“My great-great grandfather, John Grant, born in 1805, purchased Glenfarclas Distillery for £511.19s.0d on the 8th of June 1865. To this day, Glenfarclas Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky is distilled and matured at our family owned and run distillery, which thanks to the foresight of my forefathers remains independent. Creating a great malt whisky is a time-honoured process. Here in the heart of Speyside, my family has cherished the skills and traditions of fine malt whisky making, handing them down through six generations. We are proud to share our secrets with you”.
– John L. S. Grant, Chairman, Glenfarclas Distillery
I’m a wee bit puzzled by the Glenfarclas Distillery (or as I like to call it, Glen-“Go-F%#$-Yourself!”). Though they call it a “Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky”, the distillery is located in Speyside. Is this a Highland Whisky or is this a Speyside Whisky? Can a Single Malt Scotch be both at the same time? When I look at the map, it clearly shows that the Glenfarclas Distillery is in Speyside. At the end of the day, I guess it doesn’t matter. What matters most is the quality of the whisky.
I purchased this bottle of the Glenfarclas 12 during my recent weekend in Manhattan. I became curious about Glenfarclas whiskies after reading some very positive reviews (here is a review of this expression and one of their 25 year old expression), and also after finding out that they are one of the last independent distilleries in Scotland. Visions of William Wallace came to mind and I just had to have a bottle!
Let’s see if it’s any good…
- Appearance: Rich, golden honey. Clings to the glass when given a swirl, leaving long, slow moving streaks as it flows back to the bottom.
- Aroma: Banana bread. Light brown sugar. Hints of Sherry (funny thing about being aged in Sherry casks!).
- Taste: Thin and watery mouthfeel. I can’t detect any smokiness. Starts off soft and slightly sweet but begins to intensify at mid-palate. Spicy, tingly finish that lingers for quite awhile.
- ABV: 43%
The Glenfarclas 12 is a very enjoyable whisky. I particularly like how the aromas mess with your expectations. The sweetness in the nose didn’t prepare me for how it would taste. It starts off slow, but quickly builds to a spicy and flavorful finish. I suspect that this whisky won’t be in the liquor cabinet for very long.