By Stephen Trimble, guest whiskey blogger
Anyone who appreciates a good single-malt scotch knows that McCallan is among the best. Usually, the distillery offers a 12-year-old, an 18-year-old, and a 25-year-old vintage at varying price points, each of which will knock your socks off.
But now, McCallan has come up with something that will knock your socks off, help you put on a fresh pair, and knock ‘em off again.
It’s called McCallan Rare Cask, and it beggars description. We recently had the good fortune to receive a sample of this wondrous nectar, and it is indeed something special.
According to McCallan, they make the stuff by taking samples from the top 1% of casks in the distillery—as chosen by McCallan’s master taster—and bottling it as a single vintage. They use their best sherry-seasoned oak casks for the beverage, and the care and quality definitely shines through.
The whiskey’s nose is rich and bold without being overpowering, and your mouth will begin watering as you anticipate your first taste of the stuff. The first impression upon drinking is a dry, fruity, and altogether rich and smoky taste. The whiskey’s sweetness is next, tantalizing your tastebuds, and the finish is all of that fantastic sherry-seasoned oak sliding down your throat to warm your belly.
I found Rare Cask to be complex yet accessible; any novice scotch drinker (with $300 to spend on a bottle; worth every penny) should have no problem enjoying this rich, rare whiskey. Don’t let any novice put an ice cube in it, though! This type of sublime whiskey should only be enjoyed neat, in the finest crystal glass you’ve got, sipped and savored leisurely and without rush.
My preference for pairings with exquisite single-malt scotch is simple: None at all! Or, if I’m in the right mood, perhaps a good cigar. But with scotch this good, I’d wait until Cubans are legal again. Nothing else could possibly stand up to the potency and richness of this truly rare and excellent vintage.
Stephen Trimble is a freelance writer—with a taste for fine whiskey—in the Philadelphia area.