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seriously ignorant macallan questions of personal importance

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seriously ignorant macallan questions of personal importance

Postby korolev » Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:15 am

i've several encounter with drams of macallan and today, it hit me that two seperate series 'fine oak' & 'sherry oak' actually exists.

it occured to me when a friend got me a bottle of macallan 12 from the duty free... and wait, it is the 'elegancia' which made me look up the website.

it's either ignorance or the fact that i've been pre-occupied on my recent purchase of balvenie 12 dw & hp 12 and the enthusaism to explore many more.

if i haven't read wrongly (but very possibly), macallan came up with a fine oak series because there was too much sherry influences?

what are your personal favourites between the sherry and fine oak, particularly the 12 year olds and what do you guys think about the elegencia?
is it a limited edition thing or just a usually unusual release?

please enlighten me.

thank you :D
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Postby kallaskander » Wed Dec 06, 2006 2:35 pm

Hi there,

welcome to the forum. If you search for Fine Oak in the forum search, you will find extensive discussions and opinions about the two Macallan lines.

Greetings
kallaskander
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Postby Reggaeblues » Wed Dec 06, 2006 2:37 pm

Macallan for me was always synonymous with a rich sherry inluenced palate - my understanding is that the "fine oak" series was introduced because of an increasing difficulty in obtaining casks which had previously held sherry, in which to mature the whisky throughout its life. This was a Macallan trademark both in terms of flavour, and publicity, before the introduction of "Fine Oak", which many see as a marketing strategy to compensate for the lack of sherry casks!

Many, myself included, find the fine oak to be less distinctive - not bad, but lighter in style. for me it lacks that main elelment i came to love about Macallan. Here in UK we can still get the 10 YO sherry Oak as they now call it, at a reasonable price.

I have had several vintages of the 18 YO "sherry oak" which ARE NOW ABOUT 3 TIMES AS EXPENSIVE AS THE 10!! But always excellent.

As for the Elegancia, i never tried it as I understood it to be a lighter style and it was always the heavier richness of the "sherry oak" that i like, and associate with "The Macallan."

Some people say this is a mistake, and that Macallan WITHOUT sherry is a whole different story, and one to be pursued. I did once try a 1946 Macallan that was very peaty by comparison - not sherried. Very memorable, I must say. but had i tasted it blind I would not have said it was a Macallan!

Hope this helps.
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Postby Jan » Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:00 pm

kallaskander wrote: If you search for Fine Oak in the forum search, you will find extensive discussions and opinions about the two Macallan lines.


Good advice. You could also access the FAQ found in the Questions and Answers forum.

It is not much of an faq, more an index of previous threads, ordered by subject, including a fair number discussing Macallan.

Edit: Just had a look myself: The "It's happened! The Macallan is dead, long live the Macallan!" thread has a fine post by Admiral explaining the change. (Scroll down a little bit.)
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Postby Admiral » Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:03 am

Thanks, Jan! I was going to post a reply to Korolev, then I scrolled down and saw that I'd already said something previousy! :)

Cheers,
Admiral

P.S. Having said that, let me be very brief:

1. OB Macallan bottlings had always been 100% sherry for over 20 years.

2. "Elegancia" was the first bottling to come out which was a mix of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon.

3. The "Fine Oak" range was introduced for a number of reasons, depending on who you talk to. It cannot be denied that one of the reasons is because keeping the bottlings 100% ex-sherry was becoming prohibitively expensive and adding ex-bourbon casks into the vattings allows Macallan to sell a lot more whisky than they previously could.

4. It's a personal thing, but to my palate, the Fine Oak bottlings are considerably inferior. That's not to say it's poor whisky, but it's not as good as the 100% sherried Macallans. I repeat, that's a personal, subjective thing.
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Postby lbacha » Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:41 pm

I have a bottle of Elegencia and I'm very dissapointed with it, I don't know what it is but it is young and harsh and hard to drink. I got it duty free so I have a full liter of it. I would much rather have the 12 yr old sherried macallan or the cask strength both of which I passed up when I got this bottle.

I told myself I will get a bottle of 18 yr old or open a bottle of my 14 yr winter seasonal macallan when I finish it but I just can't force myself to pour drams of it.

Len
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Postby Admiral » Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:45 am

Elegancia is another one of those bottlings where the distillery used some very good casks to produce the first release.

This ensures the whisky is well received when it is first launched, and the expression gets a bit of a reputation.

However, the distillery cannot maintain such quality or consistency over a prolonged period, and after a couple of years, the quality starts to deteriorate. Elegancia is guilty of this, but it is not alone.

Other whiskies that have gone down this path are:

The Glenmorangie Wood Finishes (Sherry, Port, and Madeira)
Glenfiddich Havana Reserve / Gran Reserva
Bowmore Darkest
Dalmore Cigar Malt

Cheers,
AD
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Postby Jan » Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:28 am

Admiral wrote:Elegancia is another one of those bottlings where the distillery used some very good casks to produce the first release.

This ensures the whisky is well received when it is first launched, and the expression gets a bit of a reputation.


Do you really think this is done on purpose?

To me that would be some rather shady business ethics and in the end bad for business..... I mean eventually punters are going to catch on and start talking...
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Postby Admiral » Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:56 am

I don't think it's as underhanded or deliberately cunning as you're suggesting.

Rather, I think that the distillery genuinely sets out to produce a new and exciting whisky, and they make it the best they can.

Suddenly, the world takes notice and it becomes a hot little item.

The accountants and marketing teams behind the product then realise that they're on to a winner, and they go back to the distillery and tell them to make some more of it.

Unfortunately, the distillery already used its best casks when they made the first release, and so they do the best they can to replicate it, but subsequent releases fail to live up to the quality of the first.

So no, I don't believe it's a nasty or dishonest ploy, it's just the reality of what the distillery has at its disposal when it comes time to bottle their whisky.

Cheers,
AD

P.S.
I mean eventually punters are going to catch on and start talking...


What do you think you and I are doing now? :wink:
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Postby korolev » Fri Dec 08, 2006 5:59 pm

hello there,

thank you guys for the contribution on this topic regarding sherry/fine oak, also i'll like to thank you guys for the suggestions, personal experience with the elegancia. initially i had in mind that it is a bottle worth keeping due to the 'special release' label stated in the website. i guess i'll open and try it for myself now =)
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