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Glenfarclas 10 Year Old

Average score from 13 reviews and 43 ratings 78

Glenfarclas 10 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Glenfarclas
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 10 year old

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Glenfarclas 10 Year Old

Before I begin, let me say that taste is subjective, and be it known that I am a big fan of Glenfarclas and their house style. I enjoy the 12, and the 15 is glorious. The 105 is good but I prefer the Abunadh. So let's give the 10 a go.

Nose: Plenty of sherry. Green grapes, plums, fresh lettuce. Christmas cake, cinnamon, cherries, vanilla extract. Marzipan. Shows it's youth but not bitey.

Palate: Very similar to the 12yo. Baked fruits, candied cherries, christmas cake, marzipan. Truckloads of marzipan. Milk chocolate. Raisins. Again, shows its youth on the palate as this does have more younger oomph than the 12 as far as light, delicate sherried whisky goes.

Finish: Shorter finish than the 12 and much shorter than the 15yo. ( I feel like i need to add a title of reverence when mentioning the 15yo. How about his grace and majesty, the Glenfarclas 15yo?) Anyway...short, drying finish with plenty of sherry, raisins, grapes and marzipan.

Overall: So call me crazy, but I enjoy this one better than the 12yo. The 12 is smoother but lacks the bite of it's younger brother. I think that little bit of bite adds a balance that is lacking in the 12yo and keeps this one from being so 1 dimensional. This is a dang fine whisky and pairs wonderfully with some cherry stollen! I'll be enjoying 'farclas all winter. Slainté!

@BlueNote True, and I think we see that in politics AND whisky (marketing?).

Interestingly, one of my patients told me the reason I lost the election is because I don't lie (I tend to tell my patients the truth...). For the same reason I probably could not be a Diageo ambassador...

@Nozinan Remember we are discussing whisky here, not politics. wink


I figured that I would probably like Glenfarclas, so I tried their entry level one at the bar for one glass. My memory and notes on it from weeks ago was that it just tasted cheap, almost like a budget blend. No point in going any further.

I only say that because some people might even doubt you are actually sampling all of these scotches in such a short span of time.

I don't doubt it, but some people might without any sort of tasting notes at all.

Without reasons and examples for your opinions they also are less valuable to others who might like something you don't, and hence might not agree. The way your reviews stand, it's hard to see the forest for the trees.

A review with no reasons to back up why something "tasted cheap" is like directions to get from Point A to Point B that simply advise one to "drive there." Some people like myself might need some sort of frame of reference to understand your viewpoint and appreciate it.

It's hard to know why you like one and not another without any sort of reason, such as, "The Glenfarclas 10 tasted cheap because the malt flavors were subdued with the hot alcohol burn taking front and center stage, and there just wasn't enough of a sherry influence, especially when compared to the Glenfarclas 12, for example. . . "

I see what you mean about price on this one. I agree heartily. The Glenfarclas 10 is actually more expensive than the 12 in Oregon, which seems a little counterintuitive, especially when the two are tasted side by side, which is always an interesting tasting experiment.

I would like to taste the Glenfarclas 10, 12, 17, 21, and 25 side by side. If I had a few more serious scotch friends in town, then this feat could be accomplished at the Highland Stillhouse Pub, for instance. But alas, I have never been able to do cool and interesting things like that because I can't drink that many scotches in a sitting. I rather enjoy sipping a little more than drinking a whole glass. Vintage Cocktail in SE Portland offers half glass pours for half price, which is a very nice choice for those of us who would like to sample scotches without buying a whole glass.

I'm also a bit miffed that I can't really buy tasters in the USA. They are plentiful in UK and not so expensive to ship from Scotland to Europe but they are bloody expensive to ship from Scotland to the USA, so we Americans can't enjoy that fun of buying tasters rather than entire bottles. That is a serious bummer indeed.

Rigmorole: I just got back from another two hour tasting mission of three malts. I usually try four, but I was too busy sharing stories with the very knowledgable bartender. He qualifies as a whiskey expert and should write a book.

What you saw with these recent spinoff reviews is the reult of quick bar tasting notes from weeks ago whereby I would never buy any of these. Sorry, but the only description I could give on this one was "tasted cheap". It was that forgettable.

By the way, half of my purchases of bottles for my home come from trusting these reviews and I have no regrets. The other half of my cabinet consists of being inspired by bar samples that impressed me, which is only about a third of what I sampled. I am also nearing the end of my one month quest to find good affordable and available malts, but I will still go back to talk with some of my favorite bartenders. By the way, each tasting session of 4 malts usually runs me about $50 or so, but saves me hundreds. These reviews are actually cheaper, but the trick is to find a fellow reviewer whose tastes are similar.

Another method to my style is that I can simply e-mail the link of all my reviews to friends and then we can discuss things before I transport opened bottles for them to try.


Glenfarclas is a family run distillery which is currently under the stewardship of the 6th successive generation of the Grant family. The distillery is currently celebrating their 175th anniversary and still employ traditional distillation methods including the use of the largest traditional direct-fired copper pot stills on Speyside.

In the glass is looks like dark golden honey

The nose gives off sweet sherry, orange peel, honey and vanilla.

It is smooth and delivers sherry soaked dried fruit, a smokey sweetness with vanilla and cinnamon.

The finish is medium long, spicy and lightly smokey.

A really nice entry level 10 year old Speyside.

13 months on I am revisiting this Whisky and so used this old review. The old bottle has gone and been replaced by a new one. The new bottle has only been open a week. I still think my original score (76) was fair. I might nudge it to 77 or 78 but is that sentiment or science...?

I really like Glenfarclas as a whole. The 10 is pleasant. The dry, spicy oak, the sherry, orange and vanilla all mix well but it's not as good as the 15. If you are on a budget buy this (or a great gift suggestion) but if you can afford to stretch slightly get the 15 you wont be disappointed.

@tjb Have yet to open a recent purchase so I look forward to the test. Your comment "if you can afford the stretch slightly get the 15" Here in NZ that 'slight stretch' is twice the price. The 10 is very affordable here.

@victor General consensus agrees with you on the 15 being the one to buy.


Nose: The first impression is of guava or melons-- the somewhat tropical Speyside fragrances. Then a beautifully balanced aroma, like a salty short-bread crust of a vanilla pear tart, lightly laced with sherry caramel. The tart has been sprinkled with a flowery spice, maybe coriander.

Palate: You might not notice the instant of limey sourness, because it immediately disappears behind the syrupy texture, transitioning into to smooth oak spices (nutmeg) on light fruits... But seconds later the impression turns salty. Salted butter melted over guava slices is my best description; I've never actually eaten that, but now it doesn't seem like a bad idea! If the Scotch is a bit warmer, the salty buttery notes will dominate like hot popcorn, so you will miss some of the flowery complexity.

Finish: The guava/melon comes out a bit more when you exhale. Lingering in the mouth are sweet pear, orange rind, and pleasant (not bitter) oak spices.

One year later: (original notes were posted late) Glenfarclas 10 does not have quite the same degree of tropical fruit as I remember; but it has become more buttery and more overtly floral. Same score, still fun.


Colour is light cream ale. Touch of wood and some caramel and toffee aromas.

Slightly sweet malted barley flavours, short finish that is very sweet finish.

Paired with the haggis, tatties and ... well squash honestly.


Sweet, floral, buttery, very smooth, rounded, and balanced. Obviously put together by someone with great taste and technique.

It doesnt burn whatsoever, the smoothness and the lightness together with its complexity of flavours make for a real Gem. I highly rate this whisky.

I agree. This was the whisky that first got me liking the sherried style single malt, and I find the sherry very nicely done here. It's not over-powering, and it's very smooth as you say. I think it is very under-rated on this site for a cheap and well-constructed whisky of its type.


Nose: Sweet honey, vanilla, and hint of butter

Taste: You can taste the sherry in this one. Very light cinnamon and fruit

Finish: It seems to linger with some spice and dryness.

This was an excellent introduction for me to Glenfarclas. An Employee at the neighborhood liquor store recommended this to me and I am looking forward to try their other expressions.


The Glenfarclas 10 greets you with light but gradually intensifying oak notes that melt into a much richer suggestion of juicy sultanas, perhaps rounded off by the a faint, sweet liquorice. It's worth investing some time and effort into nosing the glass, as you'll be rewarded with a distinctive orange zest, underlain by a hint of vanilla.

The first contact with the tongue brings back the initial oak scent, but much firmer and stronger than the nose would suggest. The weight of the distillery's large stills and the decade swathed in European oak really make themselves felt, with a muscular wooden body. The finish lingers long, with a doughy quality hiding the faint note of heather. The clear tang of loose-leaf tea puts in an appearance a few seconds later. This is definitely the dram for beside a roaring log fire, or to bring back memories of days hiking in the woods!


This is the very last dram poured from the bottle, which I have had for nearly a year. It was hit pretty hard at first, then I kept it around for so long because I didn't want to see it go. However, it is time to make room in the cabinet, as I have been buying quite a few bottles lately!

The whisky is not dark, but not light either. It is somewhere between sunlight and pale straw I suppose, but I'll call it sunlight just because I have to choose. The ABV on this bottle is 40%, which is a bit underpowered for my usual taste.

Nose: The whisky has a definite sherry influence, and that comes out on top. Pear, dried dates, caramel, honey and vanilla. Very warm and inviting. A bit like a lot of other sherried Speysides to be honest. Shortbread cookies with sugar sprinkles, with just a bit of orange zest.

Body: Light body, somewhat smooth.

Palate: A bit sour in the mouth, slightly spicy. The honey and ripe fruits are gone.

Finish: Lots of orange and citrus fruits on the finish, some spice. Not as much honey and vanilla, but a bit of oak in the end.


Glenfarclas, the fiercely independent distillery in Speyside, won a gold medal in the recent Malt Maniac Awards for their 40 Year Old. While I have not yet had the honor of tasting that one, I do have four others in my cabinet, so let's give those a go, shall we? We'll start with the youngest in the current core range: the 10 Year Old.

The nose is very sweet because of the sherry. Malty with quite a bit of heather, caramel, flowers and some honey. Liquorice, maybe? And a touch of smoke.

The sherry immediately translates into dark fruit on the palate, with bown sugar, quite some spices like ginger and cinnamon and even a touch of salt towards the end. Clearly doesn't need any water (which I would not recommend at this strength). Nice balance, I'd say.

The finish is not particularly long, drying and spicy.

Quite an affordable, nice and flawless Speysider.

I have just a couple drams left in the bottle in my cabinet. It is a good whisky, but it isn't one of my favorites. I'm curious if the 15yr is enough better to be worth the extra money. I'm not sure if I'm going to replace it or try something new.


This is my first sampling into the Glenfarclas line. Guess I'll work my way up from the bottom.

Nose: Lots of Sherry, Pear, and cereals - Barley and Malt. A very pleasant nose.

Palate: Christmas spices - Clove, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, Burnt caramel, dried apricots. A few drops of water really bring out the flavors and intensifies the sweetness and also removes the youthful alcohol bite.

Finish:Long. Bitter spice, oak, a little smoke. Nice.

I was impressed by this dram and find myself going back to it, I don't have a lot of experience with sherried but this compares favorably to The Balvenie Double wood. The other sherried I've had is the A'bunadh which is such a different beast. I look forward to trying others from this line.

Yeah, the Glenfarclas range is both very good and very distinctive. Enjoy!

Indeed I will! Based on your and others reviews I am especially looking forward to trying the 15 when I can find it. It has thus far proved elusive.


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!

Tasted neat:

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.

No, I haven't tried other expressions of the Glenfarclas. The 105 is what catches my eye, but its a bit steep in price compared to others in that category (Aberlour A'Bunadh & Macallan Cask Strength).

Very good review - this is still going on my wish list.

Have you tried the Glenfarclas 15 year old for comparison?

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