To finish 2016 I decided to buy a whisky advent calendar from Drinks by the Dram. For those who don’t know, Drinks by the Dram is a company who sell you 3cl samples of thousands of different spirits each coming in a little wax sealed sample pot. The company is owned by the same people behind the Master of Malt website and can only be purchased through their website. I will do another post of the advent calendar on its own but the one I have can be found here.
So, in short, December 1st 2016 became the first day of the advent calendar and the first ever post on this blog.
Glenfarclas is a fiercely independent family owned distillery. The current chairman is John Grant who’s great great grandfather John Grant purchased the distillery in 1865. From then on it has stayed in the Grant family.
Located in the speyside region, Glenfarclas is known for its sherry matured whiskies using the best quality wood and providing good value for money. The stills are one of the last to be direct fired. They have experimented with a more contemporary steam powered still but the style of spirit was deemed to too different to continue with. This primary directive to maintain quality and continuity of product must be commended. The family-owned distillery stretches to 28 warehouses and over 58000 casks resting until they are bottled. So there is a lot of liquid around to keep all of us in a ready supply.
The sample I have today is a 3cl sample but full bottles are available for £109.95 from Master of Malts website here. This is a single cask release with no chill filtration and no artificial colouring. This release is also natural strength at a mighty 59.9%.
Colour: Rustic Orange
Nose: Bright lively winter fruits marinating in alcohol for a Christmas pudding. A slight mustiness or dampness perhaps
Palate (no water): strong raisins and sultanas with more of the dampness coming through
Palate (water): the alcohol strength makes way for oak spiciness
Finish (no water): long finish with some fresh apple coming in to play. The mustiness from the palate is a tobacco note now
Finish (water): longer finish now with more fresh apple and less tobacco but it is still spicy. A little orange develops with time.
This is a class act. Although I have to admit that this is also my first ever Glenfarclas. Last weekend I enjoyed a warehouse tour at Glengoyne. The main selling point of that tour is collecting samples from casks in the warehouse to try before taking a bottle of one home. The nose of this little dram brought me straight back to my morning spent on that tour. The barrel I tried then was a 14 years old sherry puncheon and yes they certainly both started out on a similar road. However, the extra few years of maturation on this Glenfarclas has made the finish much more of an event in my view.