Macallan 12-year-old ‘Fine Oak’ Ernie Button Box

Bought: Macallan Online Shop, 23rd March 2016

95.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
88/100 – Whiskybase (from 1 member vote)

In March 2016 I found out online that Macallan were releasing 5,000 bottles of 12yo Fine Oak with the first 1,500 coming in a limited edition Ernie Button box (professional photographer). It was restricted to the UK and at £55 and free postage it seemed reasonable for a discontinued 12yo. I registered my interest and was one of the lucky 1,500 to get the special box. I can’t wait to taste it! The whisky that is, not the box. Have I really become a cardboard collector? It’s worrying times.

Although the box might be unusual the whisky is the standard 12yo Fine Oak. I already have a bottle but, since Jim Murray regards it so highly, I got this latest as an investment so I can drink the other one. 95.5/100 in the Whisky Bible is the highest mark Jim Murray gives to any of the former Macallan age statements (10yo, 12yo ‘Sherry Oak’ and 15yo). Even the 18yo, 21yo, 25yo, 30yo, 40yo and 50yo distillery releases take a back seat compared to the 12yo Fine Oak in Mr Murray’s opinion. Needless to say Whiskybase doesn’t agree where the default version of this bottle only scores 81.5/100 from 288 member votes. That classifies it as ‘good’ but not remarkable. My special box version has been given its own Whiskybase page where one member has kindly scored it 88/100. Clearly a Macallan fan, which is really who this release was aimed at.

One month after this £55 bottle came out and someone sold one at auction for, wait for it, £55. You have to laugh at the greed of some people. Sometimes they get lucky like with the Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve where it sold at auction for £90 when supermarkets were selling it for £45. But take postage, commission, etc from the £55 winning bid and they clearly made a loss. I’ll be hanging onto mine for years rather than minutes but if I run out of milk I might have it in my coffee and put butter and cheese on the box.

Macallan 12yo Fine Oak Ernie Button box 70cl

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