stats: single malt scotch, Speyside, 86 proof, $65Most single malt scotches are aged in used oak barrels. Some use former Bourbon barrels, others use barrels that once held sherry. Many scotches are made from a marriage of whiskies from both types of barrels. The Macallan's standard line is aged exclusively in sherry barrels. But sherry isn't as popular as it once was, and it's used casks can be hard to come by. So a few years ago, Macallan introduced the Fine Oak line, which is aged in both sherry and bourbon oak. I actually prefer this to the standard line, which is dominated by the wine flavors of the sherry casks. The nose is fairly mild. On the palate it's malty with floral and grassy flavors up front. It quickly gains strength, with the initial flavors being balanced with wood flavors and spiciness, which continue on into a long evolving finish. Overall, an exceptionally smooth, well balanced scotch with a nice array of flavors from start to finish.