After the pleasant surprise that was the Macdonald’s Celebrated Ben Nevis, I had to try this one as well…
MacDonald’s Glencoe is a Blended Malt (vatted malt if you like) produced by Ben Nevis distillery, referring to the narrow valley (Glencoe in Gaelic) near the site and to the famous owner John MacDonald who used to market his brand as Long John’s Ben Nevis in Victorian times.
The recipe is unknown but I’ve heard it is mainly Ben Nevis with just one other distillery, also from the Highlands. It is bottled at cask strength without artificial colouring.
Macdonald’s Glencoe 8 yo
(58%, OB +/- 2019)
Nose: rather caramelly, with plenty of toffee and coated nuts. Orange peel and spices like pepper and clove. Also a rubbery, slightly sulphury edge. I don’t really like the kind of sherry cask that has been used.
Mouth: quite massive, with a bold alcoholic kick. Again this musty style of sherry, although better integrated now. A background of malty notes. Nutty notes and a lot of earthy pepper. Light menthol. Chocolate towards the end. Water makes it sweeter and highlights the nuts, but can’t save it entirely.
Finish: quite long, with a lot of oak spice and hints of coffee.
Reasonably rich for an 8 year-old but the high strength and musty sherry are less to my liking. I’d definitely go for the Ben Nevis 10 Years if you have the choice. Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange are selling it, but it’s often unavailable.