The Macallen

OK, my first real thread.

Background: I was reading Ghost Rider. The author talked about how much he enjoyed “The Macallan”. Took some time for me to realize it was Scotch. So I looked and thought. Now I am not much of a Scotch man, but tonight I just happened to run across a bottle in a big liquor store in a town far far away. So I splurged. $50 a fifth for 12 year. I forget the price of the 25 year but it was obscene. What does it taste like? Who knows, but I cannot wait. Here goes.

Corked. Nice.
Nice nose, if a little metalic. Could be the shrink wrap.
Oops almost forgot to cleanse.
A dram or two in the glass, no water, no ice.
OK it was the shrink wrap, no metal now.
Understated nose. Not like JD.
Here we go.
Nice. Mellow.
Here comes the oak.
Now the peat.
Not sweet. Bourbon is sweeter than this.
Maybe smokey. My palette is not educated enough to tell.
Well was it worth it? Hard to say. It is a very nice drink. Not to be over indulged.
Maybe on Saturday evening after the tools are put away.
This must be an aquired taste. Having not tasted bad scotch I have little to compare it with. I like JD black and this is very different.
While I expected more it is an interesting experiment.
I also bought a bottle of Pussers Rum.
Tasting will be next week.
Thank you for your attention.

The 25 year at my store ran about $225 dollars. Took a long time to sell that one.

Minor but important nit: It’s The Macallan.

Spent my third year in college in Scotland. Learned how to drink there. Love Scotch - got into single malts about 5 years before they became Yuppie Fodder (having said that, in full disclosure, I qualify as a Yuppie - I was just ahead of the curve based on my education abroad experience!)

The Macallan is the finest Scotch regularly available. The 18 year is the standard against which other Scotches must be judged. Granted, Islay Scotches such a Laphroig and Lagavulin are their own sub-genre, but The Macallan puts whiskies like Glenlivet and Glenfiddich to shame.

In Scotland in the early '80’s, as I was educating myself, I would ask Scots to tell me what to drink. Everybody I spoke with had their personal faves and went to great lengths to help me appreciate them - and I did - but to a person, everyone stated that The Macallan was the standard, with Glenmorangie (rhymes with “orangy”) running a distant second…

I love the stuff.

Just a bit of Scotch / Scottish trivia.

The use of the word ‘The’ in front of Macallan is significant. Only the head of a clan can put ‘The’ in front of their clan name. Macallan is (or at least was) distilled by the head of the Macallan clan and so the whisky produced can be called “The Macallan” and not simply “Macallan”.
I agree with the excellence of The Macallan at 18 years or older, but for my money I prefer a Talisker which is optimal at a spritely 12 years of age.

I’m a Glenmorangie girl, myself. Cellar 13–very nice!

Can anybody drink that rum?

Ooh, I’m going to Scotland next year. Anyone have recommendations?

I’m mostly an Islay girl, love that smoky Laphroaig, but the 25 yo Macallan is brilliant. And the claret-aged Glenmorangie is very fine indeed. In our house Glenlivet is “the cheap stuff”.

Try The Macallan Cask-Strength sometime. Words can’t do it justice.

But my regular dram is Highland Park 18 year old. Yummy.

Macallan is my scotch of choice, but I also like Glenmorangie. My wife, who doesn’t like scotch, really enjoys both as well. That kinda sucks though, because now I have to split it with her.

Trob I think scotch is definitely an acquired taste, and it can also be a rough road to finding one that you like. Unlike other spirits, which really come down to finish rather than taste (generally… ) Scotch varies so much that sometimes it is hard to believe that it is the same drink between brands. There are some very high end brands that I can’t tolerate because they are like eating a bowl of moss. Some people like their scotch very peaty. I like mine to be light to middle of the road. Generally I am a single malt snob, but I also enjoy a few of the blends. Good luck on the rum. I have no use for rum so couldn’t even begin to say anything about it.

One time in Kansas City, I went to the Hereford House and instead of a wine list, they had a scotch list, with what had to be 100 different scotches you could get. Don’t remember much of that night except that I had an incredible meal and tasted some very good…and bad… scotches.

I recently had a Talisker that I enjoyed very much. When we were in Edinburgh I spent about $100 on miniatures, which let me sample quite widely before going to those $50+ bottles.

For those who would like to try the tastes of Islay but don’t want the full-blown peat and iodine of Laphroig and Lagavulin, I’d recommend both Bowmore (the 17-year old I currently have is very nice) and also Ardbeg - my own personal favourite.

Personal trivia - my own first experience of single malt whisky was at Oban, Scotland, and it was also the 10-year old Macallan.

Good on you, Trob for taking the plunge! I wish you many a pleasant evening discovering the merits of what’s been described as ‘the water of life’!

Truer words have not been typed, silenus - I bought some for a poker buddy (we just had to crack the bottle at the next game, right?) and it was amazing.

Ferris - Be careful about Bowmore. The 17 is marvelous, but atypical. Other ages tend to be a LOT peatier. To me, the 17 is wonderful, but I won’t drink any other Bowmore. Just personal taste.

Just as a word to the wise and cheap. NEVER drink Lismore Single-malt. It is draincleaner in a bottle. There is a reason it is so cheap.