Macallan 1993 (Halcyon Spirits)

Macallan 1993 (Halcyon Spirits)

Halcyon Spirits is a new independent bottler, founded by Daniel and Craig Milne who are also running the Whisky Hammer auction site and the cask broker / spirit shop Still Spirit. The new company, named after their grandfather’s fishing boat, claims to have over 1000 casks in its inventory already.

Mid June they released their first bottling, a 30 year old single cask Macallan. It comes from a first-fill European oak sherry cask.

Quite a statement to start with such an old Macallan, which makes me wonder whether they are only aiming for super premium releases or also planning to release accessible whisky down the line. Halcyon Spirits commits to planting ten trees for every bottle sold – for the inaugural release this equals 2380 trees.


Macallan 30 yo 1993 (49,8%, Halcyon Spirits 2023, first-fill sherry cask #3566, 238 btl.)

Nose: beautiful sherry aromas up front. Raisins, plums, figs, but also lemon and orange peels with herbal honey. Nice butter toffee. Behind this is a layer of fragrant wood – Spanish cedar. Then fresh blueberries and cocoa nibs, as well as gentle whiffs of menthol and pine cones. Hints of polished furniture, walnuts, aniseed and tobacco. Classic elegance – the old Macallan style.

Mouth: there’s dark chocolate with some pepper and coffee, as well as some herbal tea which makes it drier than expected. Also toasted brioche, leather and only subtle hints of dried fruits (blackcurrants) this time. Cinnamon and nutmeg. However, all this is marred by a perfumed woody note and a curiously herbal / soapy side which I find hard to overlook. In any case less convincing than the nose.

Finish: long, with some tannins, cloves and orange marmalade, as well as this slightly soapy edge.

What to say? I had great expectations after the nose, but a soapy hint is one of the few things that can totally change an otherwise impressive experience. I tried different glasses, I contacted other bloggers, just to be sure it wasn’t me. Then Serge’s review confirmed it’s just the nature of this dram. Hard to score – at a lower price this could pass but in this case buyers will probably expect a flawless cask, which I’m afraid this isn’t. Now available from Halcyon Spirits.