The Macallan Double Cask series has been released for the first time since 2016 and until now has consisted only of the Macallan Double Cask Gold and the Macallan Double Cask 12 year old. But since last Wednesday, two bottles have been added to the range, namely a 15 year old and 18 year old single malt. Both will be released worldwide.

The idea behind the Double Cask is simple. All single malts in this series are aged in a combination of American oak and European oak Oloroso sherry casks, and the same applies to the two newcomers. However, there is a difference with the existing bottles and that is that both the 15 year old and the 18 year old are bottled at 43% instead of 40% ABV.

Macallan double cask 15 tasting notes:

Nose: dried fruits, such as figs and dates. Raisins. Citrus here too, giving it a fresh note. Sweet oranges in the background. Dark chocolate. A layer of honey. Stewed red fruit. A hint of sulphur, but in the very background.

Taste: plenty of dark chocolate here. Toffee and caramel fudge. Sweet raisins. A hint of lemon peels, oranges too. This is followed by hazelnuts. Ginger. Cinnamon and some nutmeg in the background.

Finish: mid-long. Toffee and ginger. Some spices here as well, such as crushed black peppercorns, nutmeg.

Score: 83/100

Macallan double cask 18 tasting notes:

Nose: quite the sherry influence, and I have to start with dried fruits again, dates, raisins. Plums. A hint of leather. Blackberries and blueberries. A floral note in the background. Honey. Then red apples and oranges. And Ginger.

Taste: Sweet and oily. Honey at first, which is quickly followed by sweet raisins. Red apples. The same ginger again. A herbal note and Earl Grey tea. Then caramel fudge and toffee. A hint of oak. Nutmeg and cinnamon.

Finish: mid-long and a bit drying. Toffee. A hint of espresso. Ginger.

Score: 85/100

You can notice that it are bottles from the same range, many of the same flavours are reflected in all these releases. Think for example of the oranges, raisins and also that ginger. Where the 15 year old leans a bit more towards the fresh, fruity side, the 18 year old is getting a bit spicier. Each release is a step up from the other, but it clearly remains in the same flavour profile. Both are nice, especially the nose. But the 18 year old is definitely my favourite, it’s more oily in the taste and slightly more robust. For me personally though, I think that both would benefit from a higher alcohol percentage, which would give it just a little bit more oomph.

Samples provided by Macallan.