The Macallan 10

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This is the first Macallan Scotch I tried, and I have to admit, it’s probably my favorite whisky of any sort, and my favorite spirit, too. But I’m a whisky kind of guy, so all those vodkas, gins, rums, and whatnot don’t hold my interest nearly as much as fine whisky.

First, the basics. The Macallan 10 is aged in fine oak casks, and it’s from the Speyside region. The oak casks they mention were used for Sherry and Bourbon, with two different regional sherry casks (from England and America). Since almost all of the flavor of whisky comes from the casks it’s aged in, this produces quite an intricate mix. The color is a pale, straw color (much different from the darker colors of Bourbon or the Macallan 12 that is aged in Sherry casks). Also, this is apparently the first Macallan that didn’t exclusively use sherry casks.

The nose is pleasant, with a dry, slightly fruity scent and a touch of honey in there. It’s not overpowering at all, but it is very distinct. I almost said “specific” because it’s, in my limited experience, a very specific scent. The palate goes along with this. It’s smooth, without any burning sensation (unless one were to gulp it down, but why would one do that with a fine single malt?) — there’s a bit of oak in the flavor, and that fruitiness from the nose makes an appearance here.

There’s a good reason this is my favorite. It’s smooth all around. Now, I know most people have strong opinions on how to drink whisky. I don’t. I like to add a bit of spring water to it, for a few reasons: 1. It stretches it and my enjoyment of it. 2. It allows me to drink more, without getting drunk. 3. I find it brings out more of the complex flavor, which I enjoy. Point 2 is especially important, because staying sober enough to enjoy the drink is key. If you just want to get wasted there are many cheaper ways and that means more Scotch for me.

It also goes really, really well with cigars. I finished off the last cup from my bottle this weekend with a Montecristo, and I usually have the two together. But I’ve had it with other cigars, as well, and the flavors really offset and compliment each other. Full flavor or light flavor smokes go with this really well — the drink is so good, it gets along with both!

If it didn’t come out fifty years after The Boots Are Red, I’m pretty sure this would be Ronnie’s drink of choice.