The Exceptional Malt (2nd release)

Willie Phillips, former managing director of The Macallan, and Don Sutcliffe, who developed The Macallan on the west coast of the US, have joined forces to create a series of exemplary small batch Scotch whiskies called The Exceptional by Sutcliffe & Son. While it used to be available only in the US, they recently partnered with Number One Drinks (of Karuizawa) to bring their whiskies to Europe.

We’re trying The Exceptional Malt, a vatting of different casks spanning four decades, sourced from distilleries like Glenfarclas, Ben Nevis, Balvenie, Kininvie, Glenfiddich, Alt-a’Bhainne, Auchroisk, Glenallachie, Westport (GLenmorangie), Speyside and (of course) Macallan. The resulting blended malt was married in first-fill Oloroso sherry butts.



exceptional-malt-sutcliffe-sonThe Exceptional Malt
(43%, Sutcliffe & Son 2016)

Nose: quite sweet, with butter pears and dark cherries, some thick honey and milk chocolate, on a background of meaty notes and dried mushrooms. Orange peel and delicate oak.

Mouth: still sweet but a little underpowered. More classic sherry notes now (raisins, baked apple, orange peel) with some added vanilla. Gingerbread. Dark crust of a cake. Anise and pepper.

Finish: medium long, on nutty notes and a vague sweetness.

There are some nice (older) elements in this Exceptional Malt – 2nd Edition, but clearly also younger whisky. No faults but the result isn’t quite… exceptional. Around € 100.

Score: 81/100