Review: Grand Macnish Double Matured Rum Cask 13 Years Old and Sherry Cask 15 Years Old
Grand Macnish is a blended Scotch best known for its unusual, dimpled bottles, but recently the brand has taken strides upmarket, with two new blends that carry age statements as well as distinct barrel finishing. The label drops the dimply bottles for these “Double Matured” releases as well, both of which we were able to sample for review.
Both are bottled at 86 proof and both are reviewed from batch #1.
Grand Macnish Double Matured Rum Cask 13 Years Old – Finished in rum casks for one year. The nose here is rather rough and rustic for a 13 year old spirit, but with time it settles down to showcase notes of nougat, almond, and butterscotch. Unusual notes of linen and jasmine emerge here, along with a spiced but overripe apple note that is the clearest indication of the rum finishing to this point. The palate counters that with a heavy cereal character, immediately coming across as rather simple and unchallenging. Somewhat astringent but also chewy, the rum cask offers some hints of its presence via notes of vanilla and some cinnamon, but the impact is farily mild. The finish is short and sweeter than you’d expect given the rather dry lead-up, with lingering notes of both cereal and mixed fruits, in relatively equal proportions. B- / $45
Grand Macnish Double Matured Sherry Cask 15 Years Old – Finished in sherry wood for a year. Immediately this experience is rather unsatisfying, with a muddy, tough, and woody nose permeating the air. While lightly spicy with hints of eucalyptus, there’s no real noticeable sherry aroma in the mix. The palate is initially sharp, with a little citrus at least hinting at the sherry barrel, but offering more of a smoky quality than anything else. The body is rather gummy and chewy, driven by wood and showing a green quality — the lattermost note particularly heavy on the finish. The whisky does settle down a bit with time in glass, and more fruit eventually makes its way to the forefront, but this is all a long time coming. The ultimate takeaway, however, is that sherry is never much of a focus here, so lovers of that particular style of Scotch probably need not apply. C+ / $55