The penultimate day of the Boutique-y Advent calendar brings out a well-aged Macallan for our delectations. Batch 10 of Boutique-y’s ongoing ‘curious’ exploration of the Speyside distillery comes in at 48.7% ABV, and has a lighter hue than most of the previous Boutique-y Macallan batches I’ve seen over the past couple of years, suggesting that we might not be heading down the enormously sherried style the distillery is famous for.
Nose: Freshly, lively and quite natural. Homemade lemonade and lemongrass are joined by apple crumble, red grapes and sharp orange juice. There’s an underlying maltiness, as well as some crystalline ginger and a light salty breeze. The addition of water adds some toffee apple into the mix and merges the fruits into a cocktail of freshness.
Taste: Fruity again. Well-spiced orange segments, barley water, toffee apples and some delicate pastry notes merge well with increased cask influence – ginger and pepperiness. The fruits are still quite lively and juicy here and the apple comes across as a cross between a cider and a light brandy. Water reduces the sweetness of the fruit elements and allow some of the oak to shine – slightly bitter, slightly astringent.
Finish: Medium in length and favouring oranges with ginger.
Solid Macallan in a much more natural fruity style, rather than the dense and rich sherry one might associate with the distillery. Overall, I preferred this without additional dilution – the apples and oranges felt particularly defined and expressive at 48.7%, that said, I could have taken a fair bit more cask influence overall. The 26 years of maturation here feels more about allowing the spirit to naturally relax over time, rather than offering any great wood-driven impact. I’d posit that you’d struggle to guess the correct age of this as a consequence.