Glenfarclas

Review: Glenfarclas 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

Glenfarclas 25 2.jpg
ABV
43%
Aging
25 years; Oloroso Sherry Casks
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Glenfarclas (Ballindaloch, Scotland)

Another Glenfarclas matured exclusively in Oloroso sherry casks, and for 25 years - so it has lots of time to pick up all the spicy richness stored in European oak.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L 28 04 14 3 10:4 88

  • Bottling Date: ~2015

The nose is very interesting – darkly spicy, with lots of clove, star anise, coriander seed, brown cardamom, and bitter oak – and yet this is contrasted with a light-spirited white grape sitting over the whole thing. Hazelnuts and almonds also here – it is entirely different than the 17 year old I recently reviewed. There is even a bit of earthy, smoky, peat like character very slightly in the background – and some fresh broccoli. On the palate, it is lightly fruity, primarily, with grape and gooseberry – but loaded with the same dark spice and some chillies in a very long, developing palate. There is a rumbling, earthy and fruity finish with lots of buckwheat, grape, clove, and nutmeg. I really like it. Frankly, a bit surprised given the previous expressions of Glenfarclas that I’ve tasted – it’s not as overloaded on the sherry, but is quite a bit more balanced and intriguing.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low, at $200 - even for a good bottle of old scotch (and the cheaper side of 25 year olds) this doesn’t quite cut it for me. But I don’t like to buy most bottles that cost more than $100.


Review: Glenfarclas 17 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
43%
Aging
17 years; Oloroso Sherry Casks
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Glenfarclas (Ballindaloch, Scotland)

An older sherry matured whisky that has had quite the love at spirits competitions - it sits as the fourth level of aged glenfarclas after the 10,12, and 15 year old - once again the result of 100% oloroso sherry cask maturation - not something you usually see.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L 06 03 14 3 06:19 88

  • Bottling Date: ~2015

Interesting, rich, and very complex. Layers of honey, blackberry, lots of parmesan notes, caraway, white grape, some really nice rancio notes interwoven without them being fully immersed in the sherry. Also a bit of bubblegum-like candy to it. A nice full spicy finish, leaving behind a bit of fino sherry as well. I'm not sold on some of the cheesy flavours though, though this affects the nose more than anything else – but it does knock my score down 2 points. Regardless, a very nice whisky.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low, at $137.


Review: Glenfarclas 10 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
10 years; Oloroso Sherry Casks
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Glenfarclas (Ballindaloch, Scotland)

Glenfarclas is one of the few distilleries left which is a "family" distillery - not owned by a massive corporations. This has enabled them to present their whiskies very well, not generally compromosing - as can be seen from this 10 year old, the youngest whisky in their core range, being matured in 100% sherry casks (which are expensive!). And, if something changes, it is usually stated (i.e. rather than go NAS they just lowered the age statement). They were licensed for production fairly early (1836; the first was Glenlivet in 1823), and they are known for using a lot of sherry in their spirit production.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2014

Spicy, but with some brilliant grape lightening up the whisky and some very nice dried fruit – prunes, raisins and lots of figs. A very nice balance between the spiciness and the dried fruit – quite a brilliant nose, in fact. It is, just a touch, raw and young, which does detract slightly – but it is almost there - and is more of the quality of a grappa than of a raw, oily new make whisky distillate. There’s also a touch of good dirty earthiness – which I quite like in my whiskies. The palate is quite full, with layers of honey coming through alongside figs and brown sugar. Light tannins emerge on the finish alongside the honey, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a touch of oak. This score would be up to 84 if it didn’t smell a bit raw on the nose – but as you can see it didn’t affect my score very much.

Value: Average (based on $60)