And here’s yet another Speysider and not just any Speysider but an example of Speyside’s finest distillery…probably. Just consider the statement for a moment (maybe not if you’re called Luc). There’s also Macallan, Longmorn and Strathisla in Speyside. I know there are others, but I didn’t want to make this list too long. Glenfarclas isn’t mentioned on the label, but let me tell you this is a Glenfarclas, and a very old one too. I have tasted several very old Glenfarclas, and sometimes they tend to be very woody, but that’s also because there are a lot of very old Glenfarclas around, and 42yo is a long time to spend in a cask. I’m 42 now and I wouldn’t want to spend my whole life in a cask.
To the whisky then. Glenfarclas is still a family owned operation that started legally in 1836. In 1965 it was bought by John and George Grant. Since then there were a lot of Georges and John Grants. Very popular names indeed in that family (and The Beatles for that matter). Sometimes they have extra letters for identification purposes. Next time I’ll be up at Glenfarclas, I’m dying to meet Ringo S. Grant! Good to see a still family owned distillery surviving competing with the big conglomerates like Diageo. There are several more like Bladnoch for instance. Power to them!
Color: Orange Copper
Nose: Musty and leafy. Fruity, spicy and maybe some acetone. The odd combination of gravy with honey. Thick. Body, yet not too heavy. Then a coffee note: something like mocha and cappuccino, maybe a whiff out of the old fireplace in winter. It’s a treat to smell this, but it doesn’t smell so old as you might expect.
Taste: Dry and spicy wood. Slightly fruity with paint, and even a bit hot, which in this case is great! Honeyed licorice. When freshly opened it had a strange finish, but after a month or so that’s completely gone. So time was on its side. It has some bitterness in the finish but that doesn’t mean the whole is woody or even overly woody, no, the wood is fine here.
To sum it up, it doesn’t seem so old, it sure is balanced, but misses some complexity you might want if you buy such an old whisky from the sixties. Still it’s not bad though, not bad at all. And oooh, I like the heat in this, definitively a big plus.
Note: When this was distilled in November 1967, The Beatles were at Abbey Road Studios doing mixes for their Magical Mystery Tour album, and recorded their Christmas disk for the fanclub…so now you know.