Today I've decided to change my format a bit. Instead of assigning a star rating based upon the merits alone of the spirit, I'm going to begin to evaluate the spirit against other products in both its price range and also in its product line. Today's evaluation: The Macallan Fine Oak 15. Readers of this page may recall my previous review of the Fine Oak 10. If new to this page, the review has been linked below at the bottom of this article.
This whisky is, just the same as the 10 year, aged in both Sherry and Bourbon casks. Thusly, many of the same notes as before are present in this formulation. Heavier aromas of peat, chocolate, and tobacco stand out. The sherry also has a stronger presence along with a bouquet of what can best be described as akin to walking into a pastry shop that has just completed some fresh wares.
In the flavor, the caramel and buttery popcorn-esque notes of the Bourbon cask are more prevalent, with the added redolence of the chocolate that was also noted in the nose, some rum raisin, cherries, green apple, and a finish of rosted nuts. This is definitely a much sweeter entry than the Fine Oak 10 but an almost leathery dryness was present in the middle of the sip.
Is it worth it?
Well, that depends a bit. This entry stands out quite a lot from the 10 year entry. With that said, the price (78.94 at Spec's Wine, Spirits, and Finer Foods) is a long way away from the 10 year product by a wide margin, and it is bumping up against what I consider the superior cask strength whisky (79.36 at Spec's). The link to my review of Macallan Cask Strength is also listed below. I'm going to have conclude that it is not worth the price.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Suggested Tasting Method: Neat or on the rocks