It’s been a while since I reviewed a Macallan whisky here but eventually I do have one today – “A Night on Earth in Scotland”. This whisky is a seasonal release to celebrate Hogmanay (pronounced “hog·muh·nei”) which is Scotland’s New Year’s Eve festivities.
We have here Bourbon & Sherry casks, each bringing different flavours into the whisky profile: rich dried fruit and spiciness from American and European oak sherry casks and a rich and sweet shortbread-like note from the ex-bourbon casks.
Macallan are even suggesting a food pairing for this whisky: Sip it neat with shortbread on the side. Probably to enrich the shortbread ‘experience’.
The Macallan A Night on Earth in Scotland (40%)
Nose: Honey candies, honeyed porridge, vanilla pods, gentle oak spice, white pepper. lemon, citrus peels, nutmeg, fruity with juicy peaches and pears, cranberries, almonds croissant, slightly perfumed. Good mellow and balanced nose but it could benefit from a slightly higher ABV and you can actually imagine the shortbread here!
Palate: Oak spice bitterness, overboiled/oaked cinnamon and nutmeg, grapefruit peels. Once the bitterness recedes, there’s honey, pears and peaches with a stray apricot. Velvety but balance got skewed here.
Finish: Short length, oak, nuts and citrus peels bitterness, pears and honey hiding in the loft.
Thoughts: Interesting idea but it doesn’t work. The nose here is just fine and very pleasant with the bourbon casks in the front even if it could be better at 43% or 46%. But it falls apart on the palate – too much bitterness (of too many kinds) and not enough other flavours to balance it – Perhaps the sweet shortbread that you supposedly need to eat alongside it, is the balancing factor? Although I believe the whisky should be good enough solo without any external canes. But if only the palate was more like the nose then it wouldn’t matter…