N: Gentle, rich and buttery. The sherry influence is profound but not overbearing. A gentle hint of raisins, a ton of toffee. Slow to open up but revealing gentle spice. Smells like Thanksgiving to Christmas. Chocolate and soft grain. Old, old, worn wood.
P: Thick, warming to a degree that belies age or ABV, with cinnamon and pepper. Toffee, hints of maple syrup, nutmeg and harvest spices. Wood paneling in the distance.
F: Slow, easing off the warmth of the palate, retains its sweetness, lasting and rich. Toffee continues, sherry influence. Wood is present but not overbearing.
It's really easy drinking and pretty good. That said, it's not amazing - it's lost a lot of the vitality of younger Macallans. I can see this being a great holiday season pick where you nurse it all evening by a fireplace. In that situation, it could be the right fit for the mood and situation. But on its own, judged solely as a whisky and not as an accessory to an imaginary Christmas Eve, it's good but not great.
We tried this fully knowing what we were openning. The nose was a terrific old sherry classic Macallan that ranks high on the warm and inviting scale.
The mouth was less exciting at first. I thought that it would'nt stand up to other heavy sherry malts that I have rated fairly high so we did some head-to-heads. The Macallan 30 was decidedly better than any of the sherry whiskies that I have raved about.
There was no sulpher and the wood was very balanced. At 43%, it was extremely drinkable. Some wanted to take the bottle into the other room and have some "private time" getting to know it.
Niether the sherry nor the wood was over-powering and the flavors were great but not lingering. The finish was very short.
This would get an A if there was more power in everything and if the finish was longer....but I am splitting hairs. We killed the bottle in about an hour.