Macallan Rare Cask 70cl
The whisky has a bright polished mahogany hue and a viscous appearance. The first nose is of rich dry fruit cake or fruit loaf with a touch of cinnamon, a hint of white pepper and allspice, and a suggestion of cooking chocolate. A smooth texture and a sweet yet unusually (for Macallan) salty taste, with chocolate and spice. Water mellows all these elements and adds crème brulée and fresh oak. The taste is less salty.
Rare Cask has been crafted from Spanish and American sherry seasoned oak casks, a high proportion of them being first fill, including some of the most precious and scarce casks. Collectively these factors have given rise to an exquisite whisky with a splendidly rich and resonant hue, and an unmistakably woody whisky.
The Macallan Rare Cask is a new addition to the company’s 1824 Series of core expressions which do not bear an age statement. Like the four others in the range – Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby – it allows Bob Dalgarno, Macallan’s highly skilled ‘Whisky Maker’, to choose casks which contribute to the individual whisky’s flavour, rather than being constrained by the requirement that it be of a specific age.
Macallan has long avoided giving their malt a ‘fake tan’ – to quote an American website – i.e. they do not adjust the colour by adding spirit caramel. So casks must be selected for the colour they add as well as the depth of flavour. Bob Dalgarno said: “Of more than a thousand barrels, aged in the industry's most exclusive and expensive casks, only 1% of the whiskies made the cut”. The website quoted above concludes succinctly: “The bottles are presented in a swank gatefold box”!