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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.
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.