Experience a new style of The Macallan
The Macallan Fine Oak - An Insight
Charlie Whitfield, our new East Coast USA Brand Ambassador offers an insight into The Macallan Fine Oak...
The award winning Macallan Fine Oak range was introduced in 2004, giving whisky drinkers the opportunity to experience a new style of The Macallan with this delicate and elegant single malt. This new venture took a new approach to the distillery's 180-year-old tradition of maturing new make spirit exclusively in Sherry casks made of European oak.
The Macallan Sherry Oak is about rich indulgence and is made from 100% sherry oak casks while Fine Oak is more about casual elegance and is triple cask matured. The luxury and heritage of The Macallan is at the heart of both expressions of this precious single malt.
We believe that the wood is responsible for 60% of the flavour of a single malt, so we make a significant investment and steadfast commitment to ensure our spirit is matured in exceptional oak casks.
The Macallan Fine Oak's triple cask maturation is a uniquely complex combination of exceptional oak casks: European oak casks that previously held sherry, American oak casks that previously held sherry and American oak casks that previously held bourbon.
Each cask will influence its contents in different ways. American oak casks, seasoned with bourbon or sherry, impart a subtle, delicate colour, with hints of apple, floral, vanilla and sweet citrus aromas and flavours. Spanish oak casks, seasoned with sherry, impart a deep, rich colour, with aromas and flavours of dried fruit, spice and chocolate orange. The Macallan is actually the only whisky that buys oak from America and ships it to Spain in staves to craft into casks that are then filled with sherry.
And the result? I'll leave you to be the judge, as like DNA, we all have different taste and aroma sensory receptors; but I think it creates a delightfully smooth and delicate Scotch with a dynamic and contemporary edge. This view is shared by my wife, whose favourite Macallan expression is the Fine Oak 15 year old, which has floral notes on the nose, combined with intense chocolate, orange and vanilla flavours on the palate. Jim Murray (whisky expert) also agrees with this sentiment, "The breadth and depth and sophistication of The Macallan Fine Oak is simply jaw-droppingly good."
In comparison with the robust, dried fruit spicy palate of The Macallan Sherry Oak expressions, The Fine Oak is smooth and light, with a delicate sweetness. As a result, these expressions can be enjoyed neat, but also take well to water and ice, if preferred, as well as providing an ideal base for a signature cocktail. My current favourite here in New York is the "Smokey Scotsman" made using Fine Oak 10, with muddled fresh sage leaves and lemon juice.
The 21 year old recently won best overall spirit at the Ultimate Beverage Challenge. Like the 25 and 30 years old, it has since received a new outfit and looks very stylish in its wooden box.
The Fine Oak range is very approachable and therefore ideal for both new single malt drinkers and connoisseurs alike. When should you drink it? Whenever you like, but I particularly enjoy it as a pre-dinner aperitif. Even within The Macallan Fine Oak range there is great variation, from 10 years old up to 30 years old expressions, so I would urge you to explore these to find your favourite – you can find out more here /
Please find me on Twitter (@MacCharlie) and tweet me a picture of yourself whilst enjoying the Fine Oak expression that you cherish most.