looking over the river Spey to the Macallan diistillery when the man
besides me bitterly complained about how bad the quality of the Macallan
malt is nowadays compared to older releases. As a proof to his
complaint he ordered two drams of Macallan for me: An older 10 year
bottling (most probably distilled in the early eighties) and a new one. I had to confess he was right, the quality was remarkably different
and not in favour of the new release. I know by myself that all the old
official Macallan bottlings are real stunners, I had not a single one
that did not impress me.
But is this true for all old Macallans? That is why I tried two undisclosed Macallan from IBs today, this one that I bought for 72 Euro in April, 2007 and https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/3721/glen-gordon-1974-ses and an young Cadenhead dumpy https://www.whiskybase.com/whisky/42314/macallan-1979-caWhile the Glen Gordon was a big disappointment this 25 year old Macallan is a real beauty - and at the time of its release it was certainly one of the biggest bargains you could find!
The nose is all about the typical sherry-infused complexity of old Macallan (this one was most probably distilled in the early 60ies or even late 50ies). Beautiful clean sherry without any off-note and of course not the slightest trace of sulphur, and it is NOT reinforced by the use of paxarette, for sure. Given this beautiful nose you want to sniff it forever, but who does not like to experience the taste too? Same story here again: Absolutely clean and free of any flaws, just a little bit weakish due to the dilution to 40% (as usual with Gordon & MacPhail these days). At cask strength this must have been a stunning dram, but even at this low strength you feel its muscles and bones. Chew it for a while to detect all the hidden flavours and aromas, you will be rewarded! If only the finish would be a little bit longer and more powerful...
YES - this is the old Macallan style we all adore. But I am afraid no one will be able to replicable this style again, because of both the lower quality of sherry casks and the rushing of all distillation processes due to the single malt boom today. So, if you own such an old beauty - open it and enjoy it with friends, that is what it was made for!