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Glenfarclas Coilltean 1977 - Samaroli 25th Anniversary

Tasting history, and a legend

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KReview by @Kaspergvalentin

22nd Jul 2010


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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For those who don’t know Mr. Silvano Samaroli and his legendary bottlings, he’s a short recap. Samaroli went around Scotland, in the 70s in particular and selected casks of whisky, many of these casks gone on to be recognized as some of the greatest whisky, ever bottled – period. They command many thousands of euros, and are truly legendary. His releases are usually quite young, as he believes that the greatest malts are “are aged in wood, not over 25 years”. On top of all this, even his newer bottlings are very expensive, and even younger, making them inaccessible to most people.

But let’s have a look at the bottle in question, a part of Samarolis “Coilltean” series (whatever that means), it’s from Glenfarclas, distilled 1977, bottled 1993 (By R.W Duthie, another legendary IB’er), it’s furthermore part of the Samaroli 25th anniversary series. So it certainly ticks all the boxes of “Legendary whisky”, let’s see if it’s not just a young, overpriced sherry giant.

Nose: A very elegant restraint peat smell, wet grass or something similar, hay, wet earth, almost the farmyard like smells we know from Brora, vanilla, anis, plus undertones of malted barley. Very aromatic and balanced, fills the room even though it’s only at 46% ABV.

Mouth: Very rich, first up, a quite violent explosion of peat, which fairly quickly subdues and reveals layers of taste; hints of rubber and pears, vanilla and pretty much everything else in the Maltporn Handbook™ - incredibly complex at any age, but quite astonishing at this age – if all whiskies were like this one, we’d see no whiskies above 20 YO. Hints of chocolate, when I say everything is here, it really is. I could keep going all night – I practically finished my sample just looking for more tastes, molasses, bananas, tar – It just keeps going, absolutely mind blowing.

Finish: Medium length. But there’s plenty to keep you busy, rubber and medicinal notes, a bit of spice, and the chocolate appears again. Grows sweeter and slightly more peaty, which stays for a very long time.

Comments: What a great malt, it’s like the bastard love child of Islay and Speyside. I’ve never had a Speyside whisky this peaty, but I’ve never had an Islay whisky this balanced and sweet at such age. It’s such a great malt, incredibly complex, but in no way hard to drink or nose. A stunning cask.

94/100 + 2 emotional points, what a privilege to taste such a whisky.

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