Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Bourbon Cask Glenfarclas

Glenfarclas is one of the most beloved single malts out there, known for its rich sherry notes, but what does it taste like underneath all of that sherry? There's not much chance to find out, since nearly all Glenfarclas is either entirely sherry matured or a blend of mostly sherry matured whisky. For that reason, I was excited to taste an old, independently bottled Glenfarclas aged solely in a bourbon cask. This one came to me a few years ago from the Cadenhead shop so it's probably no longer readily attainable.

Glenfarclas 33 year old (Cadenhead's Chairman's Stock) distilled 1973, bottled 2006, 42.6% abv. ($260).

The nose on this is astounding. There are huge fruit notes with malt and vanilla in the background, and it all comes together so well. After the fruity nose, the palate is surprisingly dry and spicy with lots of earth notes. The finish is earthy in an almost Cognac like way with a slight bitterness in that style.

This is really fantastic stuff. Clearly, the quality of Glenfarclas isn't just about the sherry. The whiskey itself can be magnificent even absent the sherry's influence. I wonder if the distillery would consider releasing more of its own bourbon casks. Whether they do or not, Glenfarclas seems to be great in any cask.


CK said...

The SMWS also just released ont to America. Pricey, but very good.

tanstaafl2 said...

Interesting although I confess I would also be curious to try Glenfarclas in bourbon casks at perhaps 15-16 years rather than 33. With that much age do you again begin to loose some of the character of the underlying distillate that is difficult to find under the heavy sherry of most, if not all, of the distillery bottling's?