Glenfarclas 105 was one of the first whiskies I ever shared notes for years ago when I first starting nattering online about whisky and such. Much like looking back at your awkward teenage years, there’s an element of ‘oh dear gawd, really?’ when I looked back at the review and notes.
Also…it was an older batch from years back, so why not revisit, right?
Though it’s not very widely trumpeted, batch variation (let’s call it that, even though these aren’t really touted as ‘batch’ releases or anything) in the Glenfarclas 105 is as much a reality as it is the industry’s other true young sherried heavyweight, Aberlour a’bunadh. It’s simply the nature of the game, and I’m ok with it. Let’s allow these things to evolve. Our insistence on consistency (with the exception of an insistence on consistent quality) is the reason we ended up with chill filtration, caramel colouring and homogenous blending practices. Malt whisky is about strength of character, not conformity and subtlety. Forget fitting in.
Glenfarclas is a Speyside distillery that enjoys unusually high esteem amongst those in the whisky spheres. The long line of Georges and a John who have run this family-led operation through the generations have done an exceptional job of crafting a line of whiskies that have garnered them global accolades. And rightfully so. Traditional, quality and independence are all values held in esteem by the Grant family.
The ‘105’ in question here is actually in reference to the old British proofing system. Whereas now this 60%’er would be considered 120 proof, under the old Brit way it was 105 proof. Clear as mud?
This NAS (No Age Statement) release is a startlingly beautiful whisky. Not my favorite, but exceptionally composed and one to be mulled over with plenty of time and good company.
For a unique tasting experience, try doing a horizontal tasting with this, the Aberlour a’bunadh and the Macallan Cask Strength. That should fill your youthful sherry quotient for the year.
Nose: The smell of empty, but wet wine barrels or sherry butts. Fudge and milk chocolate give an overall éclair-like aroma. Caramel pudding. Berry puree. Raisin and currants. Espresso. Pipe tobacco. Cinnamon and sweet barley notes. Strawberry rhubarb pie (sweet and tart). Hint of marmalade. Thick moist rummy fruitcake. Touch Bovril or Beef Oxo.
Palate: Somewhat leathery (odd, I know…sorta meaty, really). Pepper over mincemeat. Rum. Cough syrup and coffee. Eucalyptus. Touch of hot rubber. Wow, is this big. Aenesthetizing. Love it.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt