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Cigar Spirits: Macallan 12 Year Single Malt Scotch

5 Dec 2011

As it gets colder outside, my preferences for a spirit to pair with a fine cigar change with the seasons. For me, scotch always seems like the appropriate drink for a chilly winter night.

When it comes to single malts, I enjoy many different varieties. I’m particularly a fan of peaty whiskies, such as Talisker and Laphroaig. Still, sometimes a more classic single malt seems appropriate.

And it’s hard to find a more classic expression of a single malt scotch whisky than Macallan 12 Year. Made in Moray, Scotland, in the Speyside region, it’s the third best-selling single malt in the world behind Glenfiddich and Glenlivet.

This particular Macallan is aged 12 years in sherry casks, which is how all Macallan’s were originally aged until they more recently added the Fine Oak range which uses both sherry and American bourbon barrels. It’s bright golden amber in color and the nose shows the sherry, along with some spice and orange peel.

On the palate, the Macallan 12 features ample nutty flavors, raisins, sherry, oak, and cream. It’s perfectly balanced, with impressive depth and complexity. The finish is long and warm with a bit of sweet toffee.

“Simply the best 12-year-old single malt around” is how renowned whisky writer Paul Pacult described Macallan 12. I’m inclined to agree, and you won’t be surprised to know that I think it makes for a terrific accompaniment to a fine cigar.

Nearly any medium- or full-bodied would go fine, but I think that balanced Dominican cigars are particularly ideal. The Davidoff Millenium Blend and PG 15th Anniversary come to mind.

Available for around $50 a bottle, it’s become a staple in my liquor cabinet, particularly in the cold months of winter. If by some chance you haven’t tried this classic single malt, I highly suggest you do so.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Cigar Spirits: Macallan 12 Year Single Malt Scotch”

  1. Mike C Monday, December 5, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    By far best 12 year and better than most 15 and quite a few 18.

  2. DavefromPhilly Monday, December 5, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    I tried this last week for the first time. While it doesn't have the smokey peaty flavor profile I typically look for, (Talisker 10yr and Caol Ila 12yr are my go too's) it was good, balanced, and nice to keep around if for a mild change of pace.

  3. Danny S Monday, December 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

    As a quick note…Macallan will not be selling by "year" dates. No more 12, 15, or 18. Instead they will be designated by how they are aged.