Yup, you read the title of this blog piece correctly. Just landed here at The Whisky Barrel is a single cask Macallan and Highland Park, 12 year old, 2004, Blended Scotch Whiskey. Yikes! From the wonderful people at Morrison & MacKay independent bottlers and dressed in their very own Old Perth label, comes this rather rare and unusual marriage of two of Scotland’s whiskey heavyweights. This is unusual, exciting and limited for a number of reasons. A Macallan – Highland Park blend from a single cask, it is limited to just 666 bottles – a positive omen in this case we feel – and bottled at 43.9%. Interested much?
Where? How? Want!
We were first introduced to this exciting new scotch whiskey a few weeks back. The bottle was placed on the desk and words along the lines of “we’ll come to this one; it’s unusual” were said with a smile. The deep color of this alone drew our attention. Often when big distilleries like Macallan or Highland Park release casks into the independent whiskey world, they may place a strict proviso that the Distillery name and brand cannot be used on the whiskey’s label. When two distillery whiskies like these are blended together, this is likely to be the case even more so. However, this cask came to Morrison & MacKay happily sharing its origins. A single cask of blended scotch whiskey from Macallan and Highland Park Distilleries. It is no surprise that they snapped this up quickly.
Now, for you keen eyed scotch people, you will be aware that whiskey blends of Macallan and Highland Park already exist – take Famous Grouse for example (owned by the Edrington Group, also owners of these two Distilleries) which contains these two whiskies among others. However, as an explicitly labelled singe cask release, this is indeed a rare scotch whiskey.
Macallan-y or Highland Park-y?
Morrison & MacKay have very recently moved to the brand new shiny premises in Perthsire, just outside the North West border of our very own Fife, at Aberargie. Expansion and growth of their independent scotch whiskey bottlings has driven this and they are now ever so close to a working distillery. Perhaps it is good fortune, or perfect planned, that this cask came to light now. It almost feels like a celebration, a marker of the next chapter for the company. Big scotch. The obvious question of this 12 year old Macallan – Highland Park blended whiskey, is which distillery character comes out on top? Well, truthfully you can detect the profile from both Macallan and Highland Park. The deep color gives an obvious suggestion of Macallan, and this perhaps takes the edge on the nose and palate. But there is a very subtle peat note that winds it’s way through.
This is a sherried whiskey first and foremost. But it’s two big whiskey hitters in harmony.
Old Perth Whiskey Goes to a New Level
This is a great addition to Morrison & MacKay’s Old Perth range. The name refers to whiskey first produced in the 1900s by a family grocers in Perth, Scotland. The name was lost in the 1970s before Morrison MacKay revived it with their links to the city. We already have in stock the lovely Jerez sherry cask matured Old Perth that is simply named Old Perth Sherry Cask, 43%. Whiskey matured entirely in sherry Butts, Puncheons and Hogsheads and contains malt whiskey from a mystery Speyside distillery “…famous for maturing particularly well in sherry casks.” I think we know which one! 🙂 Consequently it is very approachable and affordable whiskey if your a sherry cask fan.
Alongside this Macallan- Highland Park release, they have also released a rather special Old Perth 21 year old, 1996, 55.4%. Again a single sherry cask limited to just 335 bottles. From which distillery the whiskey comes from, even Morrison MacKay don’t know, but they are lead to believe there are some famous Speyside and Islay malts within. “The finish of this whiskey is distinctive to one of Islays most famous distilleries“. This is another big whiskey of high quality to add to the name. We hope this Macallan Highland Park blended whisky and 21 year old helps to further grow the name. We’re sure it will.
A Rare Scotch Indeed, But Wait…
“Number 1 Release”. Turns out this little treasure of a cask of Macallan-Highland Park wasn’t alone. A further surprise was to hear that there are in fact some more of these casks being left to sleep a little longer. Some more single cask blended scotch from Macallan and Highland Park. The future looks good for Old Perth!