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Glenfarclas 15 Year Old

Oh Sherrie

9 1790

@RianCReview by @RianC

28th Dec 2017

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    90

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Glenfarclas has never disappointed even though heavily sherried whiskys aren't always my favourite style. The 15 seems a perennial favourite with many and I have sat on this bottle for almost two years before opening it a few weeks ago.

I'm sad to say about half the bottle has gone and these notes are from a neat pour that's sat for about twenty minutes.

On the nose is a softened but full sherry nose with just more than a wisp of smoke. Fresh red fruit and dried in abundance; fig, date and raisin are all there as are hints of dark plums, berries and tangy red apple. There's a touch of creamy vanilla, woody spices like cinnamon, and also a slight medicinal 'gum-boil lozenge' note that I get with a lot of sherried whiskies - but this is well integrated and not dominating. It's well-balanced and inviting.

Taste wise it's all fresh fruit at first with a nice balance of sweet and sour with the same notes on the palette as the nose. Then comes the dry fruits, then the spices, with the vanilla being overtook by the cinnamon.

It ends on a slightly sour and dry cinnamon note but a certain fruity creaminess lingers for a good while. Mouth feel is full and, well, delightful, actually.

This can take a lot of water and it softens the experience and brings about more of the spice and sour fruit notes. I prefer it neat, rich and unctuous.

Overall - as good a sherry based whisky as I've had and it pulls off a neat trick of being complex and interesting whilst being one of the easiest malts to drink I've had the pleasure of! Would recommend in a heartbeat, especially if you like your sherried drams.

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17 comments

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

What a brilliant review, @RianC, looks to me like you have hit the nail on the head! I am a big fan of Glenfarclas even though my favourite is the 25yo but the younger ones also work for me for exactly the reasons you mentioned. The last 'farclas that I finished was the 105 (NAS version), another favourite. Here's to 2018!

8 months ago 4Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

@Pierre_W - Many thanks and a happy 2018 to you too!

I recently finished a 105 (gifting the last few nips to a colleague to re-ignite his passion for the good stuff - it worked, I am led to believe!)

I would love to try the 25 and the 21 and they are very reasonably priced, considering.

On to my Benromach 15 soon . . . I feel a bit spoilt today smiley

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

@RianC, hah, Benromach 15yo, a great release from one of my top 5 distilleries! I bet you will enjoy this one!

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@Pierre_W, would you please list those 5 distilleries, in order, if you have an order for them?

8 months ago 0

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Haha, @Victor, I should have known that you would ask for this! In order, they are: 1. Springbank, 2. Mortlach, 3. Lagavulin, 4. Benromach, 5. Yoichi. With regard to number 5), as you know, I do have a penchant for Japanese whiskies. I do not know Bourbon and American rye whiskies well enough, otherwise a name of two migt have sneaked into the top 5.

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor Shame on you!

If you were to ask most of us to list our top 5 distilleries we'd probably give you a list of a dozen that are all among our top 5....

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@Pierre_W, have you been to Hokkaido? I would love to visit there, especially in winter. Like Canada, Hokkaido is really a winter place. I suppose that a person could make that same case for Switzerland, now that I think of it.

@Nozinan, you know better than to say what you just said! Our friend @Robert99 has recently posted a discussion (after previously made questions of mine to the same point) of asking for just 3 favourite distilleries. He got answers too. In threes and not twelves.

connosr.com/if-i-had-to-do-with-three-dist…

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

Great review. I've got an unopened bottle of Glenfarclas 15 that was a gift set that came with a 50cl bottle of the 21 and 25 year old that I can't wait to crack the seal on!

8 months ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

@Wierdo - Thanks! I doubt you'll be disappointed. I can imagine older 'farclas being an absolute joy.

I think it's that little touch of smoke that gives it the edge over other sherried drams, that and the dunnage maturation.

8 months ago 0

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

@Victor, no, despite having lived over a year in Japan I never made it to Hokkaido. In self-defense I must add that this was before my whisky-foraging days. Too bad. Nowadays I am usually in the Kansai (Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe) area that is quite far from Hokkaido.

8 months ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@RianC Very insightful review. For me the GF 15 picks up where Macallan 12 and 18 left off about 10 years ago. This one should be in every malt heads top 10.

8 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Georgy
Georgy commented

Your review made me want to buy a bottle which I think I will most certainly do soon. This is my favorite stuff =))

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

@BlueNote - I've heard a lot of people say that about this whisky. Can't say current reviews make me want to seek out any Macallans although the 2nd Ed did look quite interesting and got good reviews.

At £50 a pop this is excellent stuff!

8 months ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

@Georgy - I can see why! If all sherried whiskies were this good I'd be a solid convert . . .

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

This is one of my favorites.

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

@casualtorture - This could well be my staple xmas whisky (if there weren't so many others to discover . . .) and I can see why many describe it as Christmas cake in a glass.

I was getting that and some orange peel and a slight nuttiness on my last dram. Really, really good stuff!

8 months ago 0

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden commented

+1 on the orange peel. Great whisky!

8 months ago 0

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