I think I have progressed through the Glenfarclas range quicker than any other distillery, maybe closely followed by Glenmorangie. So I must state from the outset that I am a fan of Glenfarclas. I have tried the 10, 12 and 15 year old and have found them all to be full of character and unique in their own right. I think Glenfarclas produce the most quaffable single malts across the Speyside region and their malts stand out across the sea of Speyside distilleries out there. In addition to that, they do not add colouring and do no chill filter their whiskies as far as I am aware. Also, you will find that bottles are fairly priced compared to other single malts of similar age. I can’t find anything negative to say about this distillery but in the interest of fairness I must mention that I have heard that they sometimes struggle with consistency of flavour and quality, but I have not experienced this yet because I do not buy them often enough due to the sheer number of whiskies I am trying to get through. It’s a tough hobby.
Whisky: Glenfarclas 17 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 43%
Nose: Oranges, strawberries, malt, tropical fruit, varnish, oak, subtle smoke
Taste: Malt, cereal, cherry menthol, tropical juice, resin, butterscotch, coffee, smoke
Finish: Dry, dark chocolate, varnish, smoke
Summary: There is something distinctly tropical about the 17 year old that I did not get with the 12 and 15 year old versions. As ever with Glenfarclas, this has a nice malty quality to it. I get a good dose of smoke, not like a peated Islay malt but enough to linger throughout the development and finish. There is a hot alcohol note to this which I could only describe as varnish. The finish is quite dry but overall this is a nice sherry influenced single malt. This is a departure from the 15 year old but a nice departure nonetheless. This one is not always easy to find and prices for it can vary from £60 to over £100 so shop carefully…or just try a sample.
Whisky: Glenfarclas 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 43%
Nose: Malt, ovaltine, raisins, sherry, honey, walnut, oak
Taste: Malt, raisins, roasted nuts, honey, dark chocolate, cinnamon, spice
Finish: Dry, dark chocolate, cinnamon
Summary: Normal service has resumed. Although not as Christmas cakey as the 15, the sherry influence is certainly present. Dark chocolate and cinnamon are the main notes I pick out from this and over time the dark chocolate notes become more dominant. This is an easy drinking whisky and has that typical malty quality to it that all Glenfarclas have. I was expecting more complexity but I just could not pick any other notes as time passed. It is not complex but at about £55 you can’t really go wrong with this ultra quaffable 18 year old single malt.
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
Image source: www.thewhiskyexchange.com