The Glenfarclas distillery in Speyside is a great favourite of mine, as are the malts it produces. While I normally shy away from heavily sherried whiskies, for some reason most of the range that this family-owned distillery produce really hit home for me.
I visited last year and managed to try a huge variety in a tasting with George Grant – the company’s brand ambassador and great-great-great grandson of the original owner. My firm favourite has been the 15-year old but the 105 cask strength is also up there.
The company has a large range, including something called The Family Casks, which started out with one bottling of single cask whisky from each year from 1952 to 1994 and now includes seven more releases. If you’re ever in London’s Soho and near The Vintage House, the members’ club upstairs (the Soho Whisky Club) has them all displayed. So, when the folks at specialist wine and spirits merchants Nickolls & Perks told me they had bottled a 2003 selection for their customers, I was keen to give it a try.
This 2003 Glenfarclas was bottled at 57.5% and comes from cask #1448. Here’s what I thought of it:
(N): Almond cake, chewy grainy marzipan, a bit of chocolate and a nice bite because of the higher abv. More orange peel notes come out with water.
(P): A surprising lack of burn on the palate makes for quite a suave whisky. Notes of juicy oranges to start with sherry kick that follows. Mid-sip there is brown sugar and sour plums. With water some bitter notes emerge with addition of dark chocolate, orange and cinnamon.
(F): Woody oranges
This is a lovely bottling from Glenfarclas and while it’s not my favourite (the 15 continues to hold that spot) it is intriguing and very palatable.
For more information on the whisky, including George Grant’s tasting notes and how to order, head here.