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Glenfarclas is one of Scotland's few truly independent distilleries. John Grant bought it in 1865 and it's been in the family ever since. They have the largest stills in the Speyside region, although they eschew the Speyside designation and brand their offerings as "Highland Whisky". Glenfarclas doesn't ever add any colouring to their whisky, which is a nice touch.
- Nose (undiluted): raisins at first, then bright notes of green apples and pears, walnuts, nutmeg, dark toffee, and a bit of a maple note.
- Palate (undiluted): very hot arrival, medium bodied, Christmas cake, dark toffee, nutmeg, cloves, raisins, walnuts, oak
- Finish: not quite as long as I expected, medium length, with some red grapes, nutmeg, toffee and green apple returning
With water there’s the tiniest bit of wood smoke on the nose. It’s faint, almost imperceptible, but it's there. Darker fruits appear with water, prunes or dates maybe. It doesn’t get much gentler on the palate with water, but it gets much more cake-like, and the spices are actually more prominent than the fruit with water added. After the bottle’s been open for a few weeks, the heat on the arrival calms down a bit. It also feels a bit “rounder” and richer, if that makes sense. This is a terrific whisky.
I can see how this whisky can divide people. It's much brighter than most sherry bombs. There aren't as many "bass notes" if that makes sense. Glenfarclas 105 is more like a duet between a tenor and a mezzo soprano; perhaps Carmen and Don Jose. And although I'm more of a bass-baritone, like Escamillo, the toreador, I prefer Glenfarclas 105 to A'Bunadh Batch 53.