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The topic of oxidation has been a recurrant theme over the span of my most recent reviews. Although it is a process that i had some experience with, it is amazing when you realize that you've barely scratched the surface.
When i first bought this 21 year old glenfarclas i was not only dissapointed, but astonished as to where the sherry-magic we associate to Glenfarclas had gone? It was all ruined by a very damp (and dominant) wood note. Like a soaked oak-lump. After a month the malt proved much more pleasant to the palate, but it was when tasting this malt over these past two weeks where it showed it's true colours (dark ones at that). It made me realize that you should be almost limitless with patience as any spirit can come to it's own after some oxygen and bottle-maturation.
Nose: Forest-fruitcake alongside a pungent sherry note. Some purple grapes come forward with peppermint and rhubarb. Not a spicy nose, as honey melons brings the nose to a conclusion.
Palate: Green melons and honey melons arrive first on the palate with black currant and an absorbment of spices (camomile and cinnamon). The developement can be easily summed up by Raspberry and Buckberry pie. Very smooth body throughout.
Finish: The rhubarb returns alongside some black currants. Then a very vegetal note with a slight sweetness from the sherry work as a balancing act. Some wood tannins persist but the wood is surprisingly subtle, considering the age and that worrying first impression with damp wood.
This whisky has been a lesson in both oxidation as well as smoothness. This lesson extends the previous lessons about patience in a big manner.
This is a delicious christmas dram, question is if you have your sights on a Glenfarclas, should you buy it? Probably not, both the 15 and 105 are real beauties and are considerably cheaper.
The exception might be if you are willing to try something a bit different, or simply feeling flush, then this will prove to be very satisfying indeed but only if you give it time!
Also if you like your whiskies smooth then this is probably as smooth as you are going to get, as far as sherry whiskies are concerned. It is like combining Matt Monroe and Roger Moore, it really is!