Glenfarclas

Glenfarclas 105 (60%, OB, 2015)

Glenfarclas 105

Whisky Review

Glenfarclas105

What they say

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 I suggest adding a little water to fully explore its great depth.

For its price to performance ratio, the Malt Maniacs named Glenfarclas 105 their ‘Bang for your Buck’ in 2004.

Official tasting notes:

  • 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.

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What I say

Dram #3 at the Water Of Life Society – The Giving Tree Tasting 05/03/2015 was the eponymous Glenfarclas 105. Proudly named after its strength (in proof 105 not ABV of 60%). This is the classic Glenfarclas, the sherry-monster, paired with rather fine Emilio Lustau East India Solera Sherry. So this being the Giving Tree tasting (and a Glenfarclas) you could be forgiven for thinking this was matured in Sherry Casks, right? WRONG! (Waaaah!…).  They even state Sherried fruit in the official taste notes, however  the 105 is actually matured in Spanish wine casks that have produced a sherry-like wine but is unable to be called Sherry as it is made outwith the protected (by Spanish Law) Sherry region between Cadiz, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa María. Rumour has it that the 105 is actually matured in ex-Huelva wine casks. Huelva’s wines are made with Zalema, the indigenous white grape of the region. Traditionally it is used to make an amber-coloured, oloroso-style, fortified wine, Condado Viejo. This earthy, nutty, mouth filling wine goes well with the famous hams of the Huelva sierras. Sadly Huelva wines are not widely available out of the Huelva region so the 105 was paired with a solera vatting from Lustau that uses a mixture of sherry types.

My tasting notes:

  • Colour: Dark copper gold (12/20), medium tears
  • Nose: Dark fruits, raisin, fig, date, earthy and dusty, a distinct lack of leather, nutty almonds, cocoa and a slightly musty smell like old socks/sweaty feet, hints of cheese and sulphur
  • Taste: Fruity, dark fruits, bramble, raisin, blackcurrant, red grapes, fig, date, a little dark chocolate, almond and walnut, cereal barley malt, some honeyed sweetness, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Finish: Medium-long, spiced rum and raisin

Overall

A rather interesting expression and one I enjoyed very much. A No-age statement (NAS) whisky that has been available for sometime and is a very good example for that category, plus somewhat surprisingly may not be matured in the type of casks most people assume it is!

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