Whisky Connosr

Glenfarclas 12 Year Old

Take 2: let’s make it right!

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@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

1st Nov 2017


Glenfarclas 12 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

this is an abbreviated version of today’s blog post

Some may remember my review of my first abominable bottle of this whisky. Needless to say, Glenfarclas went put of their way to make this right and I’m a happy camper.

Tasting notes

  • Nose (undiluted): a big hit of red grapes, bright sherry, a slight lemon note, some fresh tobacco and a very slight, almost imperceptible smoky note. I may have imagined the smoke.

  • Palate (undiluted): a hot arrival for a whisky bottled at only 43% ABV, medium-bodied, bright sherry, not too sweet, walnuts, raisins, a touch of milk chocolate and a bit of cloves.

  • Finish: medium length, a bit of caramel, more citrus brightness, and a bit more baking spices

Adding water toned down the tobacco on the nose and brought forth some green apple, a bit of toffee, and cinnamon. The taste with water was a bit less nutty and a bit spicier, but the mouthfeel was not as pleasant when diluted. Interesting for analysis, but when drinking strictly for enjoyment, I'll take it neat, thank you very much.

I'm not delusional. My first bottle really was spoiled, somehow. I'm also not arrogant enough to think that my blog could permanently damage a much-lauded brand. Not that I would want to use my (laughably limited) powers to such nefarious ends. From a business perspective, it makes more sense to keep customers happy than to ignore them. My first bottle of Glenfarclas 12 was undrinkable. Whether this was a faulty cork, improper storage by the LCBO, or some other ethereal alchemy is irrelevant. My whisky was bad and Glenfarclas has handled this situation as well as any business could.

I’ve kept my review of this second bottle as objective as possible. I like this whisky. I think it would be better with a few more years in the cask. I think this 12 Year Old would go from good to great if it was 15-16 Years Old and if it was released at 46% to 48% ABV. My impression of Glenfarclas as a brand and business is high. My impression of this bottle of 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch is very good, but not great. At the current LCBO price, however, there are few bottles that can rival it. I like it better than Glendronach 12, but not as much as Aberlour 12 Double Cask.

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Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, good to see you review this second bottle as well as the first 'off' bottle. This review looks more like it for a typical bottle of Glenfarclas 12 yo. If you have not tasted the Glenfarclas 15 yo then you are in for a treat. And a surprise, because it doesn't seem to be in any sort of logical progression from the 12 yo to the 17 yo and beyond.

For what it's worth, your current bottle of Glenfarclas 12 yo will probably develop in a good way with air exposure, but it will probably take a very long time, and you might not feel like waiting around for it. But, if you do stick it in the back of a cabinet and forget about it for about 3 years I'll bet it tastes better than it does today.

It is psychologically hard to get over a ruined bottle, but bad bottles can occur to the products of any distillery.

Thanks for your review, @OdysseusUnbound.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@Victor It might last at least a year, maybe more. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that a bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail will be finding its way to my cabinet soon. I’ll likely add a bottle of A’Bunadh (batch 58) before my birthday (Dec 10) as well. There are a few more bottles on my “to get” list, and while I like this Farclas, I don’t have to hold myself back the way I do/did with Dissertation, Laphroaig 10, Ardbeg 10 and my Lagavulin(s).

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

BlueNote commented

@OdysseusUnbound Nice review. I think 85 points is about right, although I would give it 83. The reason for that is that the 15 is at least 88 for me and IMO it is a huge step up from the 12 and considerably better than the 17. Glad you are feeling better about Glenfarclas now.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@BlueNote Depending on the day, I could rate this anywhere from 83 to 86. I decided on this mark as I was writing the review, sipping on some Farclas. Tomorrow could be different. Side note: I later mixed 1 part Glenfarclas 12 to 2 parts Compass Box Oak Cross and the result was delightful.

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

BlueNote commented

@OdysseusUnbound I can imagine those two would compliment each other. Never hurts to try a little chemistry experiment.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

Alexsweden commented

Glad to hear you ended up with a good one at last!

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

Frost commented

Great outcome, I'm glad you got a new bottle and the good treatment by Glenfarclas to set things right.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?