A late night stop in a local spirit seller last night landed me a couple bottles of the old standby, Glenfarclas 15, at the rock bottom price of $65 a piece. If you’ve been following current whisky trends (and I’m sure you have) you’ll know that quality affordable age-stated malts are pretty close to a critically endangered species nowadays. You can imagine my delight at finding such a score just blocks from home.
It was also cause for reflection. While I’ve drunk ridiculous amounts of Glenfarclas over the years, I’ve not yet reviewed nearly as many as I should have. Something to be remedied in the coming days, I think. Let’s face it…second only to Springbank, Glenfarclas is the ‘be all, end all’ in traditional whisky making, and that is something that places this distillery in the top tiers of my own personal favorites.
So having said all of that, let’s dig into an iconic malt from this old school family owned and operated Speyside juggernaut. Here we have Glenfarclas 25. This is a whisky that tends to get glossed over in favour of the always available 15, the bombastic 105 or the rather exceptional 40 (largely depending on your personal tax bracket, of course). The fact of the matter is, though, that this is a great dram at a more than fair price point. It delivers almost exactly what I’d expect, and always feels like a bit of a homecoming. Quite highly recommended.
Nose: Jammy sherry notes with a hint of toasted caramel and sticky vanilla pod. Apple, stewed stone fruit and tobacco. Spicy wood notes. Red ju-jubes and fresh cinnamon. Crème brûlée and grilled orange zest. Warm and familiar.
Palate: Oh wow. Great delivery. Turns to apples and oranges first before plunging deeper into dried fruits and the warming buzz of all things sherry (spice, chocolate, raisin and all things Christmas cake-like). There is a heft of fruit peel (slightly drying) and toasted wood. Speaking of toasted notes, perhaps some roasted marshmallow. A slight nuttiness; walnut, I think, with maybe some almond.
Thoughts: Not the cleanest or most exciting of the Glenfarclas range, but a great old dram nonetheless. Always a treat to revisit.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt