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This is the second of two taster bottles that came with my purchase of the Glenfarclas 15 year old, so I thought I would give it a go.
The nose is certainly powerful, I can sit it on the table in front of me more than a yard away and within a minute I will start getting tantalising wafts! But for all it's strength, it's not overwhelming at all. Really complex, full of nuts, honey, citrus, sherry smoke, a hint of fruitcake overlying a constant note of peat. Superbly balanced. So good I am hesitant to taste it as it can't possibly taste as good as it smells!
After several sniffs, and more than a few moments of hesitation, the taste is robust, coming in a big wave, but not overwhelming, just huge! There is a bit of a battle between the sherry smoke (and thanks go to @BonnieMac for that term - it hits the nail on the head for this particular taste) and an oaky nuttiness going on that is riveting! Over a few sips, as you become used to the back and forth, a beautiful rich dark chocolate taste at the back of your tongue becomes apparent, along with some subtle hints of xmas cake.
The finish is big and warm, full of sherry smoke, oak and dark chocolate; it rolls through in a huge gentle wave. As it fades a buttery nuttiness and a lovely hint of malt slowly make themselves known. Really long, ten minutes between sips and it is still warming the back of my throat.
This is sherry whisky nobility, right here! And I would recommend it to anyone! Powerful enough for those who aren't into the subtle stuff. Complex enough for those who do like subtlety, and although lightly peated, it's not so peaty or smoky as to overwhelm newcomers. One of the very few drams in this price range (AU$200+, £80+) that I believe is worth every penny! It's now in my top half-dozen favourites, and I will be buying a bottle! And I got my taster free with the Glenfarclas 15 year old - this is how marketing should be done!