Drink Review: Macallan Select Oak

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The 1824 Collection is a range of Macallans released for the travel retail market. The Select Oak edition is a complex combination of first-fill European oak casks seasoned with oloroso sherry, and American oak casks seasoned with either oloroso sherry or bourbon.

Macallan Select Oak Review:

My personal feelings about oak influence the way I feel about these whiskies. Unfortunately, the bottles I tried only afforded me the opportunity to experience one type of wood flavour in each cask. Since there was no description of what type of oak casks were used on the Select Oak label, we will focus on the French oak cask in this review.

The nose on this Macallan is pleasantly bittersweet, a taste of oak teased with the smoke from the oak casks that mature the whisky. The nose possessed the simple perfume of live oak tree sap, perhaps with a touch of cedarwood and light leather. By the time I had finished the bottle, the Macallan bottle has acquired a leathery aroma in its steady waves. The finish, much more pronounced in 2.5 oz than in the 1.75 oz glass, was dry, smokey and lingering, with the faintest hint of dark fruits vining through the oak aroma. With the 1.75 oz, I don’t get any woodiness at its final moment before swallowing.

Not what I was expecting for a Macallan Select Oak. This is a Macallan with a strong line of character. This is a Macallan that will always make me happy, regardless of the rate of alcohol burn and my mood. I can see hot summer mornings spent in the park’s beer garden at the edge of downtown New York as a top ten memory with this bottle in my glass. Over time, this whisky’s character grows richer.

 I am beginning to understand the fruitiness in the wood aroma, and the shift from smokey to a leather bitter edge. There’s a slight perfume of spicy nutmeg and cinnamon in the finish. 

Macallan Select Oak Review: 

It is very tasty. A perfectly balanced Speyside malt, where all the flavours have nicely distributed and almost no one element dominates. At first, you apparently get the charred oak woodnotes that are surprisingly obvious on the nose, but then, when the aromas meld together, the smokiness lets go and you’re left with the oaty, fruity, chocolatey aromas typical of Macallan’s fruit whisky, enhanced further by oak woods and the slight saltiness of sea air. 

The slight smokiness is well blended with the dry, fruity flavours, adding a slightly salty, smoked and spicy note. The finish is nice, long and managed in balance, changing from smoky, oaty and fruity, to a salty barbecue and then returning in a well balanced profile of sweet, fatty, slightly smoky, oak and sweetness. Highly recommended.

Just as it does with most Macallan single malts, some ash, dried leaves, dried fruit, and a hint of medicinal oak when it’s cooled with water from a container of Macallan malt or mineral water.

Macallan Select Oak Review: 

The first impression is that the standard Macallan Select oak and bourbon casks used previously to age the distillery’s vintage whiskies may have also informed the taste of the flavours of this brand new expression.

Second, this is a strong whisky. Once I warmed it up, which took some time, the smell is very different from the first smell. To give you an idea, imagine a bottle of Château Lafite of the same price, say, versus Vaucluse St. Emile. Both have very different smells.

The comparison of the two Macallans is very interesting. Make no mistake. This is not a bad whisky. I will have this one again in a while. Goodness knows, I have enough of the standard Macallan.

Macallan Select Oak Review: 

An expansive and complex nose. But in a good way. As you can see from my description, the nose is very sweet. Smoky, oak, vanilla and some burnt sugar. It smells very good. Very fruity. Brown sugars. Brown sugars and nuts and also the sweet smell of citrus fruits. It smells really good. It smells just like the aromas I can smell when I put a new leather roof on my bicycle. It smells just like when I put new polish on my bicycle. The smell of new polished steel bicycle with the fresh leather saddle.

The palate is not as fruity, this is one of those peat, smoked and sweet whiskies. It is a little heavier than most single malts. Citrus and vanilla quite prominent. And strangely enough, it is smokey, quite dried fruits and some dark chocolate. Quite creamy and quite a good feel. Also the mouth, I can really well tell from this experience, this is a very good whisky. 

The finish seems like a long one. It has the same ambiance. It has a little wood taste blended with the fruit, the tobacco, the vanilla and the fruityness of the fruit. And the finish is very nearly dry. It has a nice long finish. 

Macallan Select Oak Review: 

This limited edition dram is really nice and is one of my favourites, but I would not say it’s mind-blowing because it is more of a restaurant whisky rather than a home bar whisky.

Macallan Select Oak Review: 

I don’t think this is a bad whisky. I had a very good experience with this whisky. I will have this again despite the price. I would even drink this over its price. I would pay double for this whisky. This is a good whisky. And if the price was higher, it would still be a good whisky. This is a very, you can really feel the quality and the flavour of the oloroso sherry casks really much on this.

Written by Mark Adams


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