Glenfarclas to the utmost







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Hello, that is one among our (nearly) each day tastings. Santé!



August 16, 2023


Glenfarclas to the utmost

First just a few both younger or NAS expressions, which is sort of the identical factor, we agree. Lengthy-time no entry-level Glenfarclas on WF, we’ll additionally attempt to add just a few rarities to the tip of this traditional little tasting session. Maybe not that ‘little’, we’ll see what we are able to do…

(Journal advert, 1976)


Glenfarclas 10 yo (40%, OB, +/-2023)

Glenfarclas 10 yo (40%, OB, +/-2023) Three stars
We final tried the ten in 2017 and located it actually to our liking (WF 84). Color: mild gold. Nostril: it truly is a traditional malty, chalky and porridgey whisky, near the components, with some yeast, barley and well-behaved oak. Goes on with ripe apples, as anticipated, apricots, croissants, and the sensation of being in an excellent neighbourhood bakery, very early within the morning. Mouth: good, fruity, with much more apples and cider, some white pepper upfront, scones and shortbread, speculoos, truffles… The maltiness retains it afloat regardless of this low power that has now actually gone out of vogue nearly all over the place in Whiskydom, and that may make this child a tad teaish and cardboardy in the long run. End: shortish however pleasantly caky and malty. Some oranges. Extra cider and white pepper within the aftertaste. Feedback: maybe not sheer poetry, nevertheless it does its job accurately, which this ten has been doing for years. As for these 40% vol…
SGP:451 – 82 factors.

Glenfarclas 'Private Reserve 46th Anniversary' (46%, OB, France, 9,999 bottles, 2022)

Glenfarclas ‘Non-public Reserve forty sixth Anniversary’ (46%, OB, France, 9,999 bottles, 2022) Four stars
It isn’t the Distillery’s forty sixth anniversary, naturally, it is the size of the partnership with their importer, the home Mähler-Besse, co-owners of well-known Margaux Château Palmer. Color: full gold. Nostril: a richer fashion, with extra sherry, millionaire shortbread, one thing barely basaltic, outdated walnuts, prunes, just a few drops of armagnac, darkish chocolate, contact of truffle and gunpowder, slightly artichoke… It is getting increasingly more chocolaty over the minutes, very good, a bit old-school. Mouth: excellent, traditional sherry, moderately oloroso-y, that’s to say on walnuts, tobacco and certainly chocolate. Golden Grahams and Ovaltine coming by way of as nicely, slightly stout too… End: medium, roasted, malty. Brown toasts and extra Ovaltine. Feedback: I suppose they haven’t achieved any ending in ex-Palmer barriques, however which will have been tempting. However does Glenfarclas nonetheless by no means do finishings, as was the case twenty years in the past?
SGP:551 – 86 factors.

Glenfarclas 2010/2022 'Christmas Edition' (46%, OB, 2022)

Glenfarclas 2010/2022 ‘Christmas Version’ (46%, OB, 2022) Four stars
Aged in oloroso sherry. Aren’t we a bit late as soon as extra? I am noticing that they preserve calling themselves ‘a Highland’. Color: full gold. Nostril: very related whisky, this one being only a notch nuttier and with extra oranges. Maybe…. We’re extraordinarily shut, nonetheless. In instances like this one, the taster have to be cautious to not swap his/her glasses, or every thing’s ruined. Mouth: ditto. You’d nearly imagine this was the identical batch, however we cannot complain, it is glorious younger sherried Glenfarclas. End: maybe slightly extra chocolate and fig jam? Feedback: merry Christmas (what?)
SGP:551 – 86 factors.

Glenfarclas 14 yo 'Oloroso Sherry Cask' (43.4%, OB, 2022)

Glenfarclas 14 yo ‘Oloroso Sherry Cask’ (43.4%, OB, 2022) Three stars and a half
I had by no means seen this child earlier than, however as at all times, Glenfarclas + Oloroso sounds cool. Color: gold. Nostril: that is completely different, slightly lighter – whereas that is not solely the decrease power – and extra on cereals, cornflakes, maple syrup, granola, then certainly walnut wine, honey, rye bread, cinnamon rolls… So a sweeter, fruitier, extra floral sort of maltiness whereas it stays very ‘sherry’. Mouth: extra oak impression right here, extra pepper and cinnamon, some drier tea-ness… There’s one thing sizzling, chili-like, whereas the core stays fruity and moderately jammy. You’d say some fig jam flavoured with chilli sauce. Who is able to give {that a} strive? Please ship us updates… End: medium, as spicy, with a sense of walnut stain past all this chilli. Feedback: slightly uncommon. Did they add one ex-Tabasco cask? Do not chuckle, George Dickel did that sort of factor not too way back.
SGP:461 – 84 factors.

Larger strengths please (and fewer chilli, if potential)…

Glenfarclas 'Heritage Cask Strength' (60%, OB, +/-2022)

Glenfarclas ‘Heritage Cask Energy’ (60%, OB, +/-2022) Four stars
What’s the primary distinction between this child and the well-known ‘105’? We’ll attempt to discover out… It is a latest batch however they have been doing this expression for greater than ten years I believe. Color: gold. Nostril: similar vein, only a tad extra on rocks and tobacco, burnt caramel, choco malt… It isn’t overpowering. With water:  easy, sq., on malt and walnuts. Whiffs of fern within the background. Mouth (neat): wealthy, a tad flinty and vegetal at first (cabbage, eggplant), and definitely very peppery as soon as extra. It jogs my memory a little bit of a brown chili beer that some younger brewers are making right here in our valley, when nobody’s watching. With water: no wait, it is truly moderately sweeter, moderately on cherries, kriek beer, Mon Chéri, chocolate, and moderately plenty of cracked pepper, if not chilli this time. End: lengthy, jammy and peppery. Chocolate, outdated boy’s jam and pepper liqueur. Chilli is again within the aftertaste. Feedback: it is fairly talkative, and never as rustic as I’d have thought.
SGP:561 – 85 factors.

Glenfarclas '105' (60%, OB, +/-2023)

Glenfarclas ‘105’ (60%, OB, +/-2023) Four stars and a half
Merely one among our favourites, whereas we’re following this expression carefully, like each two or three years. Color: pale gold. Wasn’t it darker, prior to now? Nostril: moderately extra on recent malt, recent fruit, earth and doughs, plus root greens aplenty. Artichokes and honey, turnips, moist wholegrain bread… To date, so good. With water: contact of pencil shaving, bark, stout, some ashes… Mouth: laborious to elucidate, I’d say this 105 has obtained extra Glenfarclasness than the ‘Heritage’. Large darkish malt, darkish honeys, cracked peppercorns, eggplants and Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips… Sufficient to make a beautiful gratin. Love this rusticity, at all times have, because the ‘104’ (however we tried the latter later). With water: high-class hipflask malt, supplied it is a stable silver flask. Or pure gold, why not. Every little thing’s instead, stability is ideal, energy is there, we’re completely satisfied as a gypsy at a world guitar present (or an beginner gardener at an historical rose exhibition). Proper, proper. End: Feedback: did they not additional enhance their 105? I believe it obtained slightly sweeter once more, after some drier (but glorious) latest batches.
SGP:651 – 88 factors.

Boy was that 105 loud and potent, I believe we’ll want an excellent single cask now…

Glenfarclas 15 yo 2001/2016 (58.2%, OB, for Asian Taste Buds Association, sherry, cask #2143)

Glenfarclas 15 yo 2001/2016 (58.2%, OB, for Asian Style Buds Affiliation, sherry, cask #2143) Four stars and a half
They know and love their heavier sherries in Asia. I am positive I’ve obtained some distant Asian ancestors too. Color: pink mahogany. Nostril: luxurious peonies, cedar shavings, blackberry jelly, armagnac, the moistest prunes, some hoisin sauce (there we go) and, at the start, plenty of cassis jelly, cream and liqueur. You can make royal kirs out of this one, simply add plenty of Bollinger. With water: fig wine, umeshu, armagnac and ‘vieille prune de Souillac’. Chances are you’ll test that out. Mouth (neat): extraordinarily wealthy, thick, shock-full of chocolate and crème de cassis, plus clove and cracked pepper. With water: sameish. The 105 with extra thicker sherry. End: very lengthy, heavy-not-cloying, this time with extra espresso and even a drop of salty hen bouillon. Performs along with your lips. Feedback: a type of impeccable middle-aged closely sherried Glenfarclas that may are likely to fly to the loveliest elements of Asia. I do know I might love to have the ability to try this too.
SGP:661 – 88 factors.

One other heavier, older SC, maybe…

Glenfarclas 29 yo 1992/2021 'Godzilla' (54.6%, OB for Whisky Mews, Hideo Yamaoka, Japan, 1st fill sherry butt, cask #2910, 541 bottles)

Glenfarclas 29 yo 1992/2021 ‘Godzilla’ (54.6%, OB for Whisky Mews, Hideo Yamaoka, Japan, 1st fill sherry butt, cask #2910, 541 bottles) Five stars
Our good friend Hideo on the helm this time, what might go unsuitable? Color: wealthy amber. Nostril: completely traditional, filled with praline, milk chocolate, Camels and Luckies, figs, dried jujubes, dates, outdated cognac… I discover it fairly lounge-y this far, ueber-classic in different phrases, and moderately within the fashion of a well-known Distillery in Craigellachie, though I do know comparability is not motive. With water: tiny herbs, tiny roots, tiny leaves, tiny flowers. Mouth (neat): it is unbelievable how shut we’re to ‘that’ Distillery. It is true that they have been correct rivals all alongside, have not they. Figs, raisins, fruitcake, tiny mentholy touches, liquorice, gentle earth, well-cured tobacco… With water: essentially the most treasured raisins coming out. End: not thaaaaat lengthy however good, in all raisinness and with slightly outdated candy wine. Feedback: a grand Ma… Glenfarclas. Extra Ryuichi Sakamoto (RIP) than Godzilla in the event you ask me, that’s to say all magnificence and refinement. Might be that the title ‘Godzilla’ had led us down the unsuitable observe initially, however that is simply us playing around.
SGP:651 – 91 factors.

Additional down the years…

Glenfarclas 1978/2022 (44.6%, OB, Family Casks, fourth-fill hogshead, cask #755, 84 bottles)

Glenfarclas 1978/2022 (44.6%, OB, Household Casks, fourth-fill hogshead, cask #755, 84 bottles) Five stars
From the summer season of 2022 launch. Hurray, a fourth-fill hogshead! Did Queen Victoria herself do the primary filling? Color: Meursault (what?) Nostril: instantly makes me consider an outdated ‘B’ from Dufftown, from related and even older vintages. Chic mirabelles, quinces and apricots, white flowers (acacia, woodruff), the noblest custard, some multi-floral meadow honey, and simply ‘a beehive within the midst of summer season’. Terrific, pure, elegant, entrancing nostril. Mouth: wait, is not this child both 43 or 44? As soon as extra it is filled with yellow fruits and flowers, honeys, nectars, beeswax, wrinkled outdated apples, sesame and pistachio halva, roasted sunflower seeds, then citrus (say citrons and bergamots). End: medium, extremely recent, very floral. Borage and edible pansies, I might say, so clearly, flower nectar. The bees are proper, they’re at all times proper. Feedback: there’s not solely sherry in Glenfarclas’ life. It was a like a beehive in my tasting glass, minus the stings – the glories of a number of refills!
SGP:651 – 92 factors.

That is actually getting vertical…

Glenfarclas 15 yo 1967/1983 (70°proof, Averys of Bristol, 75cl)

Glenfarclas 15 yo 1967/1983 (70°proof, Averys of Bristol, 75cl) Five stars
Like it that the outdated label would inform us that this whisky ‘was bought by Averys in 1967 from the distillery at Ben Rinnes’. Possibly as a result of they weren’t having any iPhones, emails or MS-Excel sheets again then? Comfortable instances, do not you suppose? Having mentioned that we have solely tried a Glenfarclas by Averys as soon as, it was a smoky 1969 for the Corti Brothers in California. Nice-not-grand in my guide (WF 88). Color: white wine. Nostril: whiffs of outdated cash and toolbox at first, then stewed apples and a contact of cabbage (no sulphur although), then white chocolate, salty popcorn (no caramel), morels, humus, autumn leaves, white ham, cider and riesling, cranberries, grouse… Fairly some OBE, I’d suppose, however the core remained immaculate. Nice vintages all over the place, these mid-late sixties.  Mouth: oh, energy was stored, there’s this smoke, this saltiness, these bouillons and soups, some suet maybe, soot for positive, all types of dried and candied fruits stored in some outdated tin packing containers, then tiny liquoricy herbs, dill, fennel, aniseed, additionally watercress… End: not too lengthy ‘in fact’ however nonetheless very nicely alive, filled with these small herbs, coated with outdated oils and waxes. Typical good OBE. Feedback: assigning a rating to an outdated whisky like it is a bit pretentious, because the emotional facet performs a big position. Let’s attempt to stay considerably impartial, if we could say so. It is like these outdated actresses who will stay stunning without end.
SGP:341 – 90 factors.

I believe it is time we have now a really final one. Please…

Glenfarclas 21 yo (43%, OB, USA, 75cl, 1980s)

Glenfarclas 21 yo (43%, OB, USA, 75cl, Eighties) Five stars
I believe the status of those outdated official square-bottled variations is well-established. They was once fairly simple to search out, however as we speak all people is aware of that the juices might be totally splendid, no matter their ages. In all probability late-Nineteen Fifties-early-Nineteen Sixties distillate right here. Color: deep gold. Nostril: oh, nice outdated chardonnay, mead, dried figs and cigars, with earths and leaves within the background. There’s additionally a surprising waxiness (beeswax) and slightly pine resin and cough syrup. It nearly seems like they re-steeped the grist or draff within the wash earlier than distillation – however who would try this and the way? Did we point out small Turkish figs, by the way in which? Mouth: the smallest OBE (silver, chalk), then espresso, chocolate, candy soups (caramelised onion), outdated triple-sec, marinade, extra figs… It remained extremely potent in any case these years, if slightly tertiary. Strikes in the direction of outdated rum in some unspecified time in the future, which I discover unbelievable, and even towards outdated Belgian trappiste beer, you recognize people who mature within the bottle. End: certainly not the longest ever, however there may be nonetheless plenty of vitality and a ravishing definition. Briefly, dried figs. Feedback: we will most likely undertake a conservative scoring strategy as soon as once more, as we face one other moderately legendary outdated whisky. No, as soon as extra we cannot care about its (very) minor flaws.
SGP:541 – 90 factors.

Eleven ‘farclas, that is the utmost quantity. I wasn’t hoping we would go this far, however I am glad we did.

(Thanks so much Aaron/LMDW, Andy/whiskyprism and the MMs)







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