The 12 Year Old Double Cask is a classic in Macallan’s esteemed scotch whiskey catalogue. A sweet Highland single malt with a spicy kick, the 12 Year Old Double Cask is housed in a tall elegant tapered bottle, perfectly in line with the brand’s timeless aesthetic and premium image.
History of the Macallan 12 Double Cask
Following its establishment in 1824, The Macallan quickly became a household name in the whisky world.
The Macallan Estate area in the Speyside region was formerly known as Maghellan—a portmanteau of ‘magh’ and ‘Ellan’. ‘Magh’ translates to ‘fertile ground’ in Gaelic, and ‘Ellan’ is taken from St. Fillan, a monk closely connected to a church in the estate.
The Macallan distillery has always taken pride in their skills of maturing their prized scotch whiskeys. Seasoned oak casks are meticulously handpicked by The Macallan Master of Wood. It is no exception for the 12 Year Old Double Cask, which is matured to perfection for 12 years in both American and European sherry oak casks.
The 12 Double Cask has made its way into Macallan’s core range of single malt Scotch whiskeys after its release in 2016.
How it is made
First, barley grains undergo the malting process to activate enzymes needed for fermentation. The Macallan uses Minstrel barley grown in their distillery’s estate to ensure the highest quality grains.
After fermentation, the alcohol is distilled in copper and spirit stills to extract the “heart” of the distillate. The 12 Double Cask scotch is produced in stills smaller than the average size, which allows the copper still to impart more of its flavours onto the spirit. This practice also gives the master distiller better precision in deciding the cut ratio that runs off the still.
Lastly, the colourless and concentrated soon-to-be scotch is reduced to its maturing strength of 40% ABV and filled into oloroso sherry-seasoned oak barrels for ageing. This process ultimately gives the 12 Double Cask its unique, signature flavour straight out of the bottle.
The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask has a golden colour that resembles the glow of evening sun. The nose has caramelised apple, candied orange, butterscotch, ginger, and a hint of gentle spices.
On the tongue, the caramel and honey notes take over with an indulging creaminess that blends harmoniously with raisin and citrus. The sip finishes dry with lingering butterscotch and oak, leaving behind a comforting warmth while sustaining a medium length.
What is the difference between Macallan 12 Double Cask and Triple Cask?
The difference between a double and triple cask whiskey is the number of barrels the whiskey has aged in before it is bottled. In the case of the Macallan 12 Double Cask, it also means that the whiskey matured in two types of oak: American and European.
Triple cask whiskeys typically have more complex flavour profiles, having undergone an additional course of maturation from double cask whiskeys. The Macallan 12 Double Cask is aged in sherry-seasoned oak barrels, while the Triple Cask is aged additionally in ex-bourbon casks.
Flavour-wise, the Double Cask is richer and rounder than the Triple Cask due to the 100% sherry maturation. However, the latter has a lighter and brighter character due to the bourbon influence.
Taste the MACALLAN 18 Triple Cask from the Triple Cask Range for a comparison.
There are many ways to enjoy the Macallan 12 Double Cask. If you’re in the mood for smooth textures and intricate layers, try it on the rocks. The slow-melting ice ball allows the flavours to release over time, so you can savour the individual flavours from start to finish.
A twist on the Old Fashioned cocktail brings the Double Cask scotch to a new level while preserving its distinctive features. Mix 40mL of the Macallan 12 Double Cask with 15ml of a sherry of your choice, along with maple syrup and a pinch of smoked salt.
Another good way to sample the Macallan 12 Double Cask is by drinking it straight at room temperature. This method allows you to discover some of the delicate and complex flavours of the scotch that are undetectable when chilled. Use a tulip-shaped glass to get the most out of this room-temperature scotch.
Since the 12 Double Cask’s flavours lean towards the sweeter side, it goes well with a variety of food.
The citrusy and spicy kick of the Double Cask 12 Years Old pairs perfectly with earthier and tarter cheeses, such as sheep cheese and pecorino. In contrast, sweeter cheeses like the gruyère complement this single malt’s fruity and smoky notes without being overpowering.
Grilled red meats and seafood set a beautiful contrast against the sweetness of this Macallan scotch. Nonetheless, take note of the saltiness of your protein when deciding on your dish with this drink so as not to overwhelm your palate.
Dubbed the “best 12-year-old single malt” by whiskey connoisseur Paul Pacult, the 12 Double Cask has no doubt made a name for itself. Its accolades include:
- Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2017 (Gold medal)
- Top 20 Whiskies of 2017 (No. 17)
- San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017 (Double Gold medal)
- International Review of Spirits Tasting 2017 (Gold medal, 95 points rating)
- Beverage Institute Tastings competition 2016 (Gold medal)
The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask is suitable for all occasions. It makes for an excellent entry-level Macallan or even a casual afternoon drink. This scotch will drown your senses with a blend of creamy, citrusy sweetness and fruit with wood spice, so if you’re up for that, why not get yourself a bottle now?