Glenfarclas is a well-established name in whisky. Indeed, the distillery is currently in the able hands of the fifth and sixth generations of the Grant family. John Grant, better known for cattle breeding at the time, purchased the distillery and surrounding farm in 1865 for just north of £500 and the rest, as they say is history. Curiously enough these Grant's have had a preponderance of Johns and Georges.
Indeed, a glance through the website would suggest that the distillery has been helmed exclusively by Johns and Georges from its inception. As P.G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster once exclaimed (when discussing the Bassington-Bassington family of the novel The Inimitable Jeeves, although I submit it is as relevant to Johns and Georges):
"England seems pretty well stocked up with Bassington-Bassingtons."
"Tolerably so, sir."
"No chance of a sudden shortage, I mean, what?"
"Presumably not, sir."
However, I digress.
This particular bottling was created exclusively for Drinks by the Dram and, I am somewhat ashamed to admit, that it was my first encounter with the Glenfarclas. I regret only that it didn't come sooner but on the upside this was a nice dram to start with! My notes:
Appearance: Beautiful deep mahogany
Nose: Without water; Sherry notes are prominent with deep raisin sweetened with a honey glaze; there is a malt note that really appealed to me that came through from behind adding another layer; very high ABV I suspect masked a lot
With water; A fruity sweetness came through that wasn’t there before; it reminded me of a fruit tart just out of the oven given the interplay between the malt and fruit.
Palate: Without water: I didn't get a lot off this dram without the addition of water simply due to the high alcohol content; there was some hint of dark dried fruit and a whisper of sweetness trying to come through but they were overwhelmed.
With water; The raisin comes through in a definite and strong manner; deep and spicy in character with the honey sweetness coming through following from the nose.
Finish: Spicy and sweet in equal measure
At first I didn't really know what to make of this dram but, with the addition of water it really came into its own. One to savour for an evening but definitely worth the effort to get to grips with it. It is not what I would call a typical Speyside, but I think that is what makes it interesting. You get the sweet notes but there is the added spice to keep things interesting until your Copita is empty.
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Glenfarclas (2009; Bottled 2016) Cask 1805 - https://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/glenfarclas/glenfarclas-2009-bottled-2016-cask-1805-drinks-by-the-dram-whisky/