Whisky Magazine Issue 111
This article is 23 months old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.
Copyright Whisky Magazine © 1999-2015. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.
100% sherry casks, 100% natural colour, 100% Macallan
With around 60 per cent of The Macallan's final whisky colour, character and flavour determined by cask quality, the oak cask is the most prominent factor in ensuring and delivering the colour, quality and style of The Macallan. We have the most rigorous, respected and admired wood policy in the industry and we are proud of the extensive investment we make to ensure the highest quality of our wood. Combining these two factors of oak sherry cask maturation and natural colour, these whiskies are driven by colour first and foremost, with the character derived from the colour. This means looking at a broad range of casks which deliver a specific colour then working with the resulting sensory character of these casks. The range delivers a gradation of colour from light to dark, with the wood character defining each expression's flavour, moving from lighter, lemon citrus to richer, dried fruit notes. As the range develops, The Macallan's whisky maker, Bob Dalgarno, has looked to different cask types for the colour they give to the whisky.
As the whiskies become darker and richer, so the pool of casks able to deliver this character becomes smaller and rarer. The creation of each expression starts with identifying the natural colours formed during maturation in different cask types and putting them together to create the character informed by those colours. This means looking at a broad range of casks which delivered a specific colour then working with the character these casks del...