A limited edition smoky (!) Macallan in the 1824 Masters Series. Macallan Rare Cask Black is a marriage of around 100 casks: first-fill Sherry European oak sherry-seasoned casks and American oak casks.
It could be made with peated spirit (rare but the experiments seem to exist) or perhaps casks that had a particularly smoky character. I couldn’t find decisive information on this.
It was originally a travel retail expression but it’s now available in traditional whisky shops as well.
The Macallan Rare Cask Black
(48%, OB +/- 2016)
Nose: very little peat in any case. Dried figs, quite some tobacco and damp wood. Faint balsamic notes. Cinnamon and toffee. Orange peel and almonds. Reminds me of some sherry brandy.
Mouth: quite aromatic, with juicy plums, blood oranges, Mediterranean herbs and a slight hint of potpourri. Just a hint of peat now, alongside roasted notes and burnt wood. Spicy wood that is, including nutmeg and a mild bitterness.
Finish: long, going from sweet brandy notes to herbal notes and dark chocolate.
It’s not a classic Macallan, because of the smoke but also because of the lack of focus. A bit pressure-cooked as well, slightly disappointing given the premium price. Available from The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt but depending on the market there may be better deals out there.