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Glenfarclas Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky

Glenfarclas is renowned for producing Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky in the traditional Speyside style, with a heavy Sherry influence. A wide range of expressions are produced from the mouthwatering freshness of the 10 Years Old, to the indulgent 30 Years Old. One of the delights of Glenfarclas is exploring the subtle differences between the varied expressions. Below please read the tasting notes for each product written by George S. Grant, Vice President and Sixth Generation.

Water of Life- From Grain to Glass

Three essential ingredients are required to deliver the distinctive character of Glenfarclas Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky; pure spring water, malted barley and yeast. These, along with the Grant’s family commitment to traditional distillation methods, and use of unique shaped Glenfarclas copper pot stills add to this award winning whisky. Finally, Glenfarclas is aged in specially selected Sherry butts and oak casks that are stored in ideally located antique warehouses with dirt floors and low ceilings. The whisky is bottled at natural color.

Recent Glenfarclas Accolades

  • 2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition- 5 Double Gold Medals:
    • Glenfarclas 12 Years Old, Glenfarclas 17 Years Old, Glenfarclas 21 Years Old, Glenfarclas 25 Years Old, Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength
  • 2006 Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky- Distiller of the Year
  • Guinness Book of World Records listed Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength as the World’s Strongest Whisky

Glenfarclas Tasting Notes by George S. Grant…

10 Years Old (40% Alc by Vol.)
Color: Vibrant straw-gold.

Nose: Tempting sherry-sweet malty tones combine with delicate smokiness, releasing subtle spices. Warming the glass reveals honey, vanilla and pear drops.

Flavor: Delicately light, with a mouth-watering combination of maltiness, smokiness and sherry sweetness. Hints of dried fruit, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves tempt the taste buds further.

Finish: Long, smooth and spicy, with a delicious, yet delicate, lingering smokiness.

Comment: Gloriously smooth, yet with the depth and finish you would normally only expect of a much older dram. A wonderfully sherried whisky and an excellent aperitif.

12 Years Old (43% Alc by Vol.)
Color: Vibrant amber-gold.

Nose: Fresh and beautifully light, sherried fruit combined with a tempting spicy sweetness and a hint of sappy oak.

Flavor: Full bodied, delightful sherried fruit, with oak, a hint of peat and delicious sweet sensations.

Finish: Long and flavorsome, with a lingering spiciness.

Comment: An excellent introduction to the distillery style. Glenfarclas means Glen of the Green Grassland, and the freshness on the nose reminds me of grassland in spring. So, for me, this is the ‘farclas’ aroma. In 2006 this was named the ‘Best Sherried Whisky’ in the Single Malt World Cup. More recently Glenfarclas 12 Years Old won Gold at the 2007 Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival.

17 Years Old (43% Alc by Vol.)
Color:  Rich amber.

Nose:   Complex, with distinctive butterscotch, sherried fruit and peat smoke aromas.

Flavor:  Big, full-flavored, with excellent balance, develops slowly, full of sherry sweet malty tones, and a touch peat smoke.

Finish:  Long lasting and smooth, with a hint of spice and sherry sweetness.

Comment: Hints of oak, complexity but finely balanced. Combines the smoothness of our younger whiskies with the greater depth of our older expressions.

21 Years Old (43% Alc by Vol.)
Color: Dark amber-gold.

Nose: Intense, full of aromas – sherried fruit, tropical fruit, nutmeg and almonds with slight citrus notes at the end, all held together with a vanilla sweet smokiness.

Flavor: Full bodied rich and rounded develops slowly into fruity, smoky and spicy flavors.

Finish: Long-lasting, smooth a smoky with a chocolate feel at the back of your throat.

Comment: An incredibly rounded whisky that leaves you refreshed and contented. A whisky that always deserves a second glass. My personal favorite.

25 Years Old (43% Alc by Vol.)
Color: Amber with dark gold highlights.

Nose: Complex, yet refined, delicately peated, with fresh tempting aromas of marmalade, honey, freshly ground coffee, sherry and nuts. Some oaky tannins.

Flavor: Full-bodied and robust, the sherry and the oak fight for your attention yet neither is overpowering. A powerful nutty smokiness.

Finish: Intense, long lasting, dry smoky and malty. A beautiful dark Belgium chocolate taste at the back of your mouth to complete the flavor of the 25 Years Old.

Comment: A great after-dinner whisky so rich and full that it is a dessert in itself, with a finish that goes on forever.

40 Years Old Scottish Classic (43% Alc by Vol.)
“More and more people around the world appreciate the good things in life and one of those things is undoubtedly the Glenfarclas Scottish Classic. Having nurtured this magnificent malt for so long, we are delighted that it will be an ambassador for Scottish literature and Scottish art.” John L. S. Grant, Chairman

Limited edition of 600 individually numbered bottles at 43% Vol., with thirty different label designs by three Scottish artists inspired by the works of Sir Walter Scott, R. L. Stevenson and Robert Burns.

Tasting notes by Jim Murray

Nose:  Beautifully defined oak, which has taken on a handsomely sweet bourbon character. This is almost chestnut sweet, very softly peated and enticingly gentle. Steps up a gear when warmed in the hand with tantalizing spices keeping in harmony with waxy malt and ultra-clean sherry. The way the old oak behaves itself - tows the line, is nothing short of wonderful.

Taste: The oak is again first to show but remains soft and laid back and teasingly spicy. The initial burst of oak does suggest a worn dryness, but this is soon counterbalanced by a Demerara sweetness. This blends effortlessly with some heavy, intense malt and a lingering but quite unmistakable hint of liquorice, which emerges from the refined sherry-trifle middle.

Finish:  Long, chewy, smoky, and initially sweet with the liquorice continuing, but dries very slowly to deliver an oaky encore. Stays just to the right side of being vanilla-rich to ensure continuing charm and quality.

Comments:  An almost immaculate portrayal of an old fashioned, high quality malt with unblemished sherry freshness and depth. The hallmark of quality is the sherry’s refusal to dominate the spicy, softly peated malt. The oak offers bourbon-ey sweetness, but ensures a rich depth throughout. Quite outstanding for its age.

105 Cask Strength (60% Alc by Vol.)
Color: Deep peaty-gold.

Nose: Complex, oaky, apples and pears, and a tempting dark toffee sweetness.

Flavor: Dry and assertive, develops quickly to reveal a rich spiciness, combined with a hint of oak and sherried fruit.

Finish: Amazingly smooth for the strength; wonderfully warming and with a lingering smokiness, yet very rounded.

Comment: A great whisky holding all the flavors of all the Glenfarclas in one glass. Being so warming, this is the perfect Hogmanay dram. Don’t be afraid of the strength and order a 210, if you dare! The smoothness makes the 105 drinkable at cask strength, but I suggest adding a little water to fully explore its great depth. For its price to performance ratio, the Malt Maniacs named Glenfarclas 105 their ‘Bang for your Buck’ in 2004.

For more information, please visit www.glenfarclas.co.uk/.

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