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Macallan 10 Year Old Early 2000s




Whisky Review: Macallan 10 Year Old Early 2000s

Tasting Notes:

There is always talk of Macallan of the psst being ‘the best’, ‘the holy grail’, ‘the best a cask can get’. Well, that isn’t always the case. No distiller can be top of the game forever, it’s just a natural cycle in the realm of supply, demand, consumer habits, and peoples perceptions of the brand. There is no doubt, however, that Macallan has produced some fantastic whiskies. Is this one of them? This is a Macallan 10 Year Old bottled in the early 2000s.
Dark Orange
Orange oil and brown butter. I was expecting the classic Macallan chocolate orange note, but it’s very absent in this 10 Year Old offering. Strawberry cream and some tart raspberry notes filling out the sides. This is all a little off for me, nowhere near as many sweet Macallan notes as I was expecting.
A little spicier to start off with than I would have imagined, slight acetone/nail varnish remover scent to it on arrival. Mellows out and becomes more of a modern sherry style. It honestly reminds me of current Glendronach 12 Year Old and Glenturret 12YO. There’s a Christmas spice to it that is classic, but not as indulgent as I’d want.
More brown butter, that’s a delicious note to end on in all honesty – dips me into that indulgence I’ve been missing. Some very astringent/drying notes on the finish, reminds me of some more modern styles in regards to Kavalan and their Vinho Barrique releases.
Not a huge fan. Even though this a more vintage Macallan it is missing alot of classic characteristics.

The Macallan 10 Year Old has been a staple of the distillery’s core range since the 1980s.

Until the start of the 80s, Macallan had been outsourcing its bottling to independent bottlers such as Gordon & Macphail. At the beginning of the decade, Macallan took control of bottling and distribution, and the 10 Year Olds were unveiled. Various packaging changes, as well as some short-lived collections such as the Fine Oaks, have graced the market. The 10 Year Olds from the 1980s, 90s, and 2000s have become highly sought-after on the secondary market. After all, everybody wants a piece of Macallan.

A Speyside legend, Macallan is also well known for its sherry casks, the influence of which can be seen in the deep amber color of this whisky. The most recent variation of the Macallan 10 Year Old is called the Sherry Casks.

A Brief History of Macallan

The Macallan distillery was founded in 1824 by Alexander Reid, located in Craigellachie, Speyside, Scotland. Initially a small distillery, Macallan earned its reputation for quality and craftsmanship, leveraging the natural resources of its Highland location—particularly the waters of the River Spey and its own traditional floor maltings.

Macallan’s significant development came in the 20th century when it adopted the exclusive use of sherry-seasoned oak casks from Jerez, Spain, for maturation—a practice that would come to define the rich, robust flavor profile synonymous with its whiskies. This commitment to quality and the distinctiveness of sherry cask maturation distinguished Macallan in the crowded marketplace of single malts.

In 2024, Macallan is celebrating its 200th anniversary, having been granted its legal distilling license in 1824. The distillery has already unveiled the Macallan Horizon in collaboration with Bentley. What else can we expect from Macallan in 2024? Only time will tell.

Phil Dwyer

Having worked in whisky retail for a decade, and running Whisky Wednesday on YouTube for nearly as long, Phil has always wanted to learn, talk and tell everyone as much about whisky as he can.

Whisky can be overly complicated at times. Phil wants to end that. Brands have pushed far too much jargon into the drinking atmosphere; it's difficult to breathe when whisky is mentioned at times.

Phil also manages The Whisky Shop Manchester stocking some of the best drams on the market.

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