Macallan 1988 AD (blind)

"A rare find, even in a blind tasting competition, this independently bottled Macallan from 1988, and I must say I liked it very much"

(Picture from Whiskybase)

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So many things have been said and written about what (the, as they prefer it) Macallan has become that I won’t want to fill to lines again. I mean, have a look at their new distillery and I guess you know enough. Partially, this is because I have not tasted much of Macallan, modern or old-school. As closing sample to the blind tasting competition that I recently participated in, we had a Macallan from 1988 and independently bottling by Adelphi. I suppose this could be a good example of old-school sherry-matured Macallan.


It starts off with cinnamon biscuits, rich toffee sweet, honeyed cookies. Soft, complex and well integrated.  At first I thought that I entered a old English salon at tea time. Aged wood, old leather, slightly dusty, this could very well be… But instead I have entered an antique sweet and spices shop. Sacks full of cinnamon, cardamon, liquorice root and nutmeg. Above them shelves with all kind of sweets, like orange-flavoured boiled sweet, raspberry drops, Dutch honey liquorice, old English toffee, and cinnamon balls. The honey spices prevail in the nose for a long time.


No, we have clearly left the sweet shop, and entered the neighbouring antique shop. The wood is much more present, and I guess we have the urged desire to lick all the old stuff the shop owner has on display. Old wood (of course), leather seats, brass and copper lamps, and dusty cloth. I guess the shop keeper would offer us an old sherry, accompanying the display, and did we drop that orange boiled sweet on the bench ourselves? It still tastes good. There is some rye bread with honey aside to the very good sherry. No, this surely appears top notch.


I am pretty sure this was the old-school style, albeit not a heavily sherry version. I did not bet on Macallan, but another famous Speyside distillery, Mortlach, and I was (positively) surprised that this was Macallan. Not looking too much at the current price tag, I would definitely recommend this for those who do not like the overly sherried dram of which we find so many these days.

What others thought

Competition day #18

Macallan 1988 AD

Whiskybase: 86.96 (48 votes) Contestants: 8.4/10

This sample was part of the


these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
Nose 88%
Taste 87%
Balance 87%
Depth 86%
Finish 86.5%