Whisky Review: The Macallan 12 Years Old Double Cask

Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by Macallan. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Close your eyes while sipping on The Macallan 12 Years Old Double Cask Whisky. Imagine the gorgeous mountains of Scotland and the 458 acres surrounding the Macallan distillery. The taste is classic and fresh, slightly sweet and vaguely smokey, like chewing on a straw of honey-dipped hay while lounging in front of an old stone fireplace.

The Macallan is a reliable brand, with years of experience building trust with their loyal customers and impressing new drinkers. The Macallan 12 Years Old Double Cask can comfortably burrow into the catalog as the newest enjoyable expression offered by the distillery.

Founded by Alexander Reid in 1824, The Macallan was one of the earliest distilleries in Scotland to be legally licensed. The distillery enjoys great popularity in the United States as one of the foremost brands of Scotch whisky. The Macallan is famous for their utilization of “curiously small stills,” the smallest stills in Speyside.

Their small size give the spirits the greatest contact with copper, providing the characteristic flavors of The Macallan. The distillery also boasts spending more on their oak casks than any other distillery, and The Macallan 12 Years Old Double Cask release is matured exclusively in hand-picked Oloroso sherry-seasoned American and European oak casks.

The color of the whisky is one of the distinct “Six Pillars” of the Macallan. In the case of the 12 Years Old Double Cask, this shows in the clean and clear color of sun-drenched hay. Other pillars include the brand’s “Spiritual Home,” the highland estate upon which the distillery sits, with fields of their own planted barley and mineral water extracted specifically for the creation of the specialty spirits.

I’ve yet to be disappointed by The Macallan, and this 12 Years Old Double Cask expression is a wonderful end-of-summer send off, easily shared and smooth enough to enjoy neat.

The Macallan 12 Years Old Double Cask review

The Macallan 12 Years Old Double Cask (image via Jerry Jenae Sampson/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: The Macallan 12 Years Old Double Cask 

Vital Stats: Aged 12 years in Oloroso sherry-seasoned American and European casks. ABV 43% (86 Proof). Estimated price ~ $80/750 ml.

Appearance: Clean, clear, sun-soaked hay.

Nose: The whisky has a sweet, vegetal nose, with notes of sugar cane and oak along with the subtle essence of a summer fair candied apple.

Palate: An extremely mellow sipper, the whisky starts with notes of marshmallow and anise, along with the coating warmth of ginger and citrus. The oak comes through strongest in the finish and allows for a smooth end to a purely pleasant sipper.

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