Brand: The Macallan Select Oak
Type: Single Malt
Colour: Pale Gold
Nose: The First Fill Ex-Sherry Casks make their mark together with Oak, Butterscotch, Malt, Dried Fruits (Raisins and Blackberries), Fresh Fruit (Pears), Leather and Tobacco. Hints of Grass and Lemon. Hardly any Alcohol present.
Taste: Sweet Sherry, Spices (White Pepper and Ginger), Butterscotch, Licorice, Nuts, Oak, Vanilla.
Finish: Middle-Long and Dry with White Pepper, Oak, Raisins and Almonds. A hint of Chocolate.
I added a few drops of Water and you get more Malt and Fruit (Peach) on the Nose. Palate and Finish don't benefit from the Water however so my advice is to sip this dram neat.
Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5
General Remarks: The Select Oak forms part of the 1824 Travel Retail Series, released in 2009 to celebrate 1824, the year that the Macallan Distillery was licensed. The other 3 are the Estate Reserve, the 1824 Limited Release and the Whisky Maker's Edition. The Select Oak is a vatted blend of Single Malt Macallan whiskies matured in different Cask Types namely American Oak seasoned with either Bourbon or Sherry and a high percentage of First-Fill European Oak Sherry Casks.
Drinking Experience Neat: Good
Conclusion: If you like a sherried dram, this Macallan might be a nice option. I think it's better than the 10 Year Sherry Oak. I don't know if it's still available but I bought it two years ago at the Duty Free for US$ 55 a liter. And that's not a bad price. On the Nose the Sherry and Butterscotch are dominant. The Oak is of good quality though and I like the Tobacco and Leather Tones. The Palate is basically a combination of Sweet Sherry and strong Spices. The Pepper holds its ground in the Middle-Long Finish. In my opinion the Select Oak is a well-crafted dram with a good price/quality ratio, especially for a Travel Retail Bottling. It would improve even further if it would be bottled at a higher ABV of say 46%. As it is, the Select Oak is a good choice for an after dinner dram but not quite exciting enough for me to sip on a regular basis.