketing of the sherry took these casks contained high-quality sherry for any period between a few weeks and several month, certainly not longer. Because it was too costly to send these casks back to Spain they were sold to the whisky distilleries once emptied which had a constant supply of excellent casks this way.

    From the mid-seventies on steel bulk containers gradually replaced the transportation casks and the whisky distilleries had to use even leached sherry (refill) casks more often. To enhance these exhausted casks they remembered an old Spanish technique of producing powerful sherry flavours called Paxarette. Paxarette-improved casks lead to more simple sherry maturations than fresh transportation casks but they offer very tasty lush sherry flavours and they are able to support very long maturation times as the tannins are rather low with these exhausted casks. Unfortunately, the use of Paxarette was banned by the Scotch Whisky Association in 1989 (not by law, but by agreement).

    When Spain joined the EEC (now EU) in 1982 the supply of new transportation sherry casks to whisky distilleries came to a complete stop because of a stupid EU regulation which prohibits "the bulk export of fortified wine" (which is sherry). All sherry had to be bottled in Spain instead and the whisky distilleries had to look out for a new supply of sherry casks. As Solera casks were both not available and not suited to whisky maturation they focussed on the fermentation and young-wine-storage casks instead and as whisky demand grew they contracted Spanish coopers to purposely season new casks with young (unmatured) sherry wine for any period between a few weeks up to two years (depending on what the distillery is willing to pay). This wine afterwards is sold to either (cheap) brandy distillers, producers of vinegar or it is simply flushed down the drain (as the world does not need that much vinegar and cheap brandy anyway). Because of the sherry did not mature these casks cannot be differentiated according to the different sherry maturation styles (like Oloroso, Fino, PX, Manzanilla) and hence such whiskies are called simply "sherry cask maturations".

    These empty "seasoned" casks are then shipped to Scotland but because sherry-soaked wood quickly rots in hot climates like southern Spain the Spaniards used an old Roman technique to prevent this - namely burning sulphur candles inside the casks to kill the bacteria which cause the rotting. That is where all the sulphur-spoiled drams come from (you never find such sulphur flavours of spent matches, burned fireworks etc. in old-style maturations).

    So, it is possible to produce old-style sherry maturations today and first-class distilleries (e.g., Glenfarclas) still source (some) casks which contained high-quality matured sherry wine before. But as bodegas try to adapt their production capacities to demand (to avoid costly excess volumes) only a few (I guess hundreds) of such casks are available and these casks are very expensive - that is what the whisky marketing departments tell you. But they do not tell you that the vast majority of all sherry casks (I guess more than 90 per cent) are seasoned with young, unmatured (low-quality) sherry wine and hence these casks are much cheaper.

    Not that drams matured in such cheaper casks are by definition worse than old-style sherried drams, not at all! It simply depends on your personal preferences: If you like untamed, spiky and "raging" sherry maturations (I found that often younger drinkers prefer this style) than the modern maturations are appropriate to you. But if you prefer complex, balanced and smooth drams than the old-style sherry maturations should be your first choice. By the way, I like both (if the quality is right).

    [August, 2007]  Together with friends I emptied a bottle that I bought for 63 Euro in August, 2007.

    In my old rating system (ten scales that translate into WB points: 50 - 66 - 75 - 80 - 82,5 - 85 - 87,5 - 90 - 92,5 - 95) I scored this 90.  My notes state "Yes, this is the old Macallan style we all adore!".  This bottle was gone during one night (but I saved same samples)...

  2. tribe did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Was sold at auction on April 11th, 2021 for EUR 1,261.01.

  3. Astrid scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Even if they are not yet so mature and complex, very tasty aromas are transported here. Barrel strength works well here, I would not recommend adding water.
    • Nose
      89 89
      very sherry-laden, very soft and pleasing despite the high alcohol content, sweet with caramel and toffee, nutty oloroso, juicy raisins with a touch of fine dark chocolate, tons of oranges, creamy blossom honey encloses dried figs and also prunes, oily, almond butter, Werther's real, cherry & Blackberry wine, delicate oak wood
    • Taste
      90 90
      strong and full-bodied, velvety caramel and sherry, really spicy with clove and pepper accents, hazelnuts and almonds, polished oak and sandalwood, raisins, fine tannins in the background with some chocolate and barrel planks, orange and some cherry, plum liqueur, forest honey, resinous pine needles and thyme , Tobacco, oily structure
    • Finish
      89 89
      plenty of creamy honey and sherry, slightly oaky astringency, caramel, almond butter and hazelnuts, plum liqueur, hints of fruity cherry juice, walnuts, cloves, a little bitter orange, a hint of sulfur

  4. mauricehuckriede scored this whisky 93 points Newbie

    delicious whisky,
    not smoky, full flavor.
    you taste the sherry barrels.

  5. squaadgras scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      88 88

  6. Falnor scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    It has been a while, but this was great macallan! It earned great reputation, that was wasted the last couple of years.
    • Nose
      This was something else. Nice mixture of chocolate, raisins and nuts. Oranges give it a fruity sidenote and honey. Big mouthfull without too much hotness from the alcohol.
    • Taste
      Do you like chocolate, because there's a lot going on in that department! Almonds and walnuts. Very oily and big. More plums and figs than oranges.
    • Finish
      Good length with bitter dark chocolate with nuts.

  7. lincolnimp scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Its better with a few drops of water and approaching 90 points but neat its in the mid 80`s.

    Nice flavour profile but unfortunately not worth anywhere near the auction prices they fetch at the moment.
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      89 89

  8. Skiddilly scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      90 90

  9. hfos scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      89 89

  10. The Macallan scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    A sherry explosion with spiced dried Southern fruit
    • Nose
      Pure: Typical Macallan sherry flavor, oranges, warming (diluted: dried fruit - plum, warm, apple, cloves, cinnamon, complexity)
    • Taste
      Pure: Soft, young, powerful (diluted: sweet, fruity, spicy)
    • Finish
      Warm, fruity, some woodspices - ginger


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