Sunday, July 24, 2011

Glenfarclas 25yr

stats: single malt scotch, Speyside, 86 proof, $110

Well, so much for my vow to update the blog at least once a week. It’s been a hectic, stressful month, and I don’t like to force a post when I’m feeling uninspired – the quality just isn’t there. And, I’m diverting from my plan to alternate between writing about the whisk(e)y laws of various countries and reviews of related whiskies. Why? Because the motivation to write has come upon me in the form of a bottle of 25yr Glenfarclas.

Glenfarclas is one of the few independent single malt distilleries left in Scotland, and has been owned by the same family since 1865. It caught my attention a few years ago when I noticed favorable reviews in Michael Jackson’s Complete Guide To Single Malt Scotch, and some very reasonable prices. I’ve been fortunate to sample the 21yr, 17yr, Cask Strength and 12yr since then, and my latest acquisition is the 25yr. Many Scotch fans are unaware of Glenfarclas due to a minimal investment in marketing. Of course, that allows them to keep prices low even though the quality is stunning across their line. By contrast, the heavily marketed Macallan has their 25yr priced at $600 a bottle.

The nose is dense and chewy, with malty aromas. On the palate it is unexpectedly fiery up front, but backed up with lengthy flavor development. This is a rich, viscous Scotch, with the longest finish that I’ve experienced in a whisky that isn’t at cask strength and/or heavily peated. It has great density with a balanced interplay of malt, oak and sherry influences. It manages to come across as being sophisticated, while at the same time retaining plenty of backbone. This bottle may evaporate a bit more quickly than many of the others in my collection.

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