Scotch By Nino Marchetti / October 10, 2014 The Macallan distillery, describing itself as “the world’s ultimate luxury single malt Scotch whisky,” added recently to its core range of U.S. whisky expressions a new bottling known as Rare Cask. It, like other Macallan offerings, will cost you a pretty penny, pricing at around $300 for a 750 ml bottle. So what exactly is this luxury Scotch from this highly regarded distillery? It is a release that was crafted only “from handpicked, Spanish oak sherry seasoned casks – amongst the most precious and scarce in single malt whisky.” Its self-described “impressive journey,” said Macallan officials, from acorn to bottle begins in the ancient oak forests of northern Spain. From this tannin-rich Spanish oak, the staves are hand-fashioned in the province of Cadiz and the casks are hand-crafted and toasted by the Tevasa cooperage in Jerez. The Macallan’s casks are seasoned with dry oloroso sherry for eighteen months, before being emptied and shipped whole to Scotland to be filled with fresh whisky. What results from the whisky after it has spent time in these special casks is a non-age statement spirit that heralds from barrels representing less than one percent of those aging at the distillery. One of the chief visual characteristics of The Macallan Rare Cask is its stunning ruby red color, highlighted in a sculpted, heavy glass decanter and associated red box. Tasting notes for this 43% ABV whisky are below per The Macallan. Aroma: Opulent, soft and meandering. Picture an orchestra setting up: deep notes of quiet vanilla, already in tune. Bold and booming raisin, yet only in spells. Chocolate a star performer, although not a standout. Apple, lemon and orange, a sweet ensemble beautifully balanced with a spicy quartet of root ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Oak conducts, mature and elegant. Palate: Spices lead loud and full, tempered by raisin. Timeless, polished, rich and resonating oak takes control, as vanilla and chocolate compliment each other in the background, ending with a light citrus zest. Finish: Full and warming.