The Fine Oak Series, produced by The Macallan Distillery at Craigellachie in the Speyside region of Scotland is aged in American oak sherry and bourbon casks, as well as sherry casks from Spain. This is a bit different from the traditional Macallan bottling, which is exclusively aged in sherry casks from Spain so you are getting some different notes here. I personally prefer the Sherry Oak series to the Fine Oak series simply because of the American oak casks used for the Fine Oak series. The American cask takes away the complex flavors and creates a simpler, less interesting taste.
After I poured myself a dram of this gorgeous caramel colored single-malt, I was hit immediately with the overwhelming sense of oak topped off with a hint of butterscotch and vanilla. This was followed by hints of smoke and raisins. At a 43% Alcohol By Volume it hit me with more intensity than I typically get from the 10-year version. I let this 15-year-old decant for a bit in its glass while I took a few more puffs of my Gurkha Titan XO cigar before taking a sip.
As with the nose, I was hit rather aggressively with sherry and oak notes. There is definitely some vanilla also in the glass, which helps with the harshness. This was followed with notes of raisins and caramel.
The finish had notes of wood and very subtle earth tones, grain and spices, an interesting contrast, to say the least.
At $90 a bottle, I think it is terribly overpriced and underperforming. It is a decent scotch that can be enjoyed with a fine cigar but it is far overpriced. I enjoy Macallan’s 12-year-old Sherry Oak much more than this 15-year Fine Oak. The high price of this single malt tells me there is little or no value for the money and there are so many better sherry malts out there.
I paired this with a Gurkha Titan XO and I felt the duo was a very good pair. The earthiness in both the cigar and scotch meshed nicely. Plus, this cigar seemed to mask the harshness of this particular scotch.