8 December 2007
The Macallan is a singular brand and the definitive heavyweight highland single malt with great aging ability and endurance. This malt has the amazing fortitude to age 30, 40 or even 50 plus years in the cask, when many other noble malts are in their prime at 15-20. The distillery has tremendous stocks as demonstrated by the wide range on offer here. Macallan was named after a Church that is now in ruins. The practice of distilling was well-known in the area as early as the 1700s and The Macallan became a legal distillery in 1824.
The team at Macallan has maintained significant interest in their older malts in their efforts to find out what truly gives each whisky its unique flavor. This involves taste testing many casks as well as buying older vintages themselves at auction for research. Macallan develops it distinctive character through the Golden Promise barley, which is low yielding and flavorful, brought forth by a particular combination of yeasts. Small specially shaped stills intensify these flavors and round out the rich bodies of these malts and the direct heat of gas burners during distillation helps caramelize the malt. A narrow cut maintains quality control by throwing out many of the impurities created by the violence of distillation. But it is the sherry cask that makes the archetypal Macallan, particularly European oak that once held dry oloroso sherry that remove the harsh tannins of new oak while imparting spiciness and richness to the whisky. Stylistically it has changed somewhat over the years with the older malts using more fino sherry barrels and being more smoky and peaty than current incarnations.
This vintage range was bottled or rebottled by hand at the distillery in 2002. These are cask strength whiskies, meaning no water added to reduce the strength and without chill filtration, indicating that they may develop a slight haziness when a little water is added. This practice of adding a small amount of water helps to open up and bring out the aromas, akin to the process of decanting a wine, and similarly non-filtered whiskies have more of the original character as unfiltered wines generally posses. No colors were added to these vintage Macallan and the delightful range of hues comes naturally from cask aging.
Bought as a set at the distillery and properly stored ever since.
Property of a knowledgeable Scotch collector.
The Macallan--Vintage 1926
Bottled 1986, re-bottled 2002; code ubecud, signed and guaranteed by the distillery 11/06/03
1 bottle per lot
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