A view of The Macallan Sherry Oak Range
The Macallan Tradition - Sherry Oak range
Randolph Adams, The Macallan Brand Ambassador for the Southerneastern United States gives us his view of The Macallan Sherry Oak Range...
Like yourself, I have a long standing interest in the malt whisky category, touring the Highlands and Islands of Scotland every summer for the last twenty years in search of 'the perfect dram'. While my travels included samplings at over forty respected malt distilleries, never have they equalled the unique experience of tasting The Macallan's luxurious Sherry Oak range. And though there are plenty of top notch malts on the market, I believe none can compare with the rich and robust taste that is exclusive to The Macallan's Sherry Oak.
A quick history lesson (from not too long ago) reveals that most of the sherry casks shipped to the UK by the wine merchants of Spain found their way to Scotland to be given second life as holding vessels for scotch whisky. Though at first this was done for frugality, over time it was revealed that a combination of seasoned sherry oak and Highland malt whisky was indeed a perfect match. While the magic of sherry oak complimented many of the brands of the day, none had the rich, robust, depth of character that resulted from combining the full flavoured new make spirit of The Macallan with the spice of an oloroso sherry cask: a match made in whisky heaven.
Eventually, the secret of the sherry cask got out and a high premium was placed on the coveted barrels. Over time the majority of the Scotch whisky industry switched most of their production over to the more affordable, lighter bodied, bourbon casks from America...with the notable exception of us. To the best of my knowledge only The Macallan held onto the longstanding tradition of maturing this range exclusively in sherry oak casks. And while I often see other quality malts using sherry oak casks sparingly (small portions, wood finishes, extra woods, etc) only The Macallan ages these malts entirely in the sherry casks.
Starting at The Macallan Sherry Oak 10 year old, through the entire range up to The Macallan in Lalique series, the instantly recognisable flavour of 100% Sherry Oak shines through: one sip reveals the complexity of exotic spice, dried fruits, toffee, and vanilla. This is followed by a rich, robust, full flavoured coating and finally an extended finish that leaves you plenty of time to contemplate what a wonderful malt whisky you are enjoying.
How to best enjoy The Macallan? That is completely up to you and your preferences. As for me, I reserve ice for The Macallan Fine Oak range as a light, refreshing malt on a hot day (it gets warm in Miami). I reserve The Macallan Sherry Oak range to sip neat to reward myself at the end of a successful day. Regardless of which expression you prefer, and how you prefer it, you can always take solace in knowing you are drinking the finest single malt scotch in the world.
Randolph "Randy" Adams