I have before me about 30 ml of MACALLAN Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky reduced from 117 proof to about 100 proof and about 30 ml of Ezra B Single Barrel 12 YO Bourbon Whiskey at 99 proof. The purpose of this post is to do a completely biased comparison of two excellent whiskies and leave you confused as to their merits.
The Macallan has a wonderfully soft and subtle nose for a Scotch. It is quite evocative of malt and heather and the earthy tones found in the Speyside Scotchs. There is a bit of the peat and smoke to be sure, but they are shy. This nose is rich buttery sweetness, leather, citrus, and caramel. It organic roots are very enticing and memorable.
The Ezra B is sharper in its introduction with a more pronounced vanilla and woody aroma. It too has some caramel and even a bit of leather, but none of the heathery organic notes. The rye seems quite prominent when nosed after the scotch. A few moments in the glass do reveal more of the organic aromas, even in the Ezra..........marvelous as it gets deep into the belly of the bourbon.
The winner of the nose-off is Ezra B. They are themselves and stand on their own merits........and both are superb.........but the Ezra B is, to this old guy, a bit more robust and complex. Still, both lead the noser straight to the sip.
The Mcallan is on the sweet side for a scotch and is very flavorful in its rich complexity. Again, the organic topnotes and chewy thick lightly smoked peatiness provides great interest to the palate. An excellent whisky that seems to take much from its used bourbon/sherry barrels while deemphasizing the smoke and peat. A marvelous dram of whisky by my lights.
The Ezra B is, as the nose promised, sharper in its attack, but it is moderated by the deep oak and corn viscous sweetness. The nutmeg and fruit spiciness lingers to carress the palate and perk up the tongue and rear of the mouth.
The winner of the taste off is all both.........it depends on what your taster calls for on that day
The Mcallan makes it exit softly but with much flavor left behind. It lingers as an ember of its former self and dies slowly.........but with great class and subtlety.
The Ezra B struts out without much subtlety, but does not seek to overpower with its manliness. No need to puff out its chest and declare its American origin.......that is obvious.
The winner of the finish is Mcallan..........it walks out with great class and dignity...........even at its 117 proof.
There can NEVER be a winner 'twixt Bourbon and Scotch because they are too different to really compare. No need to say which is better, an Apple or an Orange because they provide very different taste experiences.
Since this is a Bourbon site, I would encourage Bourbon drinkers to try several Scotch Whiskies, including The MACALLAN Single Malt Cask Strength (about $55) for a unique and wonderful sip.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas