Review No.176. Glenfarclas 15 Year Old

It has been a while since I reviewed a Glenfarclas.  I have already covered the 2003 Marks and Spencer bottle which I guess was about 10 years old and have also covered the 12 year old which I found to be quite funky and interesting.  Both whiskies were similar but had a different twist to them which I liked.  This 15 year old is next in line in the range and is firm favourite with many whisky fans.  I have often seen this described as the benchmark for sherry style single malts although Glendronach may have something to say about that.  I have recently mentioned that I am beginning to become less and less interested in what much of the distilleries in Speyside have to offer given the amount of generic tasting sherry finished single malts that are being churned out.  However, based on what I have tried so far there are a number of distilleries that I take a particular interest in.  These are Aberlour, Glenfarclas and Glendronach.  I would also like to mention Benrinnes but they do not produce a core range of single malts apart from the Flora & Fauna 15 year old bottling.


Whisky:  Glenfarclas 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46%

Nose: Dr Pepper, marmalade, strawberry jam, raisins, roasted walnuts, chocolate, oak

Taste: Malt, nuts, pine nuts, raisins, red wine, dark chocolate, oak

Finish: Mocha and oak

Score: 3.75

Summary: The progression from the 12 year old is very clear to see here.  This has a more mature feel to it and a distinct level of richness.  There is less of the funkiness I got from the 12 year old – which I now think comes through as pine nuts.  The overall experience is rich and juicy with notes of marmalade and strawberry jam standing out and then the dark chocolate notes develop towards the end with hints of coffee and oak giving it that grown up feeling.  As with most of the Glenfarclas range, this is well priced at around £50.  A must try if you like sherried single malts.



Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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