Macallan 12 vs Glenfiddich 12

Macallan 12 vs Glenfiddich 12 | Two iconic whiskies but which is best?

For any whisky enthusiast, seeking the finest dram is a priority. That’s why I’m thrilled to compare Macallan 12 and Glenfiddich 12 – two of the most celebrated whiskies globally. Not only are they renowned for their distinct flavour profiles and complex aromas, but also have earned respected places in countless whisky lover’s collections.

Embark on an unforgettable journey with me as I explore the world of Macallan 12 and Glenfiddich 12! From production methods to taste notes, we’ll be delving into every detail. So grab your favourite glass, settle in, and let’s get started!

Macallan and Glenfiddich are two divine Speyside whiskies, originating in the picturesque Spey Valley in Scotland. Of course, Macallan surpasses all of its competition with a remarkable production longevity since 1824; making it one of the most venerable single malt Scotch whisky producers throughout Scotland.

Macallan is renowned for its smooth, light-bodied yet complex flavours, making it perfect for sipping neat. Its flavour profile features notes of ripe fruit, vanilla sweetness, subtle oak tannins and a hint of smoke. The specific Macallan 12 year old I’ll be discussing here is the Double cask.

Glenfiddich, on the other hand, is known for its full-bodied style and robust aroma. Established in 1886, Glenfiddich’s signature character is derived from its unique ageing process that includes maturing whiskies in American oak barrels and European sherry casks. Its distinct flavour profile offers subtle nuances of dried fruits and spices complemented by a pronounced sweetness that’s perfectly balanced with a dry finish.

I’ll go through each of the 12 year expressions thoroughly and help you establish which is best for you.

Macallan 12 vs Glenfiddich 12: Quick read Comparison

Macallan 12 Double Cask Whisky Bottle

Macallan 12 Double Cask

Nose: This classic dried fruit expression is more subtle than the Sherry Oak variant, and carries a pleasing aroma of delicious butterscotch.

Palate: Let your tongue be tantalized by the divine blend of velvety sweetness and honey set in a bed of flaky, soft pastries topped with lavish swirls of lush marmalade kissed with a subtle whisper of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: Indulgent, velvety, smooth sensation on your taste buds.

Finish: The alluring aroma of vanilla and sultana tantalises your taste buds.

Age: 12 years

Cask/Barrels: American and European Sherry oak

Strength: 80 proof / 40% ABV

Price: £68.95/$82.90

Glenfiddich 12 Whisky Bottle

Glenfiddich 12

Nose: As the captivating aroma of its grain’s subtle floral and mineral notes fill your glass, you’ll find it complements vivid orchard fruits, maltiness, and honey. With further contemplation comes a refreshing citrus nuance that is sure to leave an impression.

Palate: A beautiful balance of light florals and spices, creating an indescribably smooth blend.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is delightfully supple and creamy, like butter.

Finish: An aroma of sweet oak and luscious fruit lingers, accompanied by an unmistakable oiliness.

Age: 12 years

Cask/Barrels: American and European Oak casks

Strength: 80 proof / 40% ABV

Price: £36/£43

Macallan 12 vs Glenfiddich 12: Macallan 12 Double Cask review

Macallan 12 year double cask is a relatively new addition to Macallan’s whisky range, having been released in 2016. Macallan 12 year double cask offers an exquisite flavour profile that sets it apart from Macallan’s other whiskies. This expression draws on Macallan’s rich heritage of barrel ageing and introduces a unique combination of American and European sherry oak casks for maturing the whisky.

The result is a delicate balance between sweet fruit, vanilla, and subtle tannins with hints of smoke throughout. Macallan’s master distiller has described this whisky as offering “a unique marriage of flavours more complex and layered than any Macallan before”. The Macallan 12 year double cask has been specially crafted to offer whisky lovers an exceptionally smooth experience that celebrates Macallan’s legendary commitment to quality.

Macallan 12 year Double Cask offers an impressive flavour profile that starts with a delightful nose of dried fruits and sweet butterscotch. This is complemented on the palate by a marriage of honeyed cinnamon and warm, creamy pastries. Macallan’s master distiller has described this whisky as having an incredibly complex flavour profile, making it unique from Macallan’s other offerings. As you enjoy your Macallan 12 year Double Cask, you will be able to appreciate the delicate balance between sweet fruit, vanilla, and subtle tannins that Macallan has become renowned for.

The Macallan 12 year Double Cask is also noteworthy for its unique maturing process; it is aged in both American and European sherry oak casks for an exceptional balance. The careful selection of American oak barrels provide notes of spice and toasted nuts, while the European sherry casks add sweetness, smokey notes and hints of gingerbread. All these components come together to create a heavenly blend of flavours that make Macallan 12 year Double Cask a truly remarkable whisky.

Having said all that write about how the Macallan 12 is considered to be a little lack lustre for the price point

Macallan 12 year Double Cask has garnered much attention in the whisky world and is widely regarded as a luxurious, complex whisky. However, for some whisky connoisseurs Macallan 12 year Double Cask may be considered pricey for what is offered. Macallan 12 year Double Cask retails at around £68.95/$82.90 per bottle. Despite its unique maturation process, some whisky aficionados have argued that Macallan’s higher price point does not necessarily make the Macallan 12 year Double Cask superior to other whiskies with a lower price tag.

For example, Glenfiddich 12 year can be purchased for a significantly lower price at around £36 – £43 per bottle. Many consider this whisky to be equally as flavourful and complex at Macallan’s offering; Glenfiddich 12 year boasts a captivating aroma of grain and orchard fruits complemented by light florals and spices on the palate. This whiskey also offers an irresistibly smooth mouthfeel with sweet oak and fruity notes lingering on the finish.

Overall, Macallan 12 year Double Cask is certainly a delicious expression of whisky but it may not offer enough complexity to justify its higher price point when compared to whiskies like Glenfiddich 12 year which provide comparable flavours and complexity at a fraction of the cost.

Macallan 12 vs Glenfiddich 12: Glenfiddich 12 review

Glenfiddich 12 year has a unique nose that is initially quite spirity, but quickly develops into more subtle and delicate aromas. On the nose, you will find slightly floral scents with hints of orchard fruit and citrus. These notes mingle together to create a complex bouquet of flavours that are both sweet and savoury. In addition to its fruity elements, Glenfiddich 12 year also displays some lightly smoky notes that come from its time spent in oak casks.

On the palate, Glenfiddich 12 year is a blend of nuanced yet multifaceted flavours. Hints of sweet pear and apple aromas give way to undertones of honey, oaky woodiness, and nutmeg spices. Further embraced in vanilla essence with just a hint of smokiness from its cask ageing process; your taste buds will be left with an incredibly smooth sensation as you experience this whisky’s exquisite finish that brings all these wonderful notes together for one extraordinary delicacy!

The soft tannins of this whisky work in harmony with the sweeter notes, leaving behind an enjoyable flavor on your tongue. Floral and spice undertones add to its smoothness, making it a truly delightful experience.

Enjoy this indulgent concoction that is both complex and effortlessly drinkable.

Ultimately, Glenfiddich 12 year provides a wealth of complexity at an unbeatable price. An amazing whisky experience awaits you with this selection! From its initial spirituous nose to its mellow finish, Glenfiddich 12 year delivers a truly unique flavour profile which many whisky connoisseurs consider an incredibly good value for money compared to Macallan’s offering.

Macallan 12 vs Glenfiddich 12: Comparing the two

Macallan 12 year Double Cask has a creamy, honey-like texture that is quite distinct compared to the fruity and fresh notes of Glenfiddich 12. Macallan’s unique maturation process consists of a two-year period in American Oak casks which gives Macallan its unique golden hue and adds sweet notes of honey to the whisky. This is further enhanced due to Macallan’s use of Spanish sherry casks which adds complexity to Macallan’s flavour profile.

The Macallan 12 year Double Cask offers an enticing aroma of sherry, spices, oak and malt with a hint of citrus. On the palate you will find tastes of sweet vanilla, raisins and dates along with hints of orange peel. The finish is smooth and slightly dry with lingering flavours of chocolate and oak followed by a slight smokiness from Macallan’s ageing in casks.

In comparison, Glenfiddich 12 year has more pronounced fruit flavours on the nose with aromas of grain, orchard fruits, light florals and spices. On the palate there are notes of sweet oak and fruit but lacks some depth compared to Macallan’s offering. The finish is pleasant yet not as complex as Macallans leaving behind floral notes and spices that linger on the tongue.

Overall Macallan 12 year Double Cask offers more complexity than Glenfiddich 12 year at a premium price point; however, both whiskies offer great flavour profiles that are certainly worth trying out! Glenfiddich is maybe more of your drinks cabinet staple for a mid-week dram. Whereas the Macallan 12 is more a special occasion whisky for those who appreciate a little more subtle flavoured whisky.

Macallan 12 vs Glenfiddich 12: Food Pairings

Pairing whisky with food is an excellent way to enhance your overall drinking experience. Not only does it bring out different notes in the whisky, but it can also help to make the most of the flavours that you are tasting. Food can have a profound effect on the taste of a particular whisky and can really elevate your enjoyment of the beverage.

It is important to bear in mind that when pairing whisky with food, balance is key: you don’t want one flavour to overpower the other. The whisky should not be overly harsh nor too sweet; rather it should complement the dish without taking away from its individual flavors. Small amounts of whisky can add depth and complexity to a meal without overpowering the other tastes on your plate.

The art of pairing whisky and food is an enjoyable experience for all involved; it allows you to explore different flavour combinations while heightening your appreciation for each drink’s unique character. Whether you’re looking for something light and refreshing or something more robust and flavourful, there’s sure to be a perfect combination waiting for you!

Whisky pairs best with dishes that are similarly complex in flavour or texture. For example, Macallan 12 Double Cask has sweet and spicy notes that would pair well with dishes such as steak au poivre or rich, creamy pasta dishes. Macallan’s notes of orange peel could also be complemented by desserts such as tiramisu or orange creamsicle cake.

Glenfiddich 12 year has lighter and more subtle flavours which would work particularly well with lighter dishes like fish, poultry, and salads. Its notes of apple and pear could be brought out even further when paired with dishes such as pork chops with apple-pear relish or smoked salmon pasta salad. Additionally, its smoky oak finish would make an interesting pairing when served alongside game meats like venison medallions or beef fillet steaks.

Macallan 12 Food Pairing:

Macallan 12 Double Cask offers an incredibly complex flavour profile that is ideally suited to pairing with a cheese. Manchego, French Sheep’s Cheese and Pecorino provide the perfect base for Macallan’s nuances of sherry, spices, oak, malt and citrus. Macallan’s sweet vanilla tones compliment the nutty flavours of these cheeses, helping to bring out their individual characteristics without overpowering them.

Manchego Cheese

Manchego has been produced in the La Mancha region of Spain since at least the 15th century. It is a firm cheese made from 100% sheep’s milk and has a distinctive nutty flavour with notes of caramel and butter. Macallan 12’s subtle sweetness and hints of orange peel bring out even more complexity in this particular cheese; a unique experience that is guaranteed to delight even the most discerning palates.

Sheep's milk cheese

French Sheep’s Cheese is another great option when it comes to pairing Macallan 12 Double Cask with food. This unsalted cheese is creamy, mild and subtly tangy; Macallan’s sweet vanilla notes pair perfectly with its milky texture which helps to enhance its delicate flavours. The whisky also adds a hint of smoky oak which provides a nice contrast to the salty taste of this cheese.

Pecorino Cheese

Pecorino is a kind of Italian hard cheese made from sheep’s milk which has been aged for at least 8 months in order to achieve a stronger flavour profile. Its sharp yet slightly sweet taste makes it the ideal partner for Macallan 12 Double Cask; Macallan’s spices add complexity while its notes of orange peel cut through any strong flavours that may be present in this particular cheese.

The Macallan 12 year Double Cask truly shines when paired with any of these three cheeses; each one brings out different nuances in Macallan’s flavour profile enhancing both drink and food alike! Enjoy exploring different combinations and discovering new favourites – this could be your new favourite pastime!

Glenfiddich 12: Food Pairing

Glenfiddich 12 Year has a light, delicate flavour profile which is best complemented by light dishes such as fish, poultry and salads. Its notes of apple and pear make it an ideal pairing for pork chops with apple-pear relish. Additionally, its smoky oak finish would bring out the flavour and texture of game meats like venison medallions or beef fillet steaks in a particularly delicious way.

Pork chops with Apple

What’s more, its floral aromas work well with lighter desserts such as fruit tarts and mousses, while its citrus notes can be used to enhance the flavour of rich creamy custards or even ice cream.

Kiwi Fruit Tart

When paired with food, Glenfiddich 12 Year’s unique flavours come alive; its delicate fruity sweetness melds seamlessly with the natural flavours of the food without overpowering them. If you’re searching for something unique and robust enough to savour by itself or over ice, then Glenfiddich 12 Year is the perfect whisky for you! With a plethora of flavour combinations available, this whisky will quickly become one of your go-tos. So why not give it a try?

Macallan 12 vs Glenfiddich 12: Cocktails

Macallan 12 cocktail:

Macallan 12 Double Cask is an ideal whisky for crafting cocktails, possessing a flavour profile both complex and diverse. Its sweet spiciness produces the perfect equilibrium when mixed with other ingredients, demonstrating its complexity while never compromising on taste. The subtle sweetness of Macallan’s character allows all flavours to shine through – making it the ultimate spirit in any cocktail!

The Macallan mule

The Macallan Mule Cocktail

Treat yourself to the scrumptious Macallan Mule, combining Macallan 12’s lavish flavor profile with other ingredients that bring out its inherent sweetness. The Double Cask 12 offers rich tastes of honey, caramel, vanilla and dried fruits fused together with a hint of oak spice- which are then further magnified by the pineapple cordial creating an unforgettable complexity.

Macallan Mule is an irresistible whisky cocktail that any connoisseur would relish! The addition of lemon juice helps to reduce its sweeter notes, while also providing a tart taste. Ginger beer offers the perfect finishing touch with its effervescent bubbles; it harmoniously balances out all the flavours and complements Macallan’s subtle smoky aromas. Indulge in this delightful combination today!


40ml The Macallan Double Cask 12 Year Old

20ml Pineapple cordial

15ml Lemon juice

Chilled ginger beer


Fill the glass with ice

Pour the ingredients in the order listed

Top with a quality chilled ginger beer

Gently stir and garnish with 3 slices of red chilli

The Macallan Alba

The Macallan Alba is the perfect cocktail for Macallan 12 Double Cask because it not only uses Macallan’s complex and flavourful whisky, but it also highlights Macallan’s sweet yet smoky characteristics in a well-rounded way. Macallan 12 Double Cask is a whisky that has been aged in sherry casks, which imparts a rich depth of character to the spirit. This depth is made up of notes of honey, caramel, vanilla, dried fruits, and toasty oak with just the right amount of spice.

Macallan Alba Cocktail

When combined with coffee liqueur and sugar gomme syrup in The Macallan Alba cocktail, Macallan 12’s sweet and spicy notes are amplified while simultaneously being balanced out by the coffee liqueur’s bitterness. The addition of double cream helps to create a velvety smooth texture and adds an indulgent creamy finish that will remain on the palate for moments afterwards. All in all, Macallan 12 Double Cask is the perfect choice for The Macallan Alba: its balanced complexity makes for an irresistible combination of flavours and textures that will be sure to satisfy any whisky lover!


40ml The Macallan Double Cask 12 Year Old

20ml Coffee Liqueur

10ml Sugar gomme

Float double cream


Stir all ingredients (except the double cream) over ice and strain into the glass.

Shake double cream without ice to thicken and gently pour and float over the top of the whisky cocktail.

Glenfiddich 12 Cocktails:

The Glenfiddich Godfather

The Glenfiddich Godfather is a perfect cocktail to highlight the flavours of the iconic Glenfiddich 12 Year Old whisky. The whisky itself has a strong nose of oaky vanilla, sweet honey and toasted oak, with hints of citrus, dried fruits and subtle spice. When combined with Disaronno, a classic Italian almond liqueur, and fresh lemon juice, these notes are further amplified and create an indulgent balance of sweet and tart flavour that plays off each other perfectly.

Glenfiddich Godfather Cocktail

The addition of either sparkling water or lemonade helps to bring out all the complex flavours of Glenfiddich 12 without overpowering them. The light sweetness and effervescence from the sparkling water or lemonade works in harmony with the Macallan’s aromas creating a refreshing finish. All in all, the Glenfiddich Godfather is an irresistible combination that any whisky connoisseur should be sure to try!


25ml Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

25ml Disaronno

10ml fresh lemon juice

100ml lemonade or sparkling water

1 cherry

3 – 4 ice cubes


  1. Stir the Glenfiddich and Disaronno together
  2. Add a splash of lemon juice and lemonade or sparking water
  3. Stir gently for another few seconds and garnish with a cherry
  4. Serve with three or four fresh ice cubes in the glass.

Macallan 12 vs Glenfiddich 12: Conclusion

Macallan 12 and Glenfiddich 12 are two of the most popular single-malt whiskies in the world. Both offer a unique flavour profile that is sure to please whisky connoisseurs, but each has its own distinct characteristics. Macallan 12 is a sherry cask-aged whisky that has notes of honey, caramel, vanilla, dried fruits, and toasty oak with just the right amount of spice. This complexity makes Macallan 12 an ideal choice for indulgent cocktails like The Macallan Alba.

On the other hand, Glenfiddich 12 is known for its robust flavours of oaky vanilla, sweet honey and toasted oak, with hints of citrus and dried fruits. When used in cocktails like The Glenfiddich Godfather, these aromas become amplified and create a perfect balance between sweetness and tartness.

In terms of flavour profiles, Macallan 12 offers a more complex and nuanced experience than Glenfiddich 12 does; Macallan’s sherry cask aging adds depth to its character that is difficult to find elsewhere. On the other hand, Glenfiddich 12 provides an intense flavour experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else either. Of course, which whisky is best ultimately comes down to personal taste preferences; however, Macallan 12 may be better suited for those looking for something a bit more sophisticated while Glenfiddich 12 may be better suited for those seeking out bolder flavours.

Authors pick:

In terms of taste, I prefer Glenfiddich 12 as its robust flavour profile makes it an excellent choice for both sipping and mixing into cocktails.

Its strong aroma of orchard fruits, sweet honey, and toasted oak with subtle hints of citrus. They provide a wonderfully balanced yet intense flavour that is sure to satisfy any whisky connoisseur.

Furthermore, the addition of lemonade or sparkling water helps to further accentuate these flavours while adding a light sweetness and effervescence that creates a refreshing finish.

What’s more, Glenfiddich 12 offers great value for money compared to Macallan 12. Although Macallan 12 does offer a complex flavour thanks to its sherry cask ageing, it can be quite expensive. By comparison, Glenfiddich 12 provides an intense flavour experience without breaking the bank. For those looking for something a bit more affordable yet still full-flavoured and satisfying, Glenfiddich 12 is definitely worth trying out!

All in all, I find Glenfiddich 12 to be the more versatile option between Macallan 12 vs Glenfiddich 12 due to its classic reliable flavour profile and excellent value for money. Whether you’re looking for something more complex or just after something flavourful yet wallet-friendly, Glenfiddich 12 will not disappoint!

If you are keen to read more about Glenfiddich vs Macallan we have a full breakdown here of all of their core expressions.

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