Whisky Review: Macallan 2008 SMWS 24.156 12 Year Old

2 min readMar 19, 2022
A fearlessly brave Macallan experiment!

Macallan 2008 SMWS 24.156 12 Year Old / 63.7%

Tasted neat

This 12 year old Macallan is an example of a fairly unusual IB presentation; apparently SMWS had acquired a number of Oloroso butts which they combined after 10 years of aging, and then split them up into various cask finishes in 2018 for an additional two years.

yes, it’s cola.

This particular bottle, titled “UTTERLY UNCTUOUS / TOTALLY MYSTERIOUS”, went into a first-fill American oak PX hogshead. It was distilled on 13.10.2008, and gave 332 bottles. On the usual SMWS slightly campy label, we have:

The heading says it all - poised and balanced.  A single malt from oloroso butts, married in a first fill American oak PX hogshead since 2018.

The SMWS tasting notes are:

A mysterious, slightly opaque, however deeply engrossing aroma, roasted pine nuts, treacle tart, balsamic strawberries, plums, figs and raisins. You must taste it yourself to believe it – coffee, caramel, nuts, dried fruits the list really could go on A drop of water and an oriental perfume emerged out of nowhere to blend with an exquisite mouth-coating orange sponge, cinnamon and nutmeg ice cream and an authentic Turkish coffee.
  • Color: brown sherry (1.9)
  • Nose: very sweet sherry, malt, honey barbeque, christmas cake, and a little vinegar
  • Taste: px sherry bomb; stewed plums and figs, clover, shaoxing wine, cola
  • Finish: long, coating your throat in syrup, rich leather, a hint of mint

This coke-coloured Macallan spent its years in sherry and then a very wet PX cask, and guess what? It works. It’s not quite as complicated as the Macallan Cask Strength of yore, but it’s got enough depth to really enjoy on a cold, rainy day.

This kind of presentation really makes you wish Macallan would up the ABVs from the tepid 40/43% range their original bottlings sit at.

Rating: 7/10




Personal interests in literature, SF, and whisky/whiskey/scotch, Software Engineer by Trade