Glenfarclas is an independent Speyside distillery known for its heavily sherried malt whisky. Last year, they made a big splash by introducing a 40 year old. Most 40 year olds released by distilleries are put into hand blown bottles encased in specially carved boxes made out of antique wood made by forest gnomes. Glenfarclas put their 40 year old in a regular bottle encased in a typical cardboard tube and priced it such that you could get it for around $470 retail. Now, that may seem like a lot of money for a bottle of whisky (and indeed, it is), but it is nowhere near what you will pay for other distillery produced 40 year olds. For instance, Highland Park 40 and Glenfiddich 40 both go for around $2,000. And Bowmore 40? That will cost you $11,000. So in the world of extravagantly priced whiskies, the Glenfarclas 40 is a true bargain.
Glenfarclas 40 year old , 46% abv($470)
The nose on this is really wonderful. It starts with Welch's grape juice and then moves into more classically sherried territory with raisins, but it's also got tropical fruit, some maple syrup and vanilla extract. I could smell it all day. The palate starts with vanilla candy and follows up with soft sherried notes, ending on a slightly bitter note. While it's very nice, the palate is not as interesting as the nose. It feels a bit hotter than 46%. Water brings out some nice woody notes that give it a savory flavor. The finish is sherry and vanilla with maybe a bit of creamsicle.
For being so old, this is incredibly drinkable. It's very well balanced, sherried without being a real sherry bomb. If this were an average priced whisky, it would be something I would want to drink every day. Given the price, that's simply not possible. Still, the Glenfarclas 40 is awfully fun to drink, and the more I drink it, the more I like it.