Glenfarclas 105 (C) Print

altGlenfarclas (The valley of the green grassland) Glenfarclas distillery in Speyside is one of the few to have remained in private ownership since it was first licensed in 1836 by Robert Hay the tenant of the Recherlich Farm, Ballindalloch. It was purchased from Hay in 1865 by John Grant for £511.19s.0d on the 8th of June 1865, the founder of the Grant dynasty of six generations to have distilled whisky here. The distillery stands in beautiful rolling meadows, drawing its soft water from the Green Burn that flows from Ben Rinnes over granite and through heather into the valley.

Glenfarclas105George S. Grant, the fourth member of the Grant dynasty, served as Chairman for a remarkable 52 years and carried out many major improvements and innovations. He laid down substantial stocks from 1952 onwards, was amongst the first distillers to establish a wood policy in the early 1960s, and also substantially modernized the distillery. Thanks to his efforts, Glenfarclas has an uninterrupted series of "Family Casks" from 1952 to the present day, the longest vertical tasting of whisky anywhere in the world which allows for detailed research on the effects of long-term cask maturation.

The distillery operates a stainless steel Lauter mash tun, 12 stainless steel washbacks and 6 stills. The stills are amongst the largest on Speyside, with the big wash still holding nearly 30,000 litres.  Glenfarclas malt whiskies are now aged mainly in oloroso sherry casks, using a mixture of first-fill and refill, although this has not always been the case. This contributes to the malt's pronounced sherry character, particularly in the younger malts where new sherry casks have been used.

Colour: Deep peaty-gold.

Nose: Complex, oaky, apples and pears, and a tempting dark toffee sweetness.

Flavour: Dry and assertive, develops quickly to reveal a rich spiciness, combined with a hint of oak and sherried fruit.

Finish: Amazingly smooth for the strength; wonderfully warming and with a lingering smokiness, yet very rounded.

Comment: A great whisky holding all the flavours of all the Glenfarclas in one glass. Being so warming, this is the perfect Hogmanay dram. Don't be afraid of the strength and order a 210, if you dare!

The smoothness makes the 105 drinkable at cask strength, but they suggest adding a little water to fully explore its great depth.

Click READ MORE for tasting notes...

The following tasting notes by David Wishart...

Glenfarclas 105
Cluster C
Bottle by Producer
Region: Speyside
Strength: 46% vol
Colour: Deep gold
Chill-Filtered: No
Cask: European oak sherry butts.
Nose: Lively, pronounced sherry toffee nose.
Taste: Big sherry hit, with chocolate caramel (Mars bars - but not the deep fried kind), some woody notes,.
Finish: The sherry lingers at the end, with dark chocolate.

David Wishart


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