Day three of counting down to Christmas with Drinks by the Drams Advent calendars takes us into Scotch whisky for the first time with a dram of The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask.

Ah, the first weekend of December. The perfect time to pop into town and get some Christmas shopping done, right?  Wrong. Town is so unacceptably busy. It’s 2022 for goodness sake, you can get everything on the internet these days. Your booze, Christmas cards, Christmas crackers, baubles, ordainment. It’s all there. 

It’s a stressful enough time of year, so take a moment to relax with a nice dram. The one behind window #3 of Drinks by the Dram’s Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar is The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask. 

Masters of wood

The key flavour driver here is oloroso sherry-seasoned American and European oak casks, sourced, crafted, toasted, and seasoned under the watchful eye of a dedicated master of wood. Macallan is a distillery that places a great deal of emphasis (and investment) into oak, reasoning that casks make the greatest contribution to the quality, natural colour, and distinctive aromas and flavours of its single malt whisky.

Hence why Double Cask is not just a whisky, but a range. Each is matured in different casks to create a series of whiskies that demonstrate Macallan’s outstanding supply of wood. 

The 12 Year Old Fine Oak, for example, differs from what you have in front of you as it includes bourbon casks. Whereas the 12 Year Old Sherry Oak is full sherry maturation like we have in the Double Cask, but with a higher proportion of European oak. The 12 Year Old Triple Cask? Oh boy. That’s a whole different game. Well, in that it has three different casks. Not that different, but still. Each expression is designed to demonstrate how wood interacts with whisky.

From its origins in the forests of America and Europe to the cooperages and bodegas of Spain, and to the remarkable distillery in Speyside, Scotland, now in your hands. That’s the story of The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask. So, what to do with it? Well, enjoy. Have a good nose and taste. Explore those cask choices. Or just make a Rob Roy. It’s a Manhattan made with Scotch whisky but even though it’s dead simple, it serves as one of those cocktails that should set straight for all those mixing Scotch whisky doubters out there. 

The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask

Window #3 has this beauty behind it. In dram form, of course

Tasting note for The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask

Nose: Classic dried fruit territory, if less intense than the Sherry Oak expression. Aromatic butterscotch too.

Palate: Creamy and honeyed with some thick-cut marmalade, cinnamon and warm pastries.

Finish: Fruity with vanilla and sultana.

How to make a Rob Roy:

50ml The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask

25ml Azaline Saffron Vermouth 

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Stir all the ingredients with lots of ice in a shaker or jug. Strain into a chilled coupe or Nick & Nora glass, and garnish with a twist of lemon or a maraschino cherry. Or both!

We’re doing it all again tomorrow with another advent dram. Cheers!