[ Glenfarclas Distillery “105 Cask Strength” ]
[ Why We Love It: ]
In a marketplace dominated by huge mega-corporate brands, Glenfarclas Distillery remains a beacon of independence producing whiskies of enormous character and personality, amidst a sea of other spirits. Today in the hands of 5th and 6th generation whisky makers John Grant and his son George, Glenfarclas remains one of only a handful of family owned and managed distilleries in all of Scotland. Here in the Scottish Highlands, the Grant family produce distinctive Speyside Malts renowned for their heavy sherry wood influence. While Glenfarclas produces a wide range of ages, from 10 years old right up to 40 year old bottlings, the Cask Strength 105 on offer here today remains a perennial favourite amongst our customers here in Ontario, and something of a rarity among the whisky producers of Scotland.
The heather-clad slopes of Ben Rinnes behind the distillery are bright purple through the summer, but turn to white with snow each winter. The melting snow seeps down into the ground each spring, through the peat and into the granite, along which it runs and washes back to the surface as pure, crystal clear spring water. This water forms the basis of Glenfarclas whiskies. By law, any product carrying the name “Scotch Whisky” must age for a minimum of 3 years, be aged in Scotland, only in oak casks – and these casks may not be larger than 700 litres. Glenfarclas uses 100% former sherry casks (used to age Oloroso and Fino style Sherries) which are either 250 litres or 500 litres in capacity.
Casks are laid down to rest in Glenfarclas’ cellars dating back the 1880s, whose thick stone walls help to regulate and maintain a consistent and level temperature. When put down to sleep, the barrels are not disturbed for the first 8 years. Assembling the final blends of each age of Glenfarclas Whisky is one of the great gifts handed down from father to son in this generational business, and in many ways, a blend in and of itself – part innate instinct and part acquired skill which comes from growing up around the business and following in the footsteps of the masters who came before. Great blending is simply something that isn’t ascertained by reading a book on the subject – and this impact (I think of it as a soul) is felt and tasted in each bottle of Glenfarclas.
[ Price: ]
[ Technical Specs: ]
CASE PACK: 6 x 700mL
NOSE: Complex, oaky, apples, pears + dark toffee sweetness
FLAVOUR: Dry and assertive with rich spiciness + hint of oak + sherried fruit
FINISH: Amazingly smooth for the strength with lingering smokiness
[ Tasting Notes: ]
“Nose: The youthful grape comes in clean, juicy bunches; the herbs and spices on a rack on the kitchen wall; Taste: Any lovers of the old Jennings books will here do a Mr Wilkins explosive snort as the magnificent barley-grape mix is propelled with the force of dynamite into the taste buds; survivors of this experience still able to speak may mention something about cocoa notes forming; Finish: Long, luxurious, with a pulsing vanilla-grape mix and a build up of spices; light oils intensify and elongate; Balance: I doubt if any restorative on the planet works quite as well as this one does. Or if any sherry cask whisky is so clean and full of the joys of Jerez. A classic malt which has upped a gear or two and has become exactly what it is: a whisky of pure brilliance.”
95.5 / 100 Points
Jim Murray / Whisky Bible
Spot Offer #107: Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky “105”
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