Tag Archives: Glenfarclas

Glenfarclas 1989 29 Year Old (Edition No.23 Jakob I.)

Today’s subject is a shiny Glenfarclas which just happens to be the latest link in a series that honors Scottish figures that started back in 1996.

The 23rd edition in the series honours the Scottish king Jakob I. (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625):

Charles James was the son of Maria Stuart and her second husband’s Lord Darnley. When his mother had to resign one year after his birth, he was appointed Scottish king under the name Jakob/James VI. on 24 July 1567. But after Elisabeth I. died without children in 1603, he also received the crown of England and Ireland on 24 March 1603 and was known since then as James I.

This edition is a 29 Year Old Glenfarclas distilled back in 1989 andit was bottled at 46%.

Glenfarclas 1989 29 Year Old (Edition No.23 Jakob I.) (46%, 168,90)

Nose: Dried fruit, mostly sweet with a bit sour fruits thrown in, quite fresh and light, bright cherries, strawberry, low-key oak spice after all that time, cinnamon, more sour fruitiness (with tropic bearing), a very pleasant nose. Continue reading


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

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.
Continue reading

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


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).


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?

Continue reading

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.


Continue reading

Whisky news – Auchentoshan Silveroak, Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2013 and Glenfarclas 1953 Queen’s Coronation

Well, this week was REAL flowing with news. 2nd post this week with more great whiskies announced. Slainte!


glenfarclas1953_specialitydrinksSpeciality Drinks Ltd will launch their latest bottling today.  A very special crystal decanter filled with a single cask 1953 vintage Glenfarclas Single Malt Whisky, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne upon the death of her father, King George VI, on 6th February 1952, and was proclaimed Queen shortly thereafter.  As tradition dictated that an appropriate period of mourning should be observed for the preceding sovereign, the coronation was held more than a year later on 2nd June 1953.

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of this historic occasion, we are proud to introduce The Coronation Decanter. With just 60 specially commissioned crystal decanters being released, this is an exceptional, exclusive bottling that reflects the importance of The Queen’s Coronation.

The outstanding whisky has been matured in a single sherry butt at the distillery in Ballindalloch for almost six full decades and has been bottled at its natural strength.  Only the natural elements of air, wood and time have influenced the development of its magnificent flavour profile.

Connoisseurs of fine whisky will recognise the rarity of any single malt reaching such a  great age; for the whisky to still  be in such amazing condition is little short of miraculous.  This remarkable sherry cask has yielded a whisky of unsurpassed quality, with an exquisitely refined array of rich and complex flavours.

Tasting notes:

Nose  –  At first concentrated dark fruit, macadamia nuts and orange liqueur. Baked apples and raisins develop in the glass for a more subtle style of whisky, while shiitake mushrooms, autumn leaves and sandalwood add a wonderful savoury aspect. Spiced cake and dried fruit provide a balancing sweetness.

Palate  –  An initial launch into clove studded oranges and mulled wine, with fragrant arabica coffee, dark chocolate and umami. The flavours then lighten and lead towards an explosion of fruit – ripe mango and guava are balanced by grapefruit and juicy mandarin. Behind this, gentle honey sweetness and barley sugar combine with ground nutmeg and cinnamon to give a complex and rounded body. Given time, tarragon and cedar wood compliment leafy mint and cooked blackberries.

Finish  –  Soft orchard fruit and bread pudding linger on the palate, with touches of hazelnut, fresh mint and citrus juice leaving you ready for another sip.

Sukhinder Singh, Director of Speciality Drinks, says: “We are delighted to launch The Coronation Decanter to celebrate The Queen’s 60th regal anniversary.  This whisky really is exceptional, it reminds me of a citrus, spiced Christmas pudding. The depth and range of flavour in this whisky really is extremely rare for its age and has only been achieved on few occasions.  We have presented it in a beautiful crystal decanter that we had specially crafted solely for this one-off release.  As there are only 60 bottles being produced, this is not only a fantastic investment opportunity for the avid collectors and enthusiasts but more importantly, it is a Single Malt the connoisseurs from around the world will truly appreciate.”

The Coronation Decanter is available to buy exclusively from The Whisky Exchange (www.thewhiskyexchange.com) with an RRP of £6000.  It is not unjust to say that this is  extraordinary value for a Single Malt of such a great age.

Auchentoshan Launches Silveroak 1990 Exclusively for Travel Retail

auchentoshan_silveroakAuchentoshan, Scotland’s only triple distilled Single Malt Scotch Whisky, will add to its travel retail range with a new limited edition release of the Auchentoshan Silveroak 1990. Following on from the success of the first batch of Silveroak, this limited second release of the 1990 vintage has been matured for an additional year making it 22-years-old. Therefore the second release of the Auchentoshan Silveroak expression demonstrates the increase in complexity associated with longer maturation.

Established in 1823, Auchentoshan triple distils every drop meaning the spirit produced reaches 81.5% ABV, significantly higher than most distilleries in Scotland. The lightness of the liquid enables it to absorb every characteristic it is exposed to in the cask. It is this smooth distillate paired with the carefully selected oak casks that gives Auchentoshan an unmistakably light and fruity flavour. The Auchentoshan Silveroak is no exception to this rule.

Auchentoshan Master Blender Rachel Barrie says “Having spent an additional year maturing in fine North American bourbon and Spanish Oloroso sherry casks, the 2013 bottling of Auchentoshan Silveroak reveals additional complexity which lifts the taste with silky oak, mint and almonds.”

Boasting the same classically modern livery as its peers in the Auchentoshan Travel Retail range, the new Silveroak 1990 carton is masculine yet elegant. As with the liquid inside, the oak casks are the stars of the show on the pack. The North American bourbon and Spanish Oloroso sherry casks are pictured on three sides of the carton, reflecting how the flavours from the sweet bourbon oak perfectly compliment that of the rich Oloroso sherry.

Official Tasting notes:
To the eye: 
Rich golden.
To the nose: Honeysuckle and jasmine with traces of baked banana, spearmint and silky oak.
To the palate: Elegant and refined with apricot filo pastry, icing sugar and liquorice.
The finish: Creamy cappuccino, cooling mint and sugared almonds.

There will be 300 8.4ltr cases of Auchentoshan Silveroak 1990 available globally in a range of international airports priced at £90.00 with an ABV of 50.9%.

For more information visit www.auchentoshan.co.uk

Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2013 Announced

btac_2013_sBuffalo Trace Distillery earned a gold medal at the last year’s International Wine and Spirits Competition for its 2012 Antique Collection. Late this month, whiskey aficionados will be able to sample its latest candidate when the Frankfort, KY, distiller releases its latest collection.

The Antique Collection was introduced more than a decade ago and has become a favorite among whiskey collectors. The 2013 whiskeys will be available in limited quantities starting in late September or early October at a suggested retail price of $70 each. Once again, the collection features five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. They are:

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old

The 2013 edition of this bourbon was distilled in the spring of 1993 and has been aging since then 19-year-old white American oak barrels.

George T. Stagg

The 2012 release of this perennial favorite was named the “World’s Best North American Whiskey” at the 2013 World Whiskies Awards. This year’s release of uncut, unfiltered bourbon was distilled in the spring of 1997. It is 128.2 proof (64.1% abv), not as strong as some years. It has been stored on lower floors of the aging warehouse, which means cooler temperatures there kept the proof down slightly.

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

Last year’s release was awarded a 95 rating and Liquid Gold Award in Jim Murray’s 2013 Whisky Bible. This 2013 rye whiskey release is considered dry and mellow.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye

This is an uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. The 2012 edition was named “World Whisky of the Year” in Jim Murray’s 2013 Whisky Bible. This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2007, and comes in at 128.4 proof (64.2% abv).

William Larue Weller

This is the collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon. The previous edition was named the “Second Finest Whisky in the World” in Jim Murray’s 2013 Whisky Bible. The 2013 offering was distilled in the spring of 2001 and registers at 136.2 proof (68.1% abv).

Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company with a tradition that dates to 1786 and includes such distilling legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.