Scotch VS Scotch : Macallan 12 Double Cask vs Macallan 12 Sherry

So you’re walking around your favorite liquor store and lo’ and behold you spot the newest offering from The Macallan. In it’s pretty blue box, it’s hard to miss.

The Macallan 12 Year Double Cask

You pick it up and read that although the casks used are both sherry seasoned, it comes from a mix of European casks AND American casks. “How will that affect the flavor?” you think to yourself. “Will it taste all that different from the standard twelve year in euro sherry casks?” you wonder. “Did I leave the stove on?!” you ask yourself in a panic and rush home to make sure your home is still standing. Now that you’re home, you can’t stop wondering if you’ve made a giant mistake by not picking up that new bottle and you begin to cry yourself into a corner…

Annnnnd SCENE.

No, the Macallan 12 Double Cask isn’t something to cry over unless it’s slipping out of your hands onto a concrete surface! It is pretty tasty and at $60 it’s a solid 12 year bottle from Macallan. It’s also a great representation of how important the wood selection of barrels actually is. Enough with the talking, let’s get to the review!

The 12 year Sherry Cask (SC) reeks of sherry soaked raisins versus the Double Cask (DC) that drowns yours senses in honey. The SC is rich like fudge in the nose while the DC is a field of sugary honey. The contrast between the two noses is awesome! A tale of two noses!

The DC has a bit of spice on the tongue but it quickly opens up to spiced apples and more honey with a touch of citrus. Lemon citrus though, not orange type citrus notes that other Macallans are known for. It’s very light on the tongue and more like water than oil. The SC is less spicy on the tongue and smooooooth. A touch more viscous than the DC, the SC very obviously tastes of sherry, light peppery spices, and the raisins from the nose.

The DC finish is light and warm and lingers but not in any obtrusive way. More of the sherry, floral, and almost lemon zest citrus notes make their rounds in your mouth. The finish of the SC is a bit oaky and enjoyable and only lingers for a small while.

They’re both well balanced and solid offerings from Macallan and they really make you wonder if Macallan will take this double oak approach to other age statements. (18 Double Cask? 21 Double Cask? Cask Strength Double Cask??!) I also wonder why they decided to create a double cask line in the first place when the fine oak series exists (three types of oak, including ex-bourbon).

Have you picked up the 12 Double Cask?? Do you like it?? Let us know what you think!!



23 thoughts on “Scotch VS Scotch : Macallan 12 Double Cask vs Macallan 12 Sherry

      1. I think that the DC is too sweet and lingers too long. I prefer the SC smoothness and discrete, yet deep flavor.


  1. Gerry Tosh of Highland Park mentions in interviews that American oak tends to give a citrus note to whisky. The Highland Park 15 has a citrus character because they use more ex-sherry American oak casks in that bottling. So I wasn’t surprised that Double Oak has more citrus notes when I purchased a bottle out of curiosity.

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      1. Oh, I forgot to mention that I quite liked the Double Cask. It’s like the Fine Oak and Sherry Oak Macallans had a baby.

        Also you need to try some Highland Park. The 12 is my go to any day drinker if I just want a single malt to sip.


  2. Bday gift for me. SC is my drink of choice so my brother got me a bottle of DC to try. I feel that the DC is smoother all the way around. I enjoy the punch of SC, but I don’t miss it in the DC. A stronger honey and fruity aroma lightened the innitial flavor of DC and it worked well with the lasting/finishing sweet (which is also there in SC, but it takes longer to get there.) That being said i like the early heat and movement I get with SC but the DC was a great alternative to an already loved offering! For lack of a better way to describe it, DC seems like an herbal spiced sweeter version of SC.


    1. The heat of those sherry spices are iconic to the Mac taste 🙂 The DC will probably find the same type of popularity that the Balvenie 12 has found. There are a lot of reasons people love the sweet honey goodness of a good scotch. It won’t convert any hardcore sherry lovers but the more folks enjoying scotch, the better! Slainte!

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  3. I am not a single malt Scotch expert, but once I tried Macallen 12 year sherry cask, i was hooked. I was very disappointed in the recent price increase, so I tried the double cask. I am about 1/2 way through my first bottle and i dont get it. I thought my Glenmorangie 10 year was better than this. I sure miss my Macallen sherry. I always order it when we go out. I actually found a little irish pub that only charges 9.25 for a nice pour. I dont know how long that will last. Not a fan of double cask.


    1. That sentiment is totally understandable. It’s amazing how something as simple as the origin of the oak can have such a drastic difference on the taste of whisky.

      If you have a Costco near you that sells alcohol, odds are good they may have plenty for you to buy. I know the Costco in DC has Mac 12 in 750ml and 1.5L bottles!


  4. I usually enjoyed the standard 12yo offering but when given the 12yo double cask as a gift I am a convert. Smooth sherry and fruity flavors make it taste like a much more expensive 21yo scotch. I have found my standard.


  5. Macallan 12 SC is my go to scotch. I was excited when I purchased a bottle of DC. However I was disappointed. I enjoy some of the peater scotchs out there Laphroaig 10 etc and have drank a few of the 120 proofs in Europe and enjoyed most of them as well. However I found DC a bit harsh, rough edges with a sharp bite as if it needed further aging. I think if they come out w a DC 18 It may be much more drinkable. I had to add a lot more water than the few drops I normally open up my scotch with and finally added an ice cube. Curious if any other readers had same response. I seem to be in the minority.


    1. I’m not sure about any harsh notes in the DC but we all have differing palates for a reason! They already have an 18 triple cask (fine oak) so with the success of the 12 DC, I could see an 18 DC in the future for sure!


  6. Great scotch, tried a bottle last night and it was very pleasant. I’m a big fan of Macallan and used to buy the 18 year old at $50 a bottle many years ago. As the price climbed North of $200 I switched to Genmorangie Signet. The 12 DC gives me almost the same pleasure at much less cost.


      1. Yes, very interested in your review of Westland Malt vs Signet. Have never looked at our heard of Westland.


        Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  7. I’ve tasted SC for a long time and it was all time favourite. I’m getting a DC this evening to try it on. What do u feel about Macallan Lumina and Amber? I have yet to taste both of these.


    1. I’ve tried the sienna from the amber/gold/sienna/ruby series but I had to order it from overseas. It wasn’t shipped to the US. And the Lumina I tried at duty free on my last trip to Scotland and left it and the enigma on the shelf 🤭


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