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Nose: The first aroma that hits the nose is the sherry. It is strong, and as I take successive whiffs of the whisky, the mixture of alcohol and sherry becomes sherry and heather, floral, like a bouquet of assorted flowers. Perhaps some caramel, or maybe that's honey in there... Honestly, I could just sit and sniff this whisky all night. It smells delightful!
On the tongue: The whisky hits with a strong sherry flavor on the tongue, mingled with spice, and perhaps something else... What is that? Just a hint of saltiness, perhaps fresh cut grass? Whatever it is, it gives some dimension, some depth to the whisky that makes it stand up.
Finish: Crisp finish. Once the whisky goes down, it stays down. There is a bit of a citrus taste as it goes down the pipe, which lingers a very little bit. The lower ABV is clearly making itself known, as there is not a heavy alcohol taste on the finish.
Opened up with a bit of water:
Soft, sherry, strong floral notes. Definitely more taste on the tongue, giving way to a longer finish. That doesn't really make sense, but the finish is actually longer when cut just a bit.
Remarks: This is not one of my favorite whiskies, but it is very good in its category. I put it up with Aberlour 12yr, and it is definitely better than Glen Garioch. However, for the $39 (I believe) I paid for it, I'd rather have another bottle of Aberlour 12yr (for $34). The Glenfarclas has more spice than the Aberlour, and may have more body, but I think the Aberlour is smoother with just as much flavor. As for Macallan 12yr, the Glenfarclas wins. That's quite an endorsement, as the Mac 12yr is regarded highly for a sherried whisky.
So, for sherried Highland/Speyside whiskies that I've mentioned in this review, I'd rank them: Aberlour 12yr > Glenfarclas 10yr > Macallan 12yr > Glen Garioch.