Whisky Connosr

Glenfarclas '105'

Nozinan Mini and sample series - 1

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@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

28th Oct 2014


Glenfarclas '105'
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Over the past three years I have accumulated a number of miniatures, many from UK online retailers in order to bring the maximum volume of spirits (1.1 L) back into Canada. more recently, I have been generously gifted a number of samples from a fellow Connosr.

After reading a recent series by @TAlexander, I’ve been inspired to prepare my own reviews of miniatures and samples. I wasn’t quite ready to start, and I would not have started with this one, except that the LCBO released Glenfarclas 105 over the weekend and I need to know if I “need” to get some before they’re gone.

This miniature was ordered from The Whisky Exchange in 2011 and brought over by a friend shortly after. Batch L5081BB 1 12 58. This is my first taste of this expression and this distillery. The bottle was unsealed for this review, and I am sampling a 25 cc pour.

Notes are presented neat and with water, 2.5 cc of water having been added after all notes for “neat” were taken, and the glass left to open up for 20 minutes.

Nose Neat: First impression is a hit of sherry, followed by raisins and prunes. This subsides with time in the glass. A slight spirity note. Dates as they smell when being cooked in preparation for date squares. Cinnamon, raw cookie dough. Almond extract (the artificial kind, sort of bitter almond...oh that’s it...CYANIDE). This is a drier nose than say, A’Bunadh.

Nose with water: More fruity. The sherry is back but not overwhelming. Some shoe polish, then leather...no, FRUIT leather. Sour cherry, bitter almond in the background (much less than before). The nose is definitely more complex and balanced with water.

Taste Neat: The first taste is fiery, hot. Not surprising with an ABV of 60%. The dried fruits are there. The alcohol really overwhelms the flavour.

Taste with water: Still has an alcohol burn but not as painful. Some sherry, dried fruits coming through.

Finish: Tannins, very drying. No appreciable change with water.

Other notes:

This is a fiery one. It has a great nose but a very intimidating burn. I don’t usually like more than a drop or two of water in my whisky, even at cask strength. In many sherry monsters that’s fine, but this one really needs taming.

I added an extra cc or so of water afterward and it tamed it a little more, with a lot less of the fire and a lot more flavour.

It seems to go well with milk chocolate, and even with dark chocolate.

The longer I sit with it (close to 2 hours since pouring), the more I like it.

Will I get a bottle? Not sure yet. It’s drier than A’Bunadh, but so are the Macallan CS and Bladnoch at 55%. Not sure what this adds to my cabinet. Even though Bladnoch and Macallan are no longer available, I have enough to last me a LONG time, and even more of the A’Bunadh.

The 105 may be a bottle that I can experiment with, trying different amounts of water to see how it changes, an experiment I might not want to do with my rarer sherry monsters.

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AdamH commented

Like you, I cracked open my 105 as I found my local has started carrying it and it's $10 cheaper than A'bunadh. My bottle was purchased at an SAQ in Gatineau about 6 months ago but am just getting around to sampling. In short, based on the few tastings I am going to have to take a pass on adding any more bottles. Out of the bottle this is too hot, spirity and dry. And I have put many measures of water in this and all I'm getting is that bitter nuttiness. This has just confirmed how much I really enjoy the much vaunted A'Bunadh (batch 45 here).

9 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

I wish I could source another bottle of the 45. I have a spare 44 put away, and 2 47s, but I have to open my 46 first (when I turn 46).

By the time I finished my dram, I was starting to like the "105" but I certainly haven't decided to buy one, because I think I like the others better and there is no flavour in the "105" that isn't reproduced as well in the others.

I may try the 15 year old mini soon and see how that goes.

9 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

The second dram out if the mini was a little better. I added more water than I usually do to my scotch. And perhaps the company was better. That certainly seems to make a difference.

I won't be needing to pen my regular bottle anytime soon. With the switch to NAS my 10 YO is a little collectible and will be cooler to open in 19 years when no one else has a 105 with an age statement. In th ekes time I'll "make do" with A'Bunadh, Mac CS (another ip endangered species), Bladnoch, Amrut IS..... No lack of Sherry power in my cabinet!

9 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

And sorry for all the typos...

9 years ago 0