Tag Archives: Glenfarclas

A Speyside Distillery 16 Year Old (TWE Black Friday Whisky) Review

Black Friday descends upon us and while it started as a pure brick and mortar retail event in USA, thanks to international commerce and online shops taking a hike on this day (in addition to Cyber Monday), we’re flooded with all kind of deals, including deals on whisky from reputable web shops around the world, including Scotland and England.

The Whisky Exchange shop took this one step forward and also released a special whisky to celebrate this day. A 16 year old whisky from single sherry butt hailing from a family owned distillery in the Speyside region which doesn’t allow independent bottlers to use its name (Glen *cough* *cough* as).

A total of 582 bottles were produced from this sherry butt, bottled at cask strength of 54.6% and on sale exclusively on TWE website.

A Speyside Distillery 16 Year Old (TWE Black Friday Whisky, 54.6%, 582 bottles, £59.95)

Nose: At first it smells young relatively to its age with strong malt, barley and vanilla notes. Then we some sherry notes joins the party in the form of a sweet dried fruit topping . After a few minutes the dried fruit gets stronger and are joined by mellow cinnamon, nutmeg, red currants and milk chocolate. With water: more vanilla and malt, milk chocolate, some ‘straight’ fruitiness with almost no dried fruit. Continue reading

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Whisky Review: Glenfarclas 25 Year Old (Blind Tasting Competition 2015 #1)

It’s December, that time of the year with holidays in the western world, and the annual blind tasting competition of the Dutch Usquebaugh Society club. Last year I participated for the 1st time and managed to finish at the very respectable 21st place and I hope to retain that place or improve upon it a bit but I’m afraid it will be harder this year 🙂

Today’s the first dram of the competition, so we know zlich about it. We can’t even eliminate a whisky zone like in the other days, supposedly making it the hardest guess. But as you can see from the notes below, I immediately thought of Glen Garioch with that ginger spicy note and so I trusted my gut feeling and guessed Glen Garioch. But which bottling? Can they dare and go for the club bottling that most of the participators have and tried? what age? what ABV?  There’s some oh so slight peatiness so if it’s Glen Garioch, it has to predate 1996, making it at least 20 year old. It felt quite matured but the spiciness can mislead so I went for 22 year old (maybe I should have go for 25?). ABV? It’s strong, and I can’t point at a specific bottling so I guessed 55%. Will I get some points?

Update: Bah! It’s Glenfarclas 25 Year old at 43%. I wasn’t far from the true age and totally failed with the ABV. Also, Glenfarclas 25? I did have it in the past and even reviewed it as part of Glenfarcas vertical tasting here but this one has barely any sherry influence – maybe composition changed a bit since I bought it 2 years ago? At least I did get some points and that’s a successful day in my book!

Glenfarclas 25 Year Old (43%, £108/€99.95 (NL only)/€119.99)

glenfarclas-25Nose: Starts spicy with lots of ginger and honey. hints of peat and smoke. It’s a bit chewy and resinous and I feel dryness below the surface with dry, dark yet sweet honey and limestone/minerals. Slowly it gets fruity with red apples, pears, mild apricots and peaches and after a lot of time in the glass, red berries and a bit of chocolate. Further on: candied oranges. Continue reading

Glendarroch 1967 41 year old Review and Notes: In some cases age doesn’t matter

In a tasting with some local whisky maniacs, one of them brought this bottle: Glendarroch 1967 41 year old and immediately it piqued my interest. It was clear it comes from a distillery who doesn’t want its name on independent bottlings and so I believe there’s a good chance it’s Genfarclas. It’s a 750ml bottle so its geared toward USA market, bottled in 2009 by Duncan Taylor’s prestigious Lonach range.

This range is tribute to the Lonach Gathering (an annual Clan Gathering held at Strathdon in the Highlands of Scotland). In celebration of the Gathering, the Lonach range of exceptional single malt whiskies represents a collection of some of the finest whiskies from Scotland’s leading malt whisky distilleries. The Lonach range provides a vatting of two casks from one particular distillery, each cask type provides its own particular character to the whisky. Occasionally over- and under-strength casks are vatted together. To commemorate each passing year, Duncan Taylor releases a limited number of bottles, specifically to celebrate the Gathering in August. These are exclusively available at the Lonach Gathering for Clansmen and visitors alike.

Glendarroch 1967 41 year old (41.4%)

SAMSUNGNose: Old, dusty, sweet apples galore with a dash of lemon, honey – very sweet nose but also very flat and not complex. Might be an inactive cask? Continue reading

Whisky Review – Glenfarclas 1996-2009 13 Year Old

It’s almost end of year and 2015 is peeping in and the mandatory end of year summary posts (which I’ll do mine later this week) are already pouring in. But before I sit down and write it, how about another festive dram review? Here’s a youngish Glenfarclas for you, a 13 year old, distilled in 1996 and bottled 2009. It’s a vatting of 12 casks: 680-684, 1488, 7024-7029 which yielded 6000 bottles at 46%.

Glenfarclas mastered the sherried whiskies business and this one isn’t out of line.

Whisky Review – Glenfarclas 1996 13 Year Old (46%)

SAMSUNGNose: Fresh and young nose but not too young as there’s no evident new make notes. It’s sherried to the max and very sugary sweet but not overly so.  Strawberry, cinnamon and there’s some bitterness that hides below all that sweet sherry.
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Whisky Review & Tasting notes – Indie Glenfarclas: SMWS 1.156 & TWE Ballindaloch 2001

Indie Glenfarclas bottlings are rare, so rare that you will not find an IB bottling with Glenfarclas name on it

glenfarclas-visitors_center

However, it’s not the entire truth – there are some indie Glenfarclas bottlings available, just not under the Glenfarclas name. Usually it will be using the “Ballindaloch” name (soon to be a real distillery) as Glenfarclas resides in the Ballindaloch area in Speyside, or in the case of SMWS bottlings, it will be using the distillery code 1 and SMWS will never tell us it’s a Glenfarclas (at least not officially).

Two weeks ago in a local event we managed to taste two indie Glenfarclas: SMWS 1.156 New York Cheesecake which is a 11 year old whisky from ex-bourbon cask and a TWE hand-fill from the cask TWE Ballindaloch 2001 vintage filled on 27.4.14 (12 year old).

During the tasting, a theory was brought up that those indie casks are available (even if rarely) only when the cask profile doesn’t fit the Glenfarclas style. Interesting theory, ah? Let’s dive into the tasting notes and check it.

SMWS 1.156 New York Cheesecake (63.2%, 219 bottles)

SAMSUNGNose: Kicking, fresh and spirity with lots of fields and hey notes, vanilla, coconut and green fruits. Adding few drops of water reveals some lemony syrup, peels of citrus while turning it even more more spirity.

Palate: coconut, vanilla, bit of sweet lemonade, green apples. With water the lemon turns into pickled lemon and some oak is showing up.

Finish: lingering sweetness, lemon, coconut, some oak bittersweet. slightly bitter almonds, but less so with water.

Ballindaloch 2001, 12 yo (59.2%, filled on 27.4.14)

SAMSUNGNose: Fruity and floral, elder flowers, vanilla, dried banana slices.

Palate: Oh my this is pretty much undrinkable neat as it’s too harsh and fierce so water must be added. After it was tamed with water it felt sweet, floral, bit of oak and some raisins.

Finish: Short medium, oak, and some lingering sweetness

 

 

Conclusion: Well, those were two totally different casks and they both completely deviates from the known and familiar Glenfarclas taste profile so it does fits the theory even if it’s not a 100% proof. Out of those two, I preferred the SMWS 1.156. Despite the fact it’s ex-bourbon cask it provided the better whisky experience.

Whisky Review – Glenfarclas Vertical Part 2: 105, 21yo & 25yo

This is the 2nd part of my small Glenfarclas vertical tasting. (Part one is here).

glenfarclas-glass

From the lower-end of the official bottling we liked the 15 yo the best although the 12 yo has nothing to be ashamed of.

But what about the 105 bottling – only 10 year old but also cask strength? And the older siblings?

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Whisky Review – Glenfarclas Vertical Part 1: 10yo, 12yo & 15yo

When I toured in Scotland last October, we were under serious time constraints so we passed near so many distilleries we wanted to visit and it was really heart breaking for us. But for Glenfarclas distillery we broke the rule and stopped by for some R&R D&S (dramming and shopping in case you wonder…:) ). Come on, you can’t totally skip Glenfarclas.

glenfarclas-entrance

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