I like Macallan.
Let me rephrase – I like whiskies from Macallan. What I don’t care for is their pricing, which seems geared for the luxury collector instead the whisky drinker. But, that’s a rant for another time.
So it was with great surprise that I saw this 2018 edition of The Macallan Classic Cut for about $100 on the shelf. Given that their lovely 18-year-old is inching closer to the $300 mark, I know this NAS release is going to be comprised of mostly young whiskies. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s just something to be mindful of… setting expectations, so to speak.
Classic Cut is bottled at 51.2% ABV, a big jump from the 43% ABV of Macallan’s standard releases. Only sherry-seasoned casks were used in this release. Based on the color, my guess is most of those casks are refill sherry casks.
The nose features macerated orange, vanilla, and waxy malt, with a tinge of toasted oak. Gone are the dark, heavy sherry notes I equate with Macallan. Instead, because of those young whiskies used in this bottling, the nose is more vibrant, as is the palate. The high ABV delivers a burst of wonderful strawberry jam, orange peel, and vanilla. A bit of spice develops about halfway through, as does a young malt note. The medium-length finish leaves lingering notes of spiced fruit and spice. No need for water here, as this Macallan is easily drinkable.
Macallan Classic Cut delivered almost exactly what I expected – a big, vibrant, fruity malt. I was a bit surprised at the amount of citrus, but liked what I tasted. I don’t expect to dissect this whisky in a Glencairn glass. Where it lacks complexity, Classisc Cut makes up for it in delivery of flavor. That said, I’d LOVE to taste a high proof Macallan with a little more age. As far as what’s in the glass, I’d give this one a recommendation. 7.5/10