The GQ Malt Club: Macallan 1990 25yo
Macallan distillery is one of the most popular distilleries from Scotland. Asians especially Taiwanese love Macallan a lot. They are the ones who made Macallan to be famous in Asia. Macallan normally comes in sherry casks and basically was solely matured in Spanish oak sherry casks before 2004. After that Macallan started to mature the whiskies in both bourbon and sherry cask.
It is not that common you can see single cask Macallan in the market and normally their prices are relatively high compare to other distilleries by independent bottlers. The one I am writing is a special bottling crossing over whisky with fashion & lifestyle in Taiwan. The club has a long history worldwide and is very influential to its own industry.
GQ has been the New York based international premier men’s magazine, providing definitive coverage of style and culture for more than 50 years. GQ has a long history and was first called Apparel Arts launched in 1931 in USA as a men's fashion magazine for wholesale buyers and retailers. It was influential in the industry which led to the birth of Esquire Magazine later on. The name of Apparel Art was transformed to Gentlemen's Quarterly in 1958 which then re-branded as GQ in 1967. GQ is now published in 22 different countries and of course in various languages.
Source: GQ Taiwan Website
Taiwan GQ magazine started in 1996 for the Chinese version. This is the first bottle to be launched by GQ Taiwan in December 2015, named The GQ Malt Club which was selected from more than 10 cask strength whiskies. This Macallan 25 is matured in bourbon cask with only 201 bottles produced. Unlike normal whisky packages of using paper or wooden boxes, the whisky is packed in a reusable special-designed bucket-shaped canvas bag made of wash vintage canvas material, cotton strings in leather handles to embody the concept of "vintage" due to the age of the whisky.
The GQ Malt Club Macallan 1990/2015 25yo, bourbon cask, 48.3%, 126 of 201 bottles
Appearance: Medium(-) gold
Aroma: Fragrant and floral. First comes with mild floral and lightly sweetness like camomile and honey water. Some sweet and peppery spices scents can then be detected together with complex fruit: some cider, apple, semi-riped pineapple, semi-riped banana, honeydew and white plum. There are also some touches of pineapple flavoured jelly and bubble gum
Palate: Medium(+) to full body, waxy and very round. Like the aroma, honey water sweetness and floral characters like jasmine and camomile can be found. A vast of fruit and spicy characters are filling up the mouth with ripen apple, honeydew, hint of pineapple, a mix of sweet and peppery spices. There comes at the back of the palate with hint of tannin and wood
Aftertaste: long finish with mellowness. Camomile, melon, hint of pineapple and hint of lemon zest bitterness
Conclusion: This is a very fruity and round Macallan with very good structure. The integration of oak to the whisky is just excellent. There are a lot of complexity in this whisky, especially with the aroma. The aroma comes in layer and evolves according to time. As you read the above notes you may think it is pretty common style of vintage bourbon whisky. However, the fragrance and flavour are very long lasting which make you feel so comfortable with this dram. Everything are just so in balance and harmony that I'd love to pour the second and third glass with. I feel that this is the superb bourbon style I have been longing for, that one does not need any characters to be very expressive but there are all the elements you need. This is a perfect dram to tell consumers NOT TO judge solely by colour or by its appearance but have to explore the core and feel what is inside.
GQ wants to let consumers to know whisky drinking is a taste, a lifestyle. I would say it is also an attitude! However, as it is a vintage Macallan, this is a pretty expensive IB even it is far cheaper than normal OB 25yo. I still give a high score as this is the balance whisky I am looking for. Special thanks for a Taiwanese whisky buddy gave me a chance to taste this lovely dram. -91pts
這瓶是台灣GQ第一次推出威士忌的重頭戲, 作為其特選威士忌擔大旗的麥卡倫, 我罕有地打了超過90分的高分, 因為我對給予90分以上的準則是頗嚴格的. 在台灣我相信大部分人都特愛麥卡倫的雪莉桶, 尤以原廠出品的更甚. 至於單桶或波本的獨立裝瓶, 其實相對比其他酒廠的少, 而且價錢也相對地高昂, 當然這瓶也不會例外.
坦白的說我從來不是一個"麥粉", 因為我覺得麥卡倫的性價比相對地低, 以花同一價錢我可以買到其他酒廠比較老的年份, 又或者可以挑的更好, 不過還是多謝台灣的朋友, 讓我有多過一次的機會可以品嚐.
這瓶的麥卡倫從顏色先看是完全不起眼也不大吸引的, 從淡淡的金色可以猜想應該是二次或以上的波本桶, 對很多飲家來看這瓶可能是屬於"不好喝", "很淡"的一類. 但是一開瓶倒進杯後卻有很大的驚喜. 幽幽的小白菊花, 蜜糖水的香氣撲鼻, 繼而轉向半熟的熱帶果香, 鳳梨, 剛熟的蘋果, 哈蜜瓜, 白布冧(也作青梅), 還有白胡椒和香料交錯在一起, 最後還有點鳳梨味的果凍和口香糖加入, 就像韋瓦第(Antonio Vivaldi)的<四季>, 層層推進, 好不複雜.
柔和但誘人的香氣已令我垂涎三尺, 口腔內的味蕾細胞已經蠢蠢欲動, 急不及待要享受生命之水. 當佳釀一進口中, 美妙的樂章又再響起, 香氣和味覺互相呼應, 微微的木頭和單丹也悄悄步入; 餘韻繞梁三日, 歷久不散. 木桶和威士忌互相緊扣著, 經過悠悠歲月的沖洗, 它們之間的配合完美無瑕, 誰也不願搶去誰的風頭, 只是默默地把這生命之水溫婉動人的故事娓娓道來, 讓有心人能用心感受其箇中美好.
這瓶其貌不揚的麥卡倫讓我留下很好很深刻的印象, 打破了心目中麥卡倫只有雪莉桶才是美好的觀念, 也讓我一次又一次把佳釀注進杯內, 為深夜獨酙奏出扣人心弦的曲譜.
P.S. 有朋友前幾天提議我不妨試多一點較藝術性的描述, 這篇是小試牛刀, 會較以往的文章有明顯的分別. 但由於我已經很久沒寫這類的文章, 發現自己的文筆退步了不少, 所以如果寫得不好或有用錯字詞, 請多多包涵, 也歡迎糾正!