Macallan 12 Year Single Malt Scotch

What Makes The Macallan Special

Ballechin Oloroso Sherry 12 Years 2009 / 2022 | Whisky Review

Obviously, if people are paying nearly 2 million a bottle for it, there must be something special about the way Macallan produces its scotch. The reputation for superb whisky doesnt appear overnight. Rather, 70 years of experimentation followed by 127 years of consistency might have something to do with it!

Whisky Review: Macallan 12 Year Single Malt Double Cask Scotch

When you say Champagne, there are some brands that come to mind immediately. Moet, Tattinger, Veuve The list goes on. The same thing is true for scotch whisky. In this case, topping the list of brands synonymous with scotch is Macallan and their flagship double oaked 12 year aged version.


The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask Scotch Whisky

The delicate flavor of American oak vanilla, citrus and light oak rises in prominence as the traditional Macallan European oak character of dried fruit, sherry and wood spice affords a familiar back drop. The result is a fresh and approachable style of Macallan, rich in flavor, honeyed and indulgent, with a full, viscous mouth feel.

The Macallan Double Cask 12 years old is 100% Sherry seasoned, and 100% natural color, in keeping with The Macallan’s tradition, but unique in the fact it is defined by the unmistakable prominence of the American oak style. The Macallan brings new oak from American across thousands of miles to Spain, where casks are crafted and sherry seasoned before travelling to their distillery in Speyside, where they are filled and matured for at least 12 years.

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Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask

70cl, 40%


Note: Also check out the Macallan Sherry Oak 12 year old, which matured exclusively for 12 years consecutively in Oloroso sherry seasoned oak casks. This single malt Scotch whisky will tickle your taste buds with its smooth, complex, and rich flavours.


The 12 Year Old Double Cask is a classic in Macallans esteemed scotch whiskey catalogue. A sweet Highland single malt with a spicy kick, the 12 Year Old Double Cask is housed in a tall elegant tapered bottle, perfectly in line with the brands timeless aesthetic and premium image.

Best Overall: Aberlour 16 Year Old

The Macallan Highland 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky ABV: 87 750 ...

Region: Speyside | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Oak, Spice

Aberlour is often overlooked by whisky drinkers here in the US, but undeservedly so. This Speyside distillery has an excellent lineup, with the 16-year-old landing right in the sweet spot of maturation between the 12 and 18, the other two age statement bottles in the range. The whisky is matured in both bourbon and sherry casks for 16 years before being married together and bottled. This provides it with the best of both worldsa rich, oaky structure with some sweet vanilla notes from the lengthy time in bourbon barrels, and ripe fruits and spices from the sherry casks.

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What Makes Macallan Special

Macallan is known across the globe for producing excellent whisky and doing so consistently. They set the example for what a single malt Scotch should be. The aging process gives it balance and character, making it recognizable as a Macallan.Macallan is unique because they produce consistent quality better than most other manufacturers youll find today. Despite their large production, theyve stayed true to this quality throughout.In fact, many people think of a distillery like Macallan that produces the volume they do to be a corporate bottling facility with the bottom dollar on their mind. However, Macallan has always put quality above production numbers, and in doing so, have been able to achieve success in both.

The Macallan: Speyside Scotch Or Highland Scotch

The Macallan is technically a Speyside scotch, and that is how the brand prefers to be known. However, you will note on their bottle the label says Highland Single Malt Scotch, which obviously leads to some confusion. Since Speyside is a sort of subregion of the Highlands, just off the shoulder of Scotland, technically both are correct.

Speyside scotches are typically very light, citrusy, and fruity. Compare Macallan to Glenlivet or Glenfiddich and youll be shocked its considered a Speyside. Macallan represents the darker side to Speyside. These are the rich, sweet, heavily sherried versions with a bit of spice and caramel.

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Best For Cocktails: Auchentoshan American Oak

Region: Lowlands | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Nuts, Pepper, Vanilla

While you might want to think twice about using that $300 bottle of 25-year-old whisky to whip up a Manhattan, there are single malt scotches that play beautifully in cocktails . One such whisky comes from Auchentoshan, a distillery located in the Lowlands just outside of Glasgow.

This triple-distilled whisky has an almost bourbon-like character, making it great to use in a Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Boulevardier, or any other whiskey cocktail you can think of.

Auchentoshan is one of the few Lowland distilleries making single malt. These whiskies are traditionally very light and grassy. The American Oak is matured in first-fill bourbon casks, giving it a vanilla fruity note. The grassy notes remain but under a lemon curd light citrusy and cream layer. Lynnette Marrero, co-founder of Speed Rack, bar director at Llama Inn

What Is Single Malt

Jura 12 year Old in Sherry cask finish

The Macallan 12 is technically designated as a single malt scotch, which is even more specific. Single malt simply means this scotch is the product of one single distillery and it is made from malted barley only. Single malt is a somewhat misunderstood term. Many people assume it means the scotch came from a single barrel or a single cask.

Actually, most single malts are blends of different barrels. This is done to create consistent flavors throughout bottles By blending different bottles, distillers can be certain each bottle of Macallan 12 tastes the same from year to year. And, in Macallans case, the coloring looks the same too. .

The age marked in any single malt represents the youngest whiskey included in the bottle. So The Macallan 12 means that the youngest whisky used came from a barrel that aged 12 years. You may have Macallan 15 or 18 in there as well, but since 12 is the youngest, thats the age listed.

Some people assume single malt means the scotch is made from a single grain. Single malts are made from one grain, that assumption is true. They are made from barley exclusively. But the single refers to the distillery. The malt portion refers to malted barley as the sole ingredient.

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Characteristics The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask Scotch Whisky

Scotland has a large number of distilleries producing single malt whisky, but not many have names that carry as much weight as The Macallan, which has been licensed to distill since 1824, and is synonymous with elegance and exclusivity.

The Macallan Double Cask 12 Year Old is a delicious introduction to the wonderful world of whisky. A single malt with a sweet and warm flavour and character where the best of two worlds come together: the perfect harmony of American and European oak casks seasoned with Oloroso that provide a personality expressed in honey, citrus and ginger. The spices from the wood, the intense fruit and the nuances from the sherry wine make this a refined and tasty whisky that is suitable for the most delicate and demanding palates.

A Brief History Of The Macallan

The Macallan was founded in 1824 by farmer and school teacher Alexander Reid. Reids farmer produced barley, and what should anyone do with extra barley in the winter? Distill it of course! Distilling was only legalized in Scotland in 1824, so Macallan was among the very first legal distilleries in the land.

The Macallan has been owned by a variety of owners and companies over the years, including the Japanese Suntory company. But it is now owned by the Edrington group who own several other distilleries in Scotland.

The Spanish oak casks for which Macallan is now famous were first brought to the distillery in 1892 by owner Roderick Kemp. Kemp also spread the word about Macallans superior product and created the first boom in popularity for Macallan scotch. But he was something of a difficult boss apparently. And, as difficult bosses are wont to do, he now haunts the grounds, keeping an eye on all that expensive scotch.

In the 1970s The Macallan distillery was one of the driving forces behind marketing of single malt scotch as a desired product. The aggressive marketing campaign had positive results, if todays whisky stats are any indication.

Together with Glenlivet and Glenfiddich, Macallan makes up ? of the entire whisky market in Scotland! And in October of 2019, a 60-year bottle of The Macallan 1926 sold for 1.9 million dollars the highest recorded sale price of any bottle of scotch. Thats proof of its reputation even today!

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Best 10 Year Old: Jura 10 Year Old

courtesy of Total Wine

Region: Islands | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Orange, Cherry

Though not as well-known an island as its neighbor Islay, the isle of Jura also boasts a history of scotch productionand its namesake distillery offers a delicious and approachable 10-year-old expression. This scotch is rested in bourbon barrels and then finished in Oloroso sherry casks, says Adam Morgan, head bartender at Husk Nashville. This unique finish lends a balanced yet sweet finish that dances between spice and oak. The smoke on this particular scotch is soft and intriguing for any first-time scotch drinker.

Our Top Pick Is The Aberlour 16 Year Old

Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the bestproductslearn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Splurge:Lagavulin 16 Year Old at Drizly

Aged in second-fill ex-bourbon barrels, the 16-year-old expression is well worth the splurge.

Many scotch enthusiasts may discover that they’re well into their journey of appreciation before they ever actually learn what the phrase “single malt” even means. To be considered a single malt scotch, the whisky must be distilled from a mash bill of 100 percent malted barley at one distillery and aged for a minimum of three years in wooden casks. Distillers are then allowed to get as creative as theyd like, from experimenting with the number of distillations to using a variety of cask finishes.

There are more than 120 distilleries in Scotland making single malt whiskymuch of which is ultimately destined to be used as a component in blended whiskies, but some of which is bottled as an individual expression of the particular distillery’s character.

Aberlour 16 Year Old is our top pick because the whisky marries during the sweet spot of maturation and creates a balanced flavor of rich oak, sweet vanilla, ripe fruits, and spices.

With a style out there for everyone, here are the best single malt scotch whiskies available in a range of categories.

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Best Rum Cask Finish: The Balvenie Caribbean Cask

Region: Speyside | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Spice

Finishing whisky in a rum cask might not be as popular as sherry or wine casks within the single malt scotch category, but there are some benefits. A rum barrel brings new flavors to the mix, like banana, brown sugar and cocoa. The Balvenies Caribbean Cask 14-Year-Old Scotch is a stellar example. Everything about this whisky draws you in, says Otsuji. The ex-rum barrel finish creates a sense of richness in the flavors, like toffee or caramel, toasted oak, or perhaps a bit of honey on fresh papaya but rather than expressing itself as a sugary taste, it comes through as a luxurious textural element.

Best Under $: The Glenlivet 12 Year Old

Courtesy of Reserve Bar

Region: Speyside | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Apple, Citrus, Vanilla

The Glenlivets 12-year-old expression is extremely popular, and for good reason. Its priced affordably and has a really approachable palate, according to Chris Dempsey, bartender at Xaman in Dallas. Its not too peaty, and its really the best everyday drinking whisky for a great price, he says.

The whisky was matured in a combination of American and European oak and is a good entry-level bottle for those who dont want to spend too much but are looking for something with complexity of flavor.

Region: Highlands | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Almond, Baking Spice

This is a classic Highlands whisky and is an interesting look at one of the whiskies that makes up the much better-known Dewars White Label.

A major malt component of the Dewars blend comes from Aberfeldy, a distillery that has been around since the beginning of the 20th century. The 12-year-old expression is a great value single malt, usually available for somewhere between $30 and $40. For that relatively low price, the discerning drinker is rewarded with flavor-rich, syrupy notes of honey punctuated by bursts of vanilla and paired with a gentle spice undercurrent.

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Macallan 12 Year Old Fine Oak

ABV: 40% – Size: 70cl

Buy now $68.94

Macallan 12 Year Old Fine Oak is a Single Malt Scotch Whisky from this Speyside distillery’s core range. Aged for 12 years in the distillery’s warehouses in Scotland. At an ABV of 40% – close to the minimum strength that whisky can be bottled – and therefore to be considered a “standard” strength whisky.

About the whisky

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Macallan 18 Review: Is It Worth The Price

The Macallan Edition #5 Single Malt Scotch
  • Macallan 18 Review: Is It Worth the Price?

The Macallan distillery roots are deep and date back almost 200 years. The Macallan 18 is iconic and the Bank of Scotland has issued banknotes featuring the Macallan stills. Its commonly thought of as a premium whisky, directly competing with Johnnie Walkers Blue Label.

Along with the Macallan 18, you may also want to try the Macallan 12, Macallan 25, or the Macallan 30. Its nestled nicely in the middle, balancing price with exceptional taste. If youre interested in trying a whisky, this one is a great choice for beginners and experienced whisky drinkers alike.

If you are looking for a luxury scotch we DEFINITELY recommend the Macallan 18. It truly is a must-try pick that youll want to keep enjoying from the first sip to the very last drop! Full-bodied and flavourful with a long balanced finish. Worth every penny!

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The Macallan 12 Review: Should You Try This Scotch

  • The Macallan 12 Review: Should You Try This Scotch?

One of Scotlands first legal distilleries, The Macallan has been in fairly continuous operation since 1824. And theyve built up a reputation that reflects their longevity!

They hold the record of the highest price on a bottle of scotch and people are willing to pay.

Fortunately, their introductory level scotch, The Macallan 12, is reasonably priced. But you have several options when you buy: Double Oak, Triple Oak, or Sherry Oak.

Scotch Whisky /43% ABV / Scotland

Twelve years in Oloroso Sherry-seasoned oak casks have delivered an exquisitely rich and complex flavor profile full of dried fruit, opulent vanilla and warm spice.

The Macallan Sherry Oak Cask 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

“This is virtually faultless. Virtually a time machine back to another era.” – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2022

The Macallan 12 year old gets a stylish new makeover while continuing a tradition of being matured exclusively in Oloroso sherry seasoned casks from Jerez. While the exact breakdown remains undisclosed, we do know that the majority were first-fill casks which means even more colour and flavours are picked up – and it shows on the nose Twelve years is relatively young for a slow-ager like Macallan, but already there’s nice aromatic intensity and definition with a medley of dried fruits alongside drier, leafy, nutty characteristics as well as fresh oak shavings and pepper prickle. Likewise on the palate which repeats the aromas adding nuances of sulphur, orange spice cake, bitter chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla. The finish drops in vibrancy and momentum leaving mostly residual vanillas, the spice and sherry notes in retreat. Tastes like some American oak is at play, nevertheless, this retains many essential qualities of traditional Macallan. 40% Alc./Vol.

Other reviews… I have to say that some Macallan I have tasted on the road has let me down in the last year or so. This is virtually faultless. Virtually a time machine back to another era. 93 points – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2022

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