The Macallan Double Cask 12 Year Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Today, the Macallan Estate encompasses 370 acres, 95 of which are devoted to the production of the Macallan Estate's Minstrel barley (a single acre produces about 2.5 tons of barley each year, enough to yield 1,800 bottles of The Macallan). In addition, the distillery contracts with farmers to purchase barley that is low in nitrogen and high in starch, resulting in a rich and oily whisky.
After the barley is harvested in late August and early September, it is malted before being mashed in one of The Macallan's two mash tuns, a process that takes between four and eight hours. Then, the barley is fermented with a specially cultured yeast before being distilled twice through The Macallan's copper-pot stills. The copper comprising the stills acts as a catalyst, and enhances the formation of sweet esters while minimizing impurities such as sulphur. In addition, the curiously small stills — some of "the smallest stills within the Scotch whisky industry," according to production manager Alexander Tweedie — produce a whisky with a heavy, oily flavor.
Following distillation, The Macallan distillers remove the heads and tails of the whisky and collect approximately 16% of the spirit to fill into casks for maturation. This "cut," which is among the highest of any Scottish distillery, results in a more full-bodied and and rich whisky.
The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask is the distillery’s first new release with an age statement in three years, bucking the trend of non-age statement Scotch whiskies that has grown over the past few years. Filling the gap between the Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak and Fine Oak from years ago, this new release is the best of both both worlds, matured in both American and European oak casks that were previously used to age sherry.