The Macallan Fine Oak 30 Years Old
The most important thing to realize about this velvety and extremely aromatic whisky— which is aged in a combination of Spanish sherry butts, American-oak sherry barrels, and ex-bourbon casks—is that it is being discontinued. The reason? To conserve existing stocks of whiskies aging in the Macallan warehouses and to stretch the supply of sherry butts, which are much more expensive than bourbon barrels. That means whatever bottles that buyers encounter online or on purveyor shelves will not be replaced once they are sold. Consequently, Charlie Whitfield, manager of brand education and prestige whiskies for the Macallan, predicts that the Fine Oak 30 Years Old ($3,000)—along with the Fine Oak 21 Years Old ($550), which is also being discontinued—“will soon become collector’s items when supplies run out.”
Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017 Edition
When it comes to whisky, wood—specifically the oak used to make the barrels in which the spirits age—is one of the most dominant factors in creating flavor. And while ex-bourbon and sherry barrels are most often used, it took Japan’s leading and most collectible brand, Yamazaki, to create something that had never existed before: a whisky that has been aged from 18 to 50 years (rather than just finished) exclusively in barrels made from Japan’s proprietary mizunara oak. This hard, yet porous wood is sourced from the ancient forests of Hokkaido and imparts a distinctive spiciness and incense-like flavor to this rare dram. Needless to say, quantities of the Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017 Edition ($1,000) are extremely limited, and prices will probably be higher on the secondary market in a few years.