Kindred Spirits – Vats Amore!
Blind dates, on-line assignations and arranged marriages may or may not work out. Luck plays a part. That and whatever it is that the two protagonists bring to the relationship. We at Vintage Bottlers have never thought of ourselves as matchmakers, but when a while back we found ourselves the happy recipients of two casks of aged Macallan, for almost 200 years one of the most hallowed names in the art of malt whisky distilling, we found ourselves wondering what if……
Cask 2598 and Cask 5447; hardly the most romantic of monikers, but there was something about these two that made us think a marriage might just prove more than simply harmonious. After all, they were hardly strangers, having been near-neighbours for more than a quarter of a century, firstly at the warehouses of Macallan and then at Loch Lomond Distillery and Morrison Distillers. Aged 33 and 31, both were highly mature, their characters already developed and fully rounded. Possessing serious depth and engaging warmth, plus a certain sweetness of nature, both could have gone on and had successful, separate futures. But still, we wondered…….
5447, the younger, paler, of the two, had a soft, fruit-filled nose. Baked apple and luscious vanilla to the fore with a bottom note of kiwi. But this gentle approach was to prove deceptive, and how! To take a sip was to experience an instant explosion on the palate of burnt toffee and freshly-roasted coffee beans, with the bourbon in the wood making its presence felt. This huge taste sensation rolled about the mouth until eventually being replaced by a long, dry finish redolent of fresh figs and real liquorice.
Speyside is one of the drier, warmer regions of Scotland and produces an abundance of top-quality barley. It was toasted grain that came through strongly in Cask 2598, together with a background sweetness provided by the long years in bourbon wood and then finally finishing its life in Sherry. Darker in colour, with a big oaty nose, ‘fatter’ in flavour and with the archetypal Macallan wisp of smoke, in our opinion this screamed out for teaming up with a fruity partner!
With our hearts in our mouths, we approached our master blender. After all, we have not made our name in the whisky field through playing Cupid. But precious drop by precious drop, 5447 and 2598 were joined together.
To say we were first relieved and then delighted and finally ecstatic with the result is something of an understatement. Our vatted Macallan is a superb, flavour-packed dram. Bottled with an ABV of 45.5%, it is a fine example of the very best of Speyside; boasting big, nose and mouth-filling grains and fruit, with that beguiling smokiness swimming in the background.
We are confident that you will agree our Cupid well and truly hit the target with his arrow, and that Vintage Bottlers’ Vatted Macallan is a most pleasing union.
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