Macallan SMWS 24.119 (1985/2012)

Subtle, scented and scintillating?

This is a review of a 26yo (1985/2012) Macallan by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society dubbed as "subtle, scented and scintillating". I never had a high opinion of anything that Macallan produced: both overpriced and overpraised whisky packaged with a charade of BS marketing. But life's too short to stick with first impressions, therefore I selected a Macallan from the older days, bottled by a valued whisky club and reputed as a good whisky by various of my colleagues.

Let's see if old Macallan can change my opinion on contemporary Macallan.

golden ruby in colour, matured in a refill bourbon hogshead and bottled at 57.1% ABV.

Nose: Bouquet of honey and stewed apple, some faint rusty metal scents with a whiff of peat smoke and heather and notes of wood polish lurking underneath.

Mouth: smooth dry body with elements of lemon and orange (maybe a tad sour) on the palate. Delve deeper to find rich layers of chocolate, wood and toffee, sprinkled with chili spice.

Finish: : long and lingering with tones of chocolate, with a touch of vanilla in the tail.


The Verdict: I’m baffled is this a Macallan? This tastes like a Dalmore, with a strange and sherry influence in the nose, though it’s a refill bourbon hogshead. This dram raises a lot of questions to me, it all seems so very wrong. But how does it hold up?
It is a good dram, no question there, better than other Macallan’s that I had before, but not yet up there in the highest spheres of my scoreboard. I’m going to give this a pass, I believe the score reflects that perfectly.
Score: 86

Nose: 22

Taste: 23
Finish: 20 Balance: 21
   < 75: undrinkable, avoid at all costs
75-79: acceptable, give it a try but don't spend to much money on it
80-84: average, enjoyable whiskies mostly easy sippable entry-level single malt 
85-89: above average drams, often well aged expressions, open your wallet
90-94: excellence, sorry kids no x-mas presents this year, daddy needs this bottle
95-99: divinity, call your bank manager for another mortgage on your house