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Macallan 12 Double Cask vs Macallan 12 Sherry Oak Cask: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Macallan 12 Double Cask vs Macallan 12 Sherry Oak Cask and decide which single malt is better for You!

Macallan 12 Double Cask

macallan-12-double-cask
NoseSherry, dried fruit, mixed nuts
PalateBaking spice, oak, chocolate
FinishOak, dried fruit, oak spice.
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toGlenfiddich 12, Glenlivet 12

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, 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.

Double Cask facts:

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

Macallan 12 Sherry Oak Cask

Macallan-12-sherry-oak-cask
NoseVanilla, dried fruit, oak
PalateVanilla, dried fruit, oak, prune
FinishOak, sherry
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toDalmore 12, GlenDronach

The nose is rich in vanilla, followed by dried fruit and a tad of oak.

On the palate, the Sherry Oak provides a nice creamy texture. First sip is pleasantly warming and sweet, with hints of vanilla, dried fruit and prune and a gentle touch of oak.

The finish is long, with notes of and sherry and just enough heat to remind you that you are sipping a fine malt.

The Macallan Sherry Oak is a nice and smooth mellow dram with no harshness whatsoever and quite easy to sip.

This is the sherried version of the Macallan 12 Double Cask and more appealing to most consumers as it easier to sip, due to the additional sherry wine sweetness.

This is the type of whisky that I drink neat or rocks using large ice cubes as I don’t like watering-down my drams.

Sherry Oak facts:

  • Aged for 12 years in Oloroso Sherry-seasoned oak casks.
  • Described by F. Paul Pacult, as ‘simply the best 12 Year Old single malt around’.

Differences between the Macallan Double Cask and Sherry Oak Cask

The Sherry Oak was aged in Oloroso wine casks making it sweeter

  • The Double Cask ages for 12 years using a combination of American and European oak casks that were previously used to age sherry wine.
  • The Sherry Oak Cask ages for 12 years in hand-picked Oloroso Sherry-seasoned oak casks. Oloroso is an incredibly sweet and smooth wine from Spain which flavors are very present in this single malt.
  • The Sherry Oak comes in a darker amber hue.

Double Cask vs Sherry Oak: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Macallan Double Cask$60
Macallan Sherry Oak Cask$76

Macallan Double Cask vs Sherry Oak: Which is better?

Sherry Oak is sweeter and less oaky

WhiskeyMacallan Double CaskMacallan Sherry Oak
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Sherry Oak is a fan-favorite as it rewards you with a pleasing sherried flavor yet nicely balanced with virtually no burn providing a great experience from nose to finish.
  • The Double Cask is not bad, just that a bit overpriced when compared to other malts of the same age, and a bit too rich in oak for my taste.
  • In general, the Sherry Cask family of whiskies is better than the Double Cask. This is a constant in the 15 and 18 YO releases.

Macallan

Macallan is also one of the few distilleries that refrains from using colorants in the whisky. This practice is allowed by the United Kingdom’s Scotch Whisky Regulations and is practically the norm in the industry.

Being legal does not mean its right and I find a hard time taking seriously whiskies that add artificial colorants.

The Macallan is regarded as Speyside top-distiller. Speyside is located in Northeastern, Scotland and its single malts are highly regarded due to its creamy and smooth character with no trace of smoke making them easy to drink. That’s why they are so popular.

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