On the advice of old Lord Scott, we leave at the dawn of the Cooper dog hotel in Graigellachie for a canoe trip on the Spey River. Without giving us any explanation, he gave us a key on which is engraved 1824! The river is covered with a thick Scottish mist that gives it an almost unreal, ghostly look, letting us imagine at any moment the appearance of a fantastic creature.
Humming an tune from the English group Bloc Party: "it's so cold in this house...", we cross a cove of the river and find ourselves facing a pontoon that attracts us. From the ground we discover the misty hills. The sun seems to be trying to dawn but very quickly throws in the towel and manages not to pierce the thick mist.
After a while we reach an old sleeping building, in which no soul seems to live. On the pediment we find the date engraved on our key. However, the one given by Lord Scott seems more recent and does not match the door lock. She won't open the door of this mansion.
We continue our walk and now we find ourselves facing strange mounds with false tunes of the County of the Middle-earth dear to Tolkien. With the strange feeling of being able to face Bilbo Sacquet at any time, we continue. We quickly realize that we are on the roof of a recent building! The new Macallan distillery. We pass in front of the building and face large bay windows with a door to which, this time, the lock seems to match.
We enter this cathedral and find ourselves in a space of modernity. The light is dim but in front of us, there are glass shelves filled with golden bottles and in the background all the industrial equipment needed to make whisky.
In the centre of the shelves are the three bottles of Macallan 12 years old. The Sherry Oak trilogy, Double Cask and Triple Matured cask.
In front of us is a barrel on which is placed a light gold bottle of Triple Cask Matured. On the barrel are also 3 staves that explain the 12 years of maturation of this whisky. Before being skilfully mixed, it would have been stored in barrels of European sherry, American oak that had contained bourbon, but also, in what is certainly at the origin of its lighter colour, barrels of American sherry.
It's all very well to be in this place in front of bottles, but now you have to go for it! When he dives into the glass, our nose is as if wrapped in sweetness, a little as if on this misty morning he was announcing breakfast to us; the difficulty will be here to know what is offered to us: gingerbread, toasted bread...? The alcohol is not very strong and mixes with vanilla aromas.
In the mouth, this whisky is very subtle and not at all aggressive. It is even an abundance of fruits, citrus fruits, ginger, raisins... . We just had a horn of plenty emptied into our mouths! The 12 year old shows sweetness but also great complexity. When you keep it long enough in the mouth you can even find some of the spicy strength of raw cocoa. What a great feeling.
The greatest sensation of this expression of Macallan's reference is its length in the mouth. The finish is very long and pleasant.
It is bewitched by beautiful notes of honey and dried fruit that without having met either a living soul or a hobbit that we leave for the river and our boat to return his key to old Lord Scott.