K&L California “A True Scotch Rarity: An Unnamed 12 Year Single Cask (Hint: It’s Mxcxllxn) – Scotch Whisky News

A Can’t-Miss Single Malt from the Speyside Legend Macallan

2007 Unnamed Speyside (Macallan) 12 Year Old “Signatory Unchillfiltered Collection” 2nd Fill Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($109.99)
“To get an idea of how absolutely unusual it is for us to find a cask of Macallan in sherry to sell as an exclusive: this is literally the first time in a decade of selecting single casks that we’ve ever offered Macallan aged in sherry.” — David Othenin-Girard, K&L SoCal Spirits Buyer

This is truly a one-of-a-kind opportunity. From our good friends at Signatory, we’ve secured a cask of 12-year-old, sherry-aged single malt from an unnamed distillery. The truth is it’s not unnamed at all, as with a modest degree of sleuthing, we’ve determined it comes from the famed Speyside distillery: Macallan. We couldn’t believe our good fortune when we happened upon this very special cask while touring Signatory’s warehouse. Transcendent, ethereal, and sublime don’t even come close to capturing the unbridled beauty of this single malt. From the first sip, one is immediately taken by all the majesty that is Macallan. As one might expect, it is a potent expression that’s perfectly accented by its time in a second fill sherry butt. Because it is not officially labeled as Macallan, we are able to sell this singular expression for a tiny fraction of what the market demands for such a bottling. Only 604 bottles were produced, and we expect them to disappear in short order once word gets around. If you are a fan of Macallan, or simply Scotch in general, the decision is clear—you must own this bottle.

2007 Unnamed Speyside (Macallan) 12 Year Old “Signatory Unchillfiltered Collection” 2nd Fill Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($109.99)

As you might have noticed the market for Macallan has gone absolutely bonkers. We can’t get old Macallan on the shelf for under $2000 and young Macallan is completely unavailable. In fact, over the years we’ve only bottled one other young Macallan and it was likewise not named. But this is the first and only sherried Macallan we’ve ever had the honor to put our mark on. I have no clue why the distillery is divesting stocks, especially those aged in ex-sherry (even refill). We hear rumblings that the distillery needs cash flow for the extremely expensive new distillery that they’ve built. Seems unlikely. Perhaps there are cracks in the crown, but there’s no question the worldwide clamoring for the great malts from this Speyside master continues. And of course, the distillery name cannot be used on the labels, but when we saw this beautiful second fill sherry butt in the Signatory warehouse, they didn’t need to say a word. We knew immediately where it came from. Further confirmed after one tiny whiff from the barrel. Now this is a big boy, a high proof, powerful malt that does need some water to coax it out of its shell. One of the most astounding examples of this special distillery’s supremacy. The sherry is there, but the malt stands tall. Unctuous, inviting, complex, and unabashed. Truly one of the world’s great spirits, on full display like we’ve never been able to offer before.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 26, 2019

To get an idea of how absolutely unusual it is for us to find a cask of Macallan in sherry to sell as an exclusive: this is literally the first time in a decade of selecting single casks that we’ve ever offered Macallan aged in sherry. Our teaspooned cask of William Hepburn three years ago was of course aged in ex-bourbon hoggies, as were the very expensive and older ones we’ve occasionally acquired as a thank-you from our best suppliers. Usually if it’s available it’s so outrageously priced we can’t even conceive of a world where our customers would consider paying a premium at, or above, the ridiculous premium the distillery already charges. So we were extremely excited to taste this gorgeous butt when our guide brought us into the warehouse. This will most closely resemble the highly sought-after Classic Cut offering that’s now popular in terms of its style, but of course we’ve got an older, single cask, and higher proof. The nose initially is punchy and full of dark malt, fudge, praline, hints of flint, and stone fruit. With air, more of the sherry character comes out, with a little bit of nutty oloroso aromatic framing the bold malt nicely. On the palate, sweet biscuits; very textured and rich, almost chocolatey finish. But this whisky at full strength is simply hidden, packed with quality, but slightly monotone. Now add water, not just a drop, but enough to see a little bit of cloudiness develop as the oils coalesce. Now we’re truly in rarefied air. The nose is now this absolutely pristine expression of exotic fruits: kiwi, passion fruit, jujubes, quince, candied lemon peel, and nougat. On the palate, the dark malt is gone and replaced with candied nuts, creamy custard, hints of lemon oil and anise. It somehow gains weight and texture with water. So if you’re one of those people that refuses to water down your whisky for whatever reason, than you should skip this. If you love to add water and experience a whisky in its many chimeric forms, then you’ll fall in love just like I did.

Will Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 26, 2019

This converted me from a Macallan naysayer into a stalwart fan, and it’s a perfect example of why the distillery is a household name nigh synonymous with Scotch whisky as a whole. Powerful and dense, it does not lack one single iota of flavor. Sipped raw, it assaults the senses with crunchy, nutty malt–at once sweet and savory like hearty, homemade biscuits. With time, however, it reveals a gorgeous, seamless amalgam of flavors, and a healthy dose of water brings more of those to the forefront. Cocoa and baking spice, swathes of flowers, even hints of mango and barbecue pork reveal themselves with a cheeky confidence befitting the distillery’s reputation. And my god, that MALT–it just keeps coming, so rich and hedonistic it’s almost addictive. This bottle is dangerous and exciting, and I’m so happy it’s here.

Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 24, 2019

Unnamed, but not unwanted. The nose starts with soft orange and peach notes as well-worn leather emerges. Then, unexpectedly (for a Macall… um, I mean, *whatever* this is…) the nose gets earthier rather than richer. Cardamom and a little caraway show up with Earl Grey Tea. The palate combines the tea and spice with salted caramel and even more leather. Some dry fruits come out to play, but this Scotch stays away from the ultra Sherry-forward tones that *Unnamed Distillery* is often known for that I sometimes find cloying. With water, more spiced/candied orange appears and the texture gets extra heavy and oily, which is quite nice.

Cameron Hoppas | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 24, 2019

This is a pure pleasure to drink. This Unnamed Speyside has sweet cereal, a dense center of dried fruit and the perfect salted peanut brittle — medium caramel, toasted nuts and salt. What’s best is that this reminds me of the best parts of Macallan, but this unwatered-down single cask has the high proof to really make this whiskey sing.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 24, 2019

One of the many advantages of selecting casks in Scotland instead of from shipped samples is that you sometimes get a behind the scenes peak at things. This unnamed Speyside had the remnants of the distillery’s paperwork left stuck on the side of the cask. The scrap of paper just read “llan.” More than enough supporting evidence for the rich, unctuous nose – especially when paired with classic sherry notes. Big, rich, and oily, this baby truly sings with the addition of a little water. Take it a notch back from the 63.4% cask strength ABV and release gobs of burnt orange peel, candied stone fruit, and the underlying malt base for the drinking experience you always wish you could have with the standard Macallan 12.

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