Review: Glenfarclas 40 Years Old

Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Glenfarclas Distillery

Bottling: Official – J & G Grant

ABV: 46%

Cost: £639.95 from Master of Malt

glenfarclas-40-year-old-whisky

What they say:

Colour:

Rich dark mysterious Gold

Nose:

Antique leather, walnuts and chocolate covered raisins.

Flavour:

A sweet initial taste, orange segments, chocolate. Then a lovely flavour of burnt brown sugar.

Finish:

The dry finish oozes big tannins and more rich dark cocoa beans. Let the whisky breathe a little or add a drop or two of water to fully open up the dram.

Comment:

This new Glenfarclas 40 Years Old, bottled in March 2010, has been awarded a score of 95/100 by the Malt Advocate magazine.

Duck's Inn Glenfarclas Vertical 25 30 40 year old

What I say:

Our 5th Dram of the evening and 3rd in the Glenfarclas vertical session at Duck’s Inn, Aberlady was the Glenfarclas 40 Year Old. Until very recently (i.e. the launch of their 50 Years Old this last week) this was the pinnacle core expression though having obvious comparators within their extensive Family Cask series. Released at a slightly bolstered 46% compared to the 43% ABV of the 25 and 30 year olds.

Colour:

Dark ruby gold (12/20) slow medium droplets and medium legs

Nose:

Herbal woody oak, cumin, cardamom, mossy, dunnage warehouses, musty, leather, chocolate, raisin, fruit cake, cigar boxes and tobacco leaf, cocoa, rich marmalade, toffee and butterscotch.

Taste:

High percentage cocoa chocolate, bitter (and fibrous/gritty) chocolate, coffee grounds, chocolate-coated coffee beans, herbal cumin, rosemary wood, old oak wood and walnut, chestnut, marmalade, maraschino cherry or kirsch, brandy, caramelised demerara sugar (crème brulee topping), double-espresso coffee

Finish:

Long, tannic, herbal and peppery oak wood, dried fruit, raisins and bitter dark chocolate

Overall:

Slightly over-oaked and verging on the extreme side of chocolate even for a chocaholic like myself. Gone were the honeyed notes and zestiness of the oranges and in come coffee grounds and the herbality of advanced oak wood ageing. Still an impressive expression but my palate preferred the 30 year old more than the Glenfarclas at 40.

Score: 92/100

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