Macallan 12 Year Old

I was in a downtown Chicago whiskey bar several months ago, and a small table of attorneys ordered a round of Macallan 18 year-old whisky. One ordered it with soda, 1 neat, and 1 on ice. I was sitting by the bartender who kind of chuckled about the order. She asked me if I would put whisky like that on ice or drink it with soda. I told her I wouldn’t, of course. She told me people do that a lot with Macallan 18, and that most people who order Macallan 18 do so to make sure people know they’re ordering Macallan 18.

Macallan 12

I have a bottle of Macallan 18 that someone gave me. I also have a bottle of Macallan 10 and 15 year old Fine Oaks, and now a bottle of Macallan 12 year old. Ardbeg is the only distillery I have more versions from. And the odd thing is that I would generally not order Macallan if I were out with friends. The Macallan 18 is too smooth (yeah, I said that). it’s sweet and easy to drink, and it’s really good, but I generally prefer something a little less tame, I guess. The Fine Oak versions are nicely done, and really good, too.

mac bottle

I think after the bartender’s response to the 18, and after I personally tried it with some other whiskies and it came in last in my ratings, I wasn’t expecting much from the 12 year old. But it was a gift, and I wanted to try it. I knew it wouldn’t be bad at all, but would I actually care for it?

Mac 12

I poured it the way I typically would any whisky, with just a couple drops of water. it’s not cask strength, so it didn’t need more than that, and I let it sit for a few minutes. I took a sip and was actually nicely surprised. It was sherried, sure, and a bit sweet, but very pleasant overall. It’s one I will keep around for when I want pleasant without worrying about the preciousness of the dram, or for friends that may not know if they like whisky. It’s a great intro whisky, better than the typical Glenlivet or Glenfiddich (my least favorite single malt, I think). It’s steeper in price, sure, but not greatly so.


I’m not going to rate my whiskies, at least for now. I’ll leave that to the experts. However, I will say this is a sweet, sherried whisky that has some body to it, and I’d definitely recommend it.

About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.

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