Glenfarclas 12 Years Old 2002 – 1.186 A stroll in the Luxemburg Gardens

Single malt scotch whisky

57% ABV, £46.10 for 70cl

Score: 84/100

SMWS

What they say:

Cask No. 1.186

A mellow nose with apple pie and artificial fruity sweets called ‘Midget Gems’; a warm day in May, with mimosa, grass clippings and nectarines, pine sap, peppermint, menthol and gooseberry yoghurt. The taste matches the first nose: warm apple pie (dusted with cinnamon) with boiled sweets and berry muesli. More scented with water – lime blossom, Nivea cream, ‘a lady’s make-up bag’, 7-Up lemonade and later some choux pastry. Now the taste is of sugared almonds and ginger-nuts, white chocolate and chilli pepper, with a dry finish. Unexpected.

Drinking tip: Out in the sunshine

Date Distilled: 7 June 2002 Colour: Chardonnay Age: 12 years Flavour : Sweet, fruity & mellow Cask Type: First fill ex-bourbon barrel Whisky Region: Speyside Spey

Outturn: 235 bottles

SMWS1.186

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What I say:

So my challenge for the first year membership of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society was to try as many of the different distilleries that they bottle from. The premise of the society is that each cask is individual so distillery or region shouldn’t matter. However to differentiate their whiskies the society bottlings are labelled with a two number system. The first represents the distillery from which the cask was sourced (see SMWS distillery codes) and the second is a sequential number for each cask from that distillery that has been bottled. So this example (1.186) is cask #186 that has been bottled from distillery #1 (= Glenfarclas). I chose this whisky during a recent visit to the SMWS The Vaults after a night out at the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh (during their festival Botanic Lights exhibition). Paula helped select this particular whisky as we both have wonderful memories of spending time together in the Luxemburg Gardens in Paris. Also I had yet to sample anything from Distillery #1. As with all SMWS bottlings this is a single cask, bottled at cask strength with no colouring or chill-filtration.

Colour:

Antique gold

Nose:

Vanilla, floral, grassy, sweet pastries, fruity, apple turnover

Taste:

Sweet vanilla custard, Pan au raisin (with golden raisins), pear tart dusted with cinnamon, light cereal barley grist, white chocolate buttons, sugared almonds

Finish:

Medium/long, sweet, candied (sugared almond coating) and drying

Overall:

Sampled 15th November 2014 at SMWS The Vaults in Leith. Floral and sweet with lots of bourbon influence. Unusual for a Glenfarclas whose distillery standard expressions are popular for their very heavy use of sherry maturation (except for their travel retail 18 year old expression which is pure ex-bourbon matured though sadly I haven’t yet sampled this one). Very enjoyable and reminiscent of a walk through a summer meadow or flower garden whilst consuming some fine French pastries.