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Glenfarclas 175th Anniversary

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Glenfarclas 175th Anniversary

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Glenfarclas 175th Anniversary

This is a review of the Glenfarclas 175th Anniversary Chairman's Reserve. For their 175th Anniversary (1836-2011) the people of Glenfarclas released three different new bottles, one more exclusive (read more expensive than the other)

Description: a vatting of 4 sherry casks from the 60's whose age adds up to 175 years, red mahonie in color, bottled at 46%.

Nose: Dry and sherried with notes of varnished sandalwood. With a swirl sweet aromas of blackcurrent, chocolate shavings, pomegranate and black cherries are revealed

Mouth: less powerful body than expected after the nose, but rich and dignified on the palate. A bouquet of Oloroso sherry and dark crumbs of chocolate, with maybe just a touch of pear.

Finish: a drying and slightly bitter herbal finish. Notes primarily consist of dark chocolate, dark wood and chewing tabacco.

The Verdict: Excellent whisky, but I expected more from a 175th anniversary vatting, even more so from this upscaled "chairman's reserve" release. The nose is an olden golden blast from the past, but at this price, the palate and finish just won't do. I no way a bad dram, but why not get yourself a equally good, but younger Glenfarclas? More of a gimmick than a item worth tracking down.

I remember that I had wanted to track down a bottle when this was released but somehow did not manage to. Seems that the loss was not too big after all. This is interesting since - as you correctly mention - one was justified to expect something stellar with a 175th anniversary vatting. On a different note I find confirmed a recurring experience that I have had with older Glenfarclas bottlings, namely that the nose dazzles but that palate and finish cannot follow suit. Pity.

They should have bottled it at cask strength to invigorate the palate. I fear they were too busy finding the right casks that one the one hand could add up to 175 and on the other remained somewhat effordable for the true fans. Maybe foreshadowing the 200th anniversary release of Ardbeg?


The distillery celebrated its 175th birthday in 2011 and released a special bottle for the occassion, a vatting of 18 different sherry casks, three from each decennium that could still be found in the warehouses, including their oldest cask #1711 from 1952! You will understand this bottle has no age statement.

The nose is very layered. It appears that the young and old casks do not interfere with each other, but play together harmoniously. Fresh cherries and blackberries walk hand in hand with the old leather, figs, dried plums and mild spices. A drop of wine vinegar is easily overpowered by vanilla, honey, candid sugar and heather. Very waxy. It has some notes of a dusty attic. And a wonderful hint of woodsmoke. The whole is harmonious and accessible.

It is creamy and silky soft on the palate. Cinnamon and black pepper make it rather picquant, but it soon turns seductively sweet: blood oranges and dark chocolate. But it does not show ‘deep sherry’, which I find somewhat disappointing.

The finish is medium in length, starts on a fresh touch of mint, but then turns dry.

This is a good whisky, by every means, but it did not become a sherry monster. Around 100 EUR.


No, this whisky is not 175 year old as you might guess (a wee bit too much of maturation LOL), but rather a special 175 year anniversary bottling. Glenfarclas Distillery was first licensed in 1836 and to mark the 175th year of operation, this expression was released. It is really a vatting quite a few casks from different decades : the oldest cask from 1952 and three casks from each of the following five decades were all vatted together to produce this limited edition (6,000) bottles.

Nose: We’re definitely in ‘Farclas’ land. Big sherry notes and a lot of dried fruit . mainly plum juice and some dates as well. hints of coffee, leather and old oak. Some oranges too. Very nicely layered. The different notes from the old and young casks are all noticeable. Great and quite complex nose. Palate: On initial swirling in the mouth it starts less sweet as expected with double espresso and some prune juice to balance that. Some spices with cinnamon and orange peel follow later. Finish: Chocolate and fruity finish. Sherry, kirsch and dark chocolate coated nuts.

A very good dram, displaying complexity, and adhering to the Glenfarclas profile, if a bit more on the sweet/sour side.


Announced a couple of weeks ago, Glenfarclas 175th Anniversary is now being distributed across Europe and Asia and even sold out in many places.

It is composed of 18 casks from six decades and even the oldest cask in the distillery warehouse was added (cask #1711 filled in 1952).

Glenfarclas 175th Anniversary (43%, OB 2011, 6000 btl.)

Nose: a fairly gentle nose with different layers. Sweet barley sugar and young fruity notes to start with (coconut, berries). Some heather and vanilla biscuits. ‘Older’ sherry as well (dried apricot, dark chocolate) and a layer of subtle oak (old roses, light spices). Dusty books and gravel. Very complex and well integrated.

Mouth: not the biggest impact. Rather spicy (cinnamon, pepper). Hardly any young notes now. There’s a fruity side to it - orange liqueur and Seville oranges rather than the usual sherried dried fruits. Then growing more herbal with heather, old oak and leather. The herbal / bittersweet profile was not really expected.

Finish: medium length, with some mint, apples and a cocoa note.

It’s great to see so many ‘old notes’ in a bottling that’s accessible thanks to the addition of younger malts. Adding the oldest cask was not a marketing trick, you really get a sense of old Glenfarclas here.

Amazing that one of its component casks dates back to 1952. For my frame of reference how does this shape up against the 40 year old Glenfarclas?

I would say Glenfarclas 40yo is more "actively" sherried and less woody. This one focuses on leather and oranges whereas the 40yo is more about prunes, figs and chocolate.

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