Yesterday I drove my car for almost two hours to the city of Hilversum in order to pick up a single bottle of whisky…….. Well, not only that of course, the presentation of the Usquebaugh Society’s club bottling was accompanied by a masterclass given by Ian McWilliam from the distillery. He came over from Scotland just for this tasting!!. About forty members appeared on this special tasting. Which drams did we taste? All of the Glenfarclas are sherried whiskies, so you won’t find this term in the following parts, fun part all the drams are at 1-3 ppm.
Glenfarclas 25 years old (43% ABV)
Usually a tasting does not start at this considerable age, but in this setting it was a good starter. The dram aged well, still keeping freshness (orange marmalade, sweetness of honey, light tannins) in the nose. The taste was robust, warming and dark with some smoky nuttiness (smoked almonds) and dark chocolate. Great dram to start the sunny afternoon with. (Prices around 90 euro’s)
Glenfarclas 175th Anniversary (43% ABV)
I own a bottle of this, but haven’t had the time to open it yet. Complex nose, younger style whisky fighting the older one’s (oldest cask from 1952), in the nose the young whisky takes control in fresh notes of citrus and honey, the taste is more robust and powerful as if the older whisky’s are starting to play. Needs time. (Prices around 92 GBP (Sold Out in the Netherlands))
Glenfarclas 105 (60% ABV)
This one I reviewed before. Taste wise there is no difference, only one curious fact was showing up. While I am used to add some water to this one to open it up, this particular (New style bottle, while I own an old style bottle) tasted nice without the need to add water. Was it because it was accompanied by other expressions of the brand, or was this a better balanced year, I don’t know but it confused me a bit. (Prices around 60 euro).
Glenfarclas Family Cask 1995 (57,5%, cask 3771, bottled 28/04/2011) for Usquebaugh Society
This was the dram I went to pick up a bought bottle (at the end of the afternoon signed by Ian, great!!). In this line-up it is almost the youngest (although the 105 consists of a big part 10 year old, it is still a NAS). Short notes are young, fresh, nutty and ginger tingling effect in your mouth. (Price for members 70 euro (non-members 90 euro)).
This one is form my year of birth, so I was curious about this one. It is a powerful, full bodied Glenfarclas. The nose displays a nice, but dark fruitiness with orange, grape and blackcurrant. The taste is quite dry and nutty, but also with some sweet freshness of vanilla and citrus, accompanied by some woodnotes and some ginger. Very very good whisky, unfortunately it is expensive at GBP 295.
Glenfarclas Special Cask 1967 for Spirit of Speyside festival 2011 (58,1% bottle 36 of 51!)
Hmmm wow, what a whisky is this, it is the oldest one, but it does not show it, it feels younger than the 1971, again some fruity freshness gives it a great balance, although it is quite complex (the tasting levels decreased during the tasting, this one was poured somewhat about 1cl). Surprisingly beautiful, pity the glass was empty before I could determine more of this one. It came from a personal cask and it was a refill sherry butt (this is all what is known about this particular cask). It finishes of in a ginger spiciness, with just enough wood influence. Wow wish I could lay my hands on a bottle of this one, but I fear it will cost a lot if I can ever find it!
Conclusion: A very nice tasting with surprising drams. The 175th got lost in this line-up, will taste him in the future, without a similar line-up as this afternoon. Most surprising for me (in regard to the cost) was the 25 years, a beautiful whisky. But the star of the afternoon for me was the 1967.