Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Sherry
Added coloring: No
Owner: J. & G. Grant
Average price: € 64.00
Official website: www.glenfarclas.com
In these times of massification of the whisky product, and therefore of fierce industrialisation of the various processes, with large international companies in the sector at the head of numerous Scottish distilleries (Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Suntory), Glenfarclas (in Gaelic “the valley of green grass”) is absolutely an exception.
Since 1865, it has belonged to the Grant family, which has been running it for six generations with unwavering scruples. Mind you, we are not talking about a small distillery, but about a machine that produces three and a half million litres a year, with a respectable core range (10, 12, 15, 17, 21, 25, 30, 40 years, plus Glenfarclas 105, the first whisky to be bottled cask strength, in 1968), and with a series of single casks from consecutive vintages, from the mid-1950s to the new millennium, known as “Family casks”, in a very limited number of bottles and at an often prohibitive cost.
Glenfarclas relies almost exclusively on ex-Spanish Sherry casks, and its stills, the largest on Speyside, are heated over an open flame. This, too, is an exception among Scottish distilleries and, although it’s not possible to prove it with certainty, it may affect the body of its whiskies.
The 15 year old is the only bottling, along with the 105, unchillfiltered, and is offered at 46% ABV.
In the glass, it has an inviting amber colour. When you approach the nose, you immediately notice the sherried note: milk chocolate, sultanas, brown sugar, but above all lots of cherries in alcohol. Its richness is fully revealed after a few minutes, when a light, soft peat background peeps out to enrich the bouquet, like an unexpected kiss: enchanting.
In the mouth, the light smoke disappears, leaving every possible space for chocolate, sultanas and, of course, cherries in alcohol, in line with the nose.
The finish is long and satisfying.
A textbook sherried, elegant and balanced in all its elements.
Those who love this type of single malt but don’t know Glenfarclas are likely to fall in love with it.
Those who don’t generally like sherried whiskies, on the other hand, might just change their minds with this one.