What a week it's been. In terms of keeping oneself busy, this week has been very easy indeed. We've just returned home from a fabulous visit to Islay, the details of which we'll be bringing you this coming Monday. But before slipping on the new Fleet Foxes record, drawing a bath and preparing for a much needed shave, we feel duty bound to bring you our tasting notes for a very special whisky, which was released a couple of days ago. You may or may not have seen our spoof Royal wedding bottling, (or to be precise, a monster of a bottling, released to celebrate the official stag do) but a sample of the real thing arrived whilst we were away... (the actual wedding invitation must still be at the Penge sorting office...)
As with the last great Royal bash back in 1981, The Macallan have beaten everyone else to the punch and released the official Royal Wedding bottling, which is a marriage of whisky taken from 2 casks, both filled on the 29th April - a 1996 and a 1999. The release is limited to 1000 bottles, priced at £150, available only from the distillery shop or at The Macallan website.
To come across the slight pessimist for a second- there is hardly a history of harmony surrounding the recent royal weddings but in the case of William and Kate we wish them every success for the future- a more handsome a couple you would struggle to find. One can only hope that they're given enough space by the often maliciously intrusive scum we call a popular press in this country, for they appear to be genuine and honest - attributes that some of the more senior royals could do with fine tuning.
Anyway, onto the whisky.
The Macallan - The Royal Marriage Commemorative Bottling - 1000 bottles - 46.8%
Nose: Highly resinous, with classic Macallan sherrywood dryness, leading into cinnamon bark, cocoa, crystalised orange slices, a deft hint of some butter candy (Werthers) and light sultanas.
With water, a much more noticeable fragrant plum/soft orchard fruit aroma makes itself known. Quite lovely in fact.
Palate: Quite dry on the palate, but not at all cloying- with more cinnamon, well balanced cocktail bitters (particularly elements of vanilla, cloves and dried orange peel) then into a creamy soft milky cereal note. It has a lot of similarities with the recent Albert Watson bottling, but perhaps without the bigger, more pronounced notes of all-spice or liquorice.
Adding water really brings out the sweetness, with more noticeable vanilla toffee coming through.
Finish: Dark chocolate covered raisins and plum jam lead the way for a nicely lingering finish.
Overall: Once again, The Macallan have proven themselves worthy of marrying a whisky fit for a king. Mr Grier - expect your knighthood in the post.