Rare Cask Black is an unique and rare peated expression offered by Macallan Distillery as a part of their 1824 Master Series. Macallan 1824 Master Series is a lineup of premium NAS whiskies. Rare Cask Black is a “Travel Exclusive” item with a hefty price tag of £425 but is it worth it?
Macallan Master Whisky Maker Bob Dalgrano talks about this expression as
“Rare Cask Black tells a different story about our spirit and casks, but more than that it tells a story about rarity. Smoky Macallan is rare, and there is very little in existence and once used these casks will be no more. This is a whisky which is out of character for The Macallan due to the subtle seam of smoke on the palate, but it still bears the essential Macallan DNA.”
What I understand from this statement that, this was a one time thing for Macallan and they are not planning to include any peated whisky in their lineup for some time.But why did they do this then? There are some rumors about the origin and creation of this expression.
One of the unlikely stories about this bottle is that, Macallan used whiskies from the time right after the World World 2 to create this expression. After the war, Macallan peated its malt for a small period of time due to high cost of coal and peated whiskies from the late 40s are a fact. The part that makes this story very unlikely is that finding and getting your hands on a 1946 Macallan will cost you in the range of 12.000 US$. So finding this rare and expensive whisky, even a small amount, in a 450$ bottle does not sound very probable.
Another story about Rare Cask Black is that, 100 casks of peated malt was sent to Macallan instead of Highland Park as a mistake. Bob Dalgrano decided to keep it for experimentation. This is another story which sounds a little bit made up as you would assume the quality control will catch it somewhere along the process or Highland Park would somehow claim for their material.
Whatever the real story may be, Macallan created a very unique, drinkable and enjoyable whisky. Due to its complex flavors it can be both enjoyed by peat lovers and sherry lovers alike. One point I do not like about Rare Cask Black is that it comes in a non-transparent black glass bottle. Although it looks good, you can not see the color and the amount of liquid inside it.
Rare Cask Black is a 48% ABV product. Macallan Rare Cask Black is available from Whisky Exchange.
Macallan Rare Cask Black Whisky Tasting Notes.
Color: Dark Amber
Nose: Dried fruits and lots of them such as raisins, apricots and a little bit of peach as you would expect from any sherry heavy expression. Hints of woody and malt aromas accompanying vanilla. Very little smoke on the background even missable.
Palate: Very similar to nose, it starts off with a heavy sherry sweetness, following that, is strong presence of peat. Woody spices such as white pepper and some cinnamon.
Finish: Peaty and sherry sweetness. Long finish leaving a dryness in the mouth.
Macallan Rare Cask Black is a very complex and successful whisky. It will please a lot whisky lovers with different choices due to its playful balance between peat and sherry. With its 450$ price tag and only 100 casks with no future plans for more makes this more of a collector`s item than an every day dram.