Tasting Notes: The Macallan – 18 Years Old 1996 Sherry Oak

According to a recent survey, Macallan was found to be the scotch whisky with the highest return in value. In 2015 alone there was an average of 10-20% increase in value if you were lucky enough to invest in some of its unique expressions. In fact, some of their rarest items have averaged a quintuple in price. This stems from their increasing popularity from around the world and everyone being keen to get one in their collection. That popularity is no more prevalent than in the removal of their age statements due to all of their stock being bought up, resulting in the current construction of a second distillery up in the glorious Speyside countryside. One night whilst out for dinner in a decent pub, I managed to spy a Macallan age statement on the bar’s top shelf and couldn’t help but forgo some pudding for an increasingly rare dram. Here, I got to taste their 18 year old sherry cask expression. The results? A wonderful whisky/sherry hybrid.

ABV: 43%



Sweet, sherry-like and totally fruity


Surprisingly little actual taste beyond Christmas fruits


Very long and very, very smooth with a lasting caramel aftertaste


A little underwhelming/disappointing when it comes to complexity of its taste for an 18 year old but that’s not really what this is all about – this is the dram for those who really love sherry and the finish just goes on and on. It seemed like a 50:50 combination of a sherry and a whisky, with the sherry sweetness delivered upfront and the benefits of an incredibly smooth whisky to finish.


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