By Matt Goldstein
When the Whiskey Goldmine releases our Top 10 Single Malt Scotch list in the next few weeks, the Macallan Cask Strength is destined for the top 5. This single malt is a flat out masterpiece. The Macallan Cask Strength is aged for a minimum of 10 years in Spanish Oak casks, handcrafted and seasoned by Sherry in Jerez. The Macallan cask strength is bottled straight from the barrel without chill filtration or adding any water, as opposed to what is normally done in almost all scotches, not to mention all whiskeys. The genius of this whisky is just that, it’s just the single malt Scotch whisky in its natural state making the statement in your glass. One could search their entire lives looking for a 10 years aged single malt with this much complexity and undoubtedly come up short.
The color is a deep red, almost a mahogany. The flavor and mouth feel are a complex and sweet syrup, with beautiful notes of wood. With hints of vanilla, fruits, spices and oak, the flavor, mouth feel, and finish is just on another level than other premium single malts. Almost like a pancake meeting maple syrup for the first time, no other premium single malt is this rich and complex.
Perhaps the craziest attribute of the Macallan Cask Strength is just that, its strength. There is no water added and the whisky is bottled straight from the barrel, 58.5% ABV, 117 proof. Yet, with the strong character of the cask strength is still an exceptionally smooth and beautiful whisky. Compared to other premium single malts, the Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel is 47,8%, the Talisker 10 year is 45.8%, Highland Park 12 year is 43%, and the Oban 14 year is 43%. That would mean that the Macallan Cask Strength has almost a 35% higher ABV than Highland Park and Oban.
This Macallan Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch comes with our highest recommendation. This is perhaps the most exception single malt we’ve ever tasted and in its price range and maturation, one will find it extremely difficult to match.