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Macallan 15 vs Macallan 18: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between the Macallan 15 vs Macallan 18 in this head to head comparison and decide which is better for You!

Macallan 15 Double Cask

macallan-15-double-cask
NoseCinnamon, apple, raisins, oak
PalateOak, caramel, dark chocolate, hazelnut
FinishTobacco, chocolate, cinnamon.
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toGlenfiddich 15, Glenlivet 15

The nose is rich in baking spice at first followed by hints of apple, raisins and subtle oak.

On the palate the first taste comes a bit peppery but it settles nicely as you let it develop in the glass.

Macallan 15 offers rich caramel taste with a delicious dark chocolate hint and toasted oak note. Pleasant warmth hits on the back of the throat and is easy and smooth going down.

Finish is toasty, long, and quite tasty with note of chocolate.

This is an excellent single malt, smooth and satisfying. If you feel some warmth add a drop of water and that will release more caramel and oak making it even easier to sip

Overall, the Macallan 15 is good single malt, with deep tasting notes, at the right level of sweetness and nicely balanced.

If you have tried the Macallan 12 Double Cask you are going to find this to be an improvement as it’s not as oaky and feels more complex and layered.

This one of the best 15 year old whiskies you can buy and it’s still reasonably priced.

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:

  • Aged for 15 years in a combination of American and European oak casks seasoned with sherry wine from Spain.

Macallan 18 Double Cask

macallan-18 double-cask
NoseDried fruit, nuts, orange, ginger
PalateSherry, honey, vanilla, oak
FinishMedium, oak, sherry
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toHighland Park 18, Glenfiddich 18

The nose is beautiful, full of dried fruit, roasted nuts, orange and a tad of ginger.

On the palate, Macallan 18 offers a good mouthfeel as it has a good texture. Flavor is full of sherry and honey at first, followed by vanilla and pleasant oak.

The finish is moderately long, with oak to it and more sherry and just a pleasant warming note coming late to the party.

Macallan 18 is a super smooth and yet complex malt with lots of depth. Flavor is full of sherry product of the aging in sherry casks, but well balanced against oak and vanilla flavors.

It has a creamy body and a soft mouthfeel, with no harshness or alcohol burn making it incredibly easy to sip.

This is a whisky to drink neat as it does not have any off-putting note, such as peat, smoke, medicinal notes or any complicated flavor; this is just a smooth sherried Scotch that goes down nicely.

Overall, the Macallan 18 Double Cask is a smooth and tasty malt rich in sherry notes and extremely smooth at a price point that demands you to put a mortgage on your home.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Macallan 18:

  • Aged for 18 years in both American and European sherry seasoned oak casks.

Macallan 15 vs 18: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Macallan 15$150
Macallan 18$410

Macallan 15 vs Macallan 18: Which is better?

The Macallan is just slightly better than the 15 YO

WhiskeyMacallan 15Macallan 18
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Macallan 18 is marginally better than the Macallan 15 as it feels a bit smoother but the enormous price differential makes me prefer the latter.
  • They are ultimately made from the same top-notch Golden Promise barley, mashed in the same tuns, used the same water from River Spey to get distilled and were aged in the same barrels so I do not get why the 18 is so much more expensive than the 15.
  • In a blind taste 99% of consumers would not be able to tell one from the other so do yourself a favor and buy the Macallan 15 which is quite good and still reasonably priced; unless you were privileged with a fantastic sense of taste.

Macallan

Macallan is not the best-selling single malt whisky as it comes in a distant third behind Glenlivet and Glenfiddich but is usually considered the best of the three.

One of the little features that makes Macallan stand out from the rest is that none of its releases uses caramel coloring to look more appealing.

This practice is widespread and accepted by the United Kingdom Scotch Whisky Regulations but some old-schoolers like me fron-upon the idea of strange chemicals making whisky look sexy.

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