Macallan Double Cask Lunar New Year 2020 Pack, 12yo

OriginScotland, Central Speyside
OwnerWilliam Grant & Sons via Edrington Group
SeriesDouble Cask
EditionLunar New Year 2020 Pack
StyleSingle Malt
CaskOloroso seasoned American and European oak casks
Strength40% (80 Proof)
Wine SearcherWine Searcher

One of Macallan’s slightly gimmicky Lunar New Year releases, this one for 2020, the year of the rat. To be honest the packaging is perhaps slightly more impressive than the whisky itself. It’s certainly quite nice but neither demands nor requires attention. A pleasant dram for distracted enjoyment at a reasonable price, at least compared to the usual Macallan price range.

Nose: A wooden bowl of creamy orange yogurt with some honey drizzled on top. Later it begins to dissolve and fragment and ends up shifting towards paint thinner flavored candy. Pleasant but with a slight impulse to try and turn less so. (6.2/10)

Palate: Quite nice. It puffs itself up to a decent volume filled with those orange notes from the nose minus the creamy yogurt and, luckily, the paint thinner candy. After a few sips some bitter elements begin to dominate things but, again, not to an extent that really throws a wrench in the flavor works. (6.2/10)

Finish: Decent heat, decent volume, decent flavor, decent length. Just not spectacular or particularly noteworthy. Slight to the better side of average. I do like the surprising amount of warmth it manages to develop near the solar plexus given it clocks in at basic bottle strength. (6.1/10)

Balance: This is nice? But if I’ve ever met a whisky that really doesn’t require attention it’s this one. Perfect for distracting social settings and yet that thought makes me feel like it’s a whisky wasted. (6.2/10)

Glenrothes Soleo Collection Whisky Maker’s Cut, 2018

OriginSpeyside, Rothes
OwnerEdrington Group
SeriesSoleo Collection
EditionWhisky Maker’s Cut
StyleSingle Malt
Cask1st Fill Sherry
Strength48.8% (97.6 Proof)
Wine SearcherWine-Searcher

Glenrothes’ “Whisky Maker’s Cut” is the only NAS release in the Speyside distillery’s 2018 Soleo Collection series. The whisky was matured entirely in 1st fill sherry casks.

Nose: Sticky sweet sherry syrup oozes through my nose leaving behind a thin crust of brown sugar. Not too complex but nice enough. (7/10)

Palate: This is where the money is. Quite rich, not as sticky sweet as the nose, satisfyingly expansive. Some interesting bright sparkles flicker about the back of the roof of my mouth. Once again simple but good. (8/10)

Finish:  Immediately coats the back of the upper throat with lots of gooey sherry flavors only to vanish on its way down leaving nothing much but a faint hot spot in the lower regions of the chest. Quite nice, actually, but I wish it was reaching deeper. At long last some bitter residue layers up between tongue and roof of mouth. That bit is… interesting but not exactly pleasant. 8/10

Balance: Quite nice and surprisingly bold for a mid-range Glenrothes, many of which have turned out to be… uninteresting… at times. This is a very respectable offering albeit slightly simplistic except for the finish. (8/10)

Highland Park Old Particular K&L Excl., 20yo, 1997/2017

Highland Park Old Particular K&L Excl. 1997, 20yo, Close-up
OriginScotland, Islands, Orkney
DistilleryHighland Park
OwnerWilliam Grant & Sons via the Edrington Group
DistilledSeptember 1997
BottlerDouglas Laing & Co.
SeriesOld Particular
StyleSingle Barrel Single Malt Whisky
CaskRefill Hogshead #DL12125
BottledSeptember 27th, 2017
Strength53.1% (106.2 proof)
RetailerK&L Wine Merchants

Nose: Honey, something… incense? Later tart apples. (8/10)

Palate: Dry. Very dry. Barely qualifies as a liquid. (9/10)

Finish: Bit of a drop off here… it just doesn’t seem to want to reach deep on the back end. (8/10)

Balance: One of the great ones but it takes a LOT of time in the glass. Be patient with this liquid and it will reward you. (8/10)

Macallan Classic Cut 2017 Ltd. Ed.

OriginScotland, Central Speyside
OwnerWilliam Grant & Sons via Edrington Group
SeriesClassic Cut
StyleSingle Malt Whisky
CaskSherry Seasoned Oak Casks from Jerez
BottledApril 2017
Strength58.4% (116.8 proof)

Nose: Deliciously deep! (9/10)

Palate: (8/10)

Finish: Leaves a lovely warm glow with some residual smokiness. (9/10)

Balance: Oddly thin in the very middle. (9/10)