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Dalwhinnie 15 vs Macallan 12: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Dalwhinnie 15 vs Macallan 12 in this in-depth comparison and decide which is better for you!

Dalwhinnie 15

  • Nose: Honey, pear, apple, smoke.
  • Body: Ripe fruit, nutmeg, cinnamon.
  • Finish: Medium length, toasted malt, roasted nuts.

The nose hits with a honeyed aroma with hints of pear, apple and just a subtle whiff of smoke.

On the palate, Dalwhinnie feels a bit thin lacking in body. Flavor comes with a ripe fruit note, along notes of nutmeg and cinnamon.

The finish has a decent length, leaving a pleasant aftertaste of toasted malt and roasted nuts with very little warmth making an easy drinker.

Adding a drop of water is enough to make the Dalwhinnie better as it opens-up and becomes more fragrant, sweeter while bringing more oak to the flavor.

Dalwhinnie 15 is a sweet and very smooth fruity whisky, with a hint of baking spice. It’s not particularly complex or interesting but drinks without an controversies as it does not have any harshness, smoke, peat or any off-putting note.

Dalwhinnie is an easy drinker and a good option when in the mood for a light, uncomplicated dram and a good alternative for those who want a smooth Single Malt Whisky.

A good and malt, but not good enough to break into my list of the best 15 year old whiskies.

Learn how it compares to the Glenfiddich 15!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this single malt:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).

  • Aged for 15 years in ex-bourbon barrels.

  • Dalwhinnie distillery was founded in 1897 by John Grant and is located in the Highland village of Dalwhinnie in Scotland.

  • It only has 2 stills making it one of the smallest distilleries in the UK.

  • Dalwhinnie is the highest distillery in Scotland at 1,154 ft (352 m) above the sea level.

  • Dalwhinnie is labeled as a Highland Whisky, as the Speyside region is wholly within the Highlands, the Speyside distilleries have the legal right to use Highland or Speyside in their labels.

  • Dalwhinnie is one of the 200 brands owned by London-based Diageo.

Macallan 12 Double Cask

  • Nose: Sherry, dried fruit and mixed nuts.
  • Palate: Rich in spices, oak and a hint of chocolate.
  • Finish: Long and rich in oak.

The nose is sweet, rich in sherry, dried fruit and oak.

On the palate, the Macallan Double Cask kicks-off with a blast of oak, followed by bitter chocolate, sherry and a bit of citrus. There is just a bit of warmth yet from the pleasant type as it’s not burny.

The finish is long, with more oak to it, rich in dried fruit and a tad of spice.

The Macallan 12 Double Cask is rich in flavors, not too sweet, with a faint note of chocolate, a trace of spice, with a bit of warmth at the end and a noticeable oaky note making it a satisfying dram as it goes down nicely.

Overall, the Macallan 12 Double Cask serves as an introductory release to sherry cask matured Scotch before going for the sherry-bombs (Glenallachie 12, GlenDronach 12), although the deep oaky note can be harsh for some consumers.

Adding a splash of water will tune-down the oak and the warmth making it easier to drink. I would not use the Double Cask as a mixer due to its price.

Learn how it compares to the Macallan 12 Sherry Oak and discover which wins!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Double Cask:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).

  • Aged for 12 years using a combination of American and European oak casks seasoned with sherry wine from Spain.

  • Earned Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2017.

  • Gold Medal & 95 points rating from the International Review of Spirits Tasting in 2017.

  • The Macallan Distillery was founded in 1824 and is located in Craigellachie, Moray.

  • Macallan does not use caramel-coloring to make the whisky look more appealing, this practice is allowed under the set of rules that govern Scotch whisky but Macallan refrains from such questionable practice.

Dalwhinnie 15 vs Macallan 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Dalwhinnie 15$80
Macallan 12 Double Cask$80

Dalwhinnie 15 vs Macallan 12 Double Cask: Which is better?

Macallan 12 is a more rewarding malt

WhiskeyDalwhinnie 15Macallan 15
  • The Macallan 12 is a little too pricey for a 12 year whisky but better than the Dalwhinnie that is an overly easy and a bit dull and thin whisky.

  • Macallan 12 is a flavorful whisky, with deeper tasting notes although the oaky note might overwhelm some consumers.

  • The good news is that you can tune down the oaky note and the warmth with just a few drops of water making this whisky easier to drink and more enjoyable.

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