Last September I was lucky to be invited to the new Macallan Distillery as a winner of the global #ToYourMacallan competition on social media. At the end of our first day in Speyside, me and the other seven guests were treated to a dinner at Easter Elchies House that culminated in the degustation of The Macallan’s luxurious Rare Cask Black. This high-class whisky totally blew us away. Consequently, half the group purchased a full bottle shortly after. As I am more of a drinker than a collector, I cracked mine open on New Year’s Eve – a mighty fine decision! The Rare Cask Black was one of the most fascinating spirits I savored in 2018 and every additional glass I drank consolidated this notion. When they composed the Rare Cask Black, the whisky makers in charge selected less than 100 casks from the distillery’s impressive stock of 321,000 barrels. As some of the chosen casks held peated spirit before (which The Macallan temporarily produced in the 1940s or so), the Rare Cask Black whispers tantalizing tales of yore into the ears of those who drink it. Admittedly, this limited edition has a hefty price tag attached to it and some will argue that it is downright insane to pay more than 300 Euro for an NAS expression. Most of the time, however, I care a lot more about the content of the bottle than I care about the number on the label. And the content of the Rare Cask Black is undeniably sublime!
Eye: Dark, shining brown.
Nose: Lush, sweet and gentle, but also fortified. Initially, there’s burnt sugar, dried fruits, toasted wood and creme de cassis. Then dates and raisins followed by orange zest and lemon juice. And not to forget pepper, nutmeg and other spices. Last but not least, you will also find a fragile layer of smoke in the Rare Cask Black’s complex bouquet.
Palate: The initial hit on the tongue is fruity with plums, cherries and oranges. With time, the liquid becomes thicker and milkier. Now it offers caffè latte, cocoa powder and caramel sauce. Additionally, there’s lemon-y and pepper-y notes. While the raised ABV gives the spirit a rather bold frame, it still feels soft, refined and velvety… and luxurious!
Finish: Fittingly for such a grand whisky, the Rare Cask Black exists in style. During the well orchestrated finish, the distillate becomes more spicy. When all else is gone, a wee bit of ashy smoke remains on the tongue and reminds of long forgotten Speyside days.
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Alc. volume: 48 per cent
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~350.00 Euro
More info: https://www.themacallan.com/ (Distillery)