So there we were after sipping on the lovely 15 yo, and ready for the heavier cannons so to speak, in terms of age, and ABV (the 105). But before more dramming was to take place, Robert poured two wee samples into two glasses, both were cask samples aged 10 yo, the only (and very evident) difference was that one was matured in an Oloroso cask while the other was matured in “plain” (read: ex-bourbon) cask.
Left: Oloroso aged 10 yo cask sample, Right: Plain casks 10 yo cask sample
You seldom come across a non sherried Glenfarclas, and it was quite the experience of nosing (and afterwards tasting) how different the spirit has become aged in those quite different style casks. Whisky Geek like yours truly do take great interest in such comparisons. Anyways, I’ve not written tasting notes for those cask samples, but both were delicious, and at cask strength, they were even better!
We then continued to our next dram : the 21 year old.
Nose: A very sweet nose to start with, sugary, dried fruit in sweet and thick nectar, and hints of smoke, apple and some orange peel.
Palate:Very rewarding and mouth coating, smoothness is the game here, with added spices, smoke honey and dried fruit and tobacco.
Finish: Long, rich and sweet,on the dried fruit and honey.
A hedonistic dram, smooth sweet, and lovely. Available in Israel online HERE
We now proceeded to strongest of all core line GF, the 105. It’s not aged for 105 years, but rather gets its name from the 105 proof (60%) alcohol it’s bottled at. Some 105 used to be NAS, but since the new packaging , this is not a NAS anymore (against all market trends, and we love it!) and is bottled at 10 years of age. I’m a big big fan of this dram, and It’s always a pleasure to retaste this one.
Nose: Nice melange of flavours, from oak through orchard fruit, and ending on caramel and toffee, with hints of dried fruit and coffee too.
Palate: Spicy oak, dried fruit, coffee, cigar leaves, dark chocolate, and cinnamon.
Finish:Long, spicy, peppery , a wee hint of peat.
A cracking dram. for 41 quid it’s a good deal and delivers what it promises. Big Big ‘Farclas.
we moved straight to the 25 year old, and a hefty glass of water and some bread to cleanse the palate from the sheer power of the 105.
Nose: Marmalade, some citrus notes as well, very sweet however, with hints of dark chocolate and coffee, orange and biscuits.
Palate: Sweet, spicy, with pepper and exotic fruit, very interesting indeed.
Finish: Long, marmalade and dark chocolate.
The 30 year old is also sold over here, but we skipped that one (too many as it is). I am quite familiar with the 30, having an open bottle (sadly, almost gone) I picked up a couple of years ago. Prices were quite cheaper then even for this very affordable distillery, mind you. So stock up, if you don’t you’ll end up paying more next year, as long as this whisky surge / bubble keeps on .
We finished with the 40 year old, which is just spectacular, and taking its fairly “low” price into consideration , it is maybe the only affordable whisky in that age range out there, and it’s brilliant. a HP 40, or Macallan 40 (if you can find one) will cost you an arm an a leg, and for less than 300 EUR, you could be the happy owner of one. (I’m not getting paid to say that. it’s just true).
Nose: This is old stuff alright. Classic old oak nose, with varnish, balsamic vinegar and macadamia nuts, old church benches, library tables, Wood spice, Cinnamon and nutmeg, some pipe tobacco with the expected sherry notes of prunes, and dates , deep, and needs time to open up. I dare say we did not give this beauty the time it needed. It has got so many more facets for you to explore.
Palate: Majestic oak , Sherry notes of prunes , plums and a touch of bitter chocolate and prune jam, espresso cocoa and some macadamia nuts. A little tingle on the tongue. Big bodied and creamy feeling.
Finish: Long on coffee and chocolate, not as oaky as one would think a 40 year old to be, but just right.
This is a stunningly good whisky. I’m adding some points for affordability too.
This has been a grand tasting event, so lovely to get to taste the malt as it ages from a youngster of 8 years of age to a middle aged 40 year old whisky. Just fabulous.
Many thanks to Glenfarclas and to Robert Ransom for hosting this event, and thanks to ‘Shaked’ for the hospitality and for bringing this splendid range of whiskies to Israel. Let’s hope more brands are on their way (I well know some are, Including Arran!!, which is just around the corner).
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