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First off, I owe all of my thanks to rigmorole for encouraging me to give this distiller another try after my 10-year debacle tasting at a bar. I had sworn Glenfarclas off at that time. Over my first six weeks into sampling single malts, I had dove in head first to the tune of $1400 US in bottle purchases plus more from bar samplings that totaled 40 single malts and 5 blends. Quite intense to say the least!!!
Previously, Glenkinchie 12 had been my favorite, with Highland Park 18 being my "last bottle purchased" for quite a while as per doctor's advice. Well, as that Moody Blues song goes, "I know you're out there...somewhere", I had no idea that it applied to single malt scotch and I just kept searching for the right one.
Since half of my collection was obtained from reading trusted reviews here on CONNOSR rather than more expensive bar samplings, I just drove home this evening to the only store that I knew handled any of the Glenfarclas malts. They were the 12 and 17 year olds. I already knew from reading these reviews that the highly rated 15 year old was unavailable in the US (presumably because the Scots keep it to themselves). Not wanting to repeat another 10-year debacle from buying the cheaper 12 year old, I plunked down another $85 US on the plastic for the 17 year old. Driving the rest of the way home, I kept asking myself, "What in hell have I just done? This better be good!!!"
When I got home and poured a dram, memories of my first taste of Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old bourbon reappeared. Oh my God! This is PERFECTION!!
To compare this to my days of scuba diving on shear Caribbean walls, one hangs around in the shallow reef flats because it's nice and safe. Most new divers are too afraid to even look over the edge of the top of the wall. Then one day, one takes the leap over the wall. Instead of being terrified, there is the feeling of Nirvana and exhilaration. Fish come up to you to look you in the eye, having never seen a human before. The coral grows from the side of the wall untouched for more than 1000 years because it is far below of the zone affected by hurricanes. This is heaven!!!! (women even ask if it's "better than ahemmmm?!!!"..yes, it is!!)
And comparing Glenfarclas 17 to this underwater world is the closest way to compare to all the rest. I would have given it a 100 score, but it has only been one intense six weeks to find this one, and eventually I may find one better that is readily availble and not a one-of-a-kind.
Oh yeah, for those boring tasting notes, the nose is like the sweetest smelling lady and the taste is like caramel mixed with a perfect selection of herbs and gentle spices. The finish is medium to long, but I could not detect smoke as others have said. Comparing this to Christmas cake is just not fair, as this one is so much better! As I said before, Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old bourbon is my closest taste comparison, and nothing else in my collection even comes close.
Thanks again, rigmorole, and my friends have graciously offered to help me out in my "predicament". I figure for each one that I convert from those awful blends to single malts, that will get me one step closer to heaven. So, say hallelujah!