Raise a glass of The Macallan Rare Cask

The Macallan Rare Cask is a head-turner, a conversation starter – and a drop to intrigue any whisky aficionado.

By Steve Colquhoun 15/10/2018

Question: what is whisky’s unheralded super-ingredient? It’s not the key trio of barley, water or yeast – all integral to the finished product, of course – nor a long and distinguished provenance. The simple answer is wood. In the rarefied air of top distillers, the selection of oak casks assumes monumental importance – so much so, that The Macallan actually employs a full-time Master of Wood to hand-select the vessels to which the precious liquid will be entrusted for years, imparting flavours and colouring that can turn a well-made drop into something quite extraordinary. To this end, The Macallan’s Rare Cask offers no age statement – historically regarded as a key marker of quality – but rather, warrants that the sherry-seasoned American and European oak casks imported from the renowned cooperages of Spain will deliver a hit of spice and sweetness, plus a naturally imparted rich mahogany hue. Although one of the joys of whisky is that no two casks will ever produce whisky that is exactly alike, one can reliably expect notes of vanilla and raisin, followed by root ginger and cinnamon, finishing with chocolate and light citrus. Priced at $370 in a stunning bottle with its own display case.


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