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Glengoyne 12 vs Macallan 12 Double Cask: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Glengoyne 12 vs Macallan 12 in this in-depth comparison and decide which single malt is better for You!

Glengoyne 12

  • Nose: Toasted barley, apples, honey.
  • Palate: Caramel, sherry, oak, vanilla.
  • Finish: Long, coffee, vanilla, oak.

The nose is rich in honey, along notes of toasted barley and a touch of fresh apples.

On the palate, Glengoyne displays a creamy body as it feels thick. Flavor delivers caramel and sherry up-front, followed by toasty oak and vanilla. Just a whiff of oak spice bringing balance to the sweet profile.

The finish has a solid length, with slight espresso coffee note to it, along vanilla and oak.

Not the most complex single malt but everything is in the right place providing a solid experience.

A supremely easy-drinking dram ideal for any occasion. Quite smooth and sweet with no harshness or bad bite. Great option for drinkers of all levels.

The Glengoyne is a single malt free of smoke or peat as the malted barley is air-blown making it a great option for those who prefer a traditional flavor profile.

Learn how the Glengoyne compares to the Glenlivet!

There are two facts worth knowing about the Glengoyne:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).
  • Glengoyne is made exclusively from Golden Promise barley. Golden Promise is a malt from a traditional barley variety grown in Scotland and the most expensive. This malt produces a mellow wort, with a sweet and clean flavor.
  • There is one important characteristic about this whisky: it has no trace of smoke as they air-dry the barley instead of using peat. That allows a full appreciation of some sweet flavors that usually remain hidden behind peaty notes.
  • Glengoyne was founded by George Campbell and has been producing single malt whisky continuously since 1833. Glengoyne means “glen of the wild geese” if you were curious about the name.
  • 2021- Bronze at the World Whisky Awards.
  • 2013- Silver at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • 2013- Silver Outstanding International Wine & Spirits Competition.

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 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 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 pleasing 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, GlenDronach), 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 Macallan 12 as a mixer due to its price.

Learn how the Macallan compares to the Highland Park 12.

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

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).
  • Macallan was 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.
  • Macallan is a Speyside Whisky, the most densely populated Whisky region in the world. Speyside whiskies are known for being low in peat and full of fruit and are commonly matured in Sherry casks.

Glengoyne vs Macallan: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Glengoyne 12$60
Macallan 12 Double Cask$75

Glengoyne vs Macallan: Which is better?

Glengoyne is an easier drinker the Macallan 12

WhiskeyGlengoyne 12Macallan 12
  • Glengoyne is better than the Macallan for those new to single malt Scotch as its sweet and clean tasting notes are easier to appreciate.
  • The Macallan Double Cask is better suited for more experienced consumers that can appreciate deep oaky flavors.

Glengoyne and Macallan Similarities

  • Both the Glengoyne and the Macallan are single malts whiskies made exclusively from malted barley at a single distillery.
  • Glengoyne and Macallan are the only distillers that use 100% Golden Promise barley to make whisky. Golden Promise is a malt from a traditional barley variety grown in Scotland and the most expensive. This malt produces a mellow wort, with a sweet and clean flavor.
  • Neither Glengoyne nor Macallan use caramel colouring to make whisky look prettier. This practice is allowed under the United Kingdom’s Scotch Whisky Regulations but these distillers avoid this dubious procedure.

Highland vs Speyside

Glengoyne is a Highland whisky whilst the Macallan is a Speyside whisky.

Highland whiskies offer a huge diversity of flavors and characters. From lighter whiskies all the way through salty coastal malts, the Highlands offers a Scotch for all palates.

Speyside is the most densely populated whisky region in the world. These whiskies are known for having low peaty notes and being quite fruity. Most Speyside distillers have a sherry cask aging addiction.

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