Google Young Glenfarclas on the table

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

March 30, 2020



The Confined Sessions
Young Glenfarclas
on the table

Not that we aren’t tasting a lot of old ones mind you, but those rather tend to come as ‘Secret Speysiders’ these days. I’m really not sure that’s good, but not my business. Right…

Glenfarclas 12 yo (43%, OB, +/-2019)

Glenfarclas 12 yo (43%, OB, +/-2019) Two stars
As a reference. Last time we tried the rather lighter and less sherried 12 that was in 2016 (WF 82). Colour: gold. Nose: not totally a fan I have to say. A feeling of Tio Pepe, smoky porridge, papier mâché, geranium, polenta… That’s all a tad bizarre, I agree, let’s check the palate… Mouth: there’s Glenfarclas’s firmness, but it’s a little harsh and bizarrely disjointed. Hot eau-de-vie, porridge, pepper from the oak, Fanta, chamomile tea… Finish: medium, drying and cardboardy at first, a little better towards the aftertaste (triple-sec). Comments: not sure what to think. It’s very rustic malt whisky, I would say, more rustic than it used to be in any case.
SGP:351 - 76 points.

Glenfarclas 2010/2019 ‘City Hunter’ (60.4%, OB, Whisky Mew Japan, sherry butt, cask #1497)

Glenfarclas 2010/2019 ‘City Hunter’ (60.4%, OB, Whisky Mew Japan, sherry butt, cask #1497) Four stars and a half
This very J-designed Glenfarclas was selected by Hideo Yamaoka. Did you know that Hideo used to be a member of the famous band ‘Pizzicato 5’ in his not-so-distant youth? Colour: deep gold. Nose: much more classic GF, with just the faintest amount of gunpowder and then an avalanche of orange blossom, sultanas, small dried Turkish figs, some pastry dough (between panettone and kougelhopf, let’s call that a kougettone ;-)) and really a perfect bready development. There’s nothing better than good bread, they say, well there’s not better whisky than whisky that smells of good bread then. With water: turns to unfiltered manzanilla! Mouth (neat): just excellent. Both heavy and light, very sherried, meaty and chocolaty, with some kind of raisin + orange mix and a pretty grassy development towards green pepper and juniper. With water: game, set and match. Figs, marmalade, dough, nutmeg, and no unnecessary heaviness. Finish: long, more on proper chocolate and coffee. Marmalade back in the aftertaste, s well as a we ‘old-school’ meaty maltiness. Comments: omedetou! (hope that word doesn’t have any double meaning…)
SGP:562 - 89 points.

Glenfarclas 9 yo 2009/2019 (59.4, OB for Le Gus’t, sherry hogshead, cask #1797, 320 bottles)

Glenfarclas 9 yo 2009/2019 (59.4, OB for Le Gus’t, sherry hogshead, cask #1797, 320 bottles) Four stars
Colour: golden amber. Nose: good example of a sherry cask that was most probably quite fresh, since some clear oaky tones are still flying over a combination of dried fruits (figs, raisins) and some sweet meats, Thai-style. Chicken with mango sauce, perhaps. So beyond the obvious pencil shavings here this is a very nice nose. With water: very craft, whatever that means! Well that means with high oak influence, while that would be top-quality oak. Spicy bread and such. Mouth (neat): not the first time a sherried Scotch malt reminds me of a top-of-range bourbon. Coconut liqueur, mint, cloves, pepper, turmeric, ginger… And even rye, mind you! May we see the papers? With water: more of all that. I would even dare say that the distillate is of secondary importance here. Finish: long, excellent, very ‘craft’ indeed. We’re thinking Westland, Smögen, Hautes-Glaces, those guys. Comments: very surprising, and very good. A whisky all in trompe-l’oeil, in a way. Good fun!
SGP:472 - 87 points.

We have zillions of GFs yet to taste but this is not the time. Still, perhaps an older vintage before we call this a session…

Glenfarclas 40 yo 1976/2016 (43.7%, OB, Oloroso sherry, 1500 bottles)

Glenfarclas 40 yo 1976/2016 (43.7%, OB, Oloroso sherry, 1500 bottles) Five stars
I remember the very first 1976 ‘Family Cask’ had been absolutely stellar (WF 92) but this is another range, small batches cunningly called ‘The Family Collector Series’ according to the excellent folks at TWE. Colour: amber. Nose: very very funny. Tapioca, crude chocolate, ristretto, very old balsamic vinegar, manuka honey (we often quote manuka honey but this one DOES totally smell of manuka honey) and a bouquet of wisteria. It is extremely unusual with this hyper-honeyed profile, I’m very curious about the palate. Mouth: bingo honey, bingo pollen, bingo beeswax, and bingo apricot and quince jam. In the background, more Timut pepper than in the whole of Nepal. Let’s say pink pepper, which is not quite pepper by the way, but there. Reeks of grapefruit. Pink grapefruit, of course. Finish: long, feeling stronger than just 43.7, and absolutely gorgeous with these unexpected notes of ripe strawberries. Comments: fantastic Glenfarclas, with a very unusual profile. But 1976 was another great vintage for fruity Speysiders (think Benriach). Now do we really believe in vintage effects with whisky?
SGP:651 - 92 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glenfarclas we've tasted so far







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