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Double Take

Double Take
August 29, 2016 Jackie Teo


In a time when non-age-statement (NAS) whiskies take centrestage, it is very refreshing to see a major distillery introduce an expression with a distinct number. The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old, as its name would suggest, is a 12-year-old expression and it’s the third one in that age statement from the distillery.

The story behind the Double Cask is pretty straightforward. It is made up of 12-year-old whiskies from two types of casks: sherry-seasoned European casks and sherry-seasoned American oak casks, with the majority of the composition coming from the latter.

The American oak casks impart notes reminiscent of vanilla, citrus and light oak, while the European casks give rich fruit, Christmas cake and wood spice. One of the many plausible reasons for this difference in the notes imparted to the spirit is the porosity, with the American oak being less porous compared to European oak.

With this, the Double Cask 12 Years Old is described by The Macallan as having a “distinctive American oak style – sweet, honeyed and rounded.”

If you rank the three 12-year-old expressions by intensity, the Double Cask sits in the middle, between the Fine Oak and the Sherry Oak.

Daryl Haldane, head of education at The Macallan, said that it’s a very versatile whisky, as it is light, yet interesting enough to help you start the evening, and has the right amount of intensity as a night cap.

In other words, if you’re undecided, just grab this expression. Make it a Double (Cask).


Official Tasting Notes


Creamy butterscotch, toffee, candied orange and newly felled oak


Balanced, honey sweetness, citrus & caramel


Oak lingers, warm, sweet & drying

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