Some distilleries just manage to stand out from the crowd.
Some do this by spending tons of money on advertising, some shape their bottles and colour them pink and then others just create fantastic whisky. Glenfarclas are one of the latter, in fact they are one of my favourite distilleries, just because of the quiet and focused way in which they go about their business. You could be forgiven for having ignored them, or not chosen to buy a bottle because of the branding. It is very quiet and very understated, to a point of failure.
Glenfarclas is a Speyside malt, based in Ballindalloch, Scotland. However, they choose to refer to themselves as a Highland Malt. They have the largest stills on Speyside and are a family owned and family run distillery, one of a very small minority of distilleries the retain that style of ownership. They have huge traditional warehouses on site, which allows them to store near 70,000 casks maturing from a long back catalogue.
Today, we are reviewing the 15 Year Old, which has a higher ABV than all but one of the core range, being bottled at 46% ABV.
Price: £40 – 50
Appearance: A warm, golden orangey colour, similar to that which you might create by melting down a mixture of copper coins and £1 pieces.
Aroma: Creamy, malty and full of lime zest. There is also a Christmas cake type spice and sweetness that seems to be indicative of the Glenfarclas malt and present to varying degrees in all their core range.
Taste: The first notable flavour here is the honey sweetness. It has a syrupy thickness, but also a brevity, lightness and floral quality that is delicate in nature. This flavour is so evocative and pleasing, which places the drinker at the breakfast table and that glorious first mouthful on a relaxed Sunday morning.
As this sweetness drops over the palate, there is a very light spice that develops behind it, which fills the mouth with malty, cakey feeling. This part of the dram, reminds me of sliced tea bread, covered in butter and served from tin foil on a summer walk in a meadow.
Finally this dram becomes a milky, chocolate sweetness covering the whole of the mouth, that brings joy like a sneakily stolen chocolate from a box on the side at an elderly relatives house.
Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, a real joy to drink.
Overall: This is such a beautiful, quiet dram. For me it is akin to one of those lovely people that at first don’t give a lot. They are shy and quietly spoken, choosing silence over words carelessly spoken. However, when you give them time and make them feel comfortable, they quickly open up to give you a sight of their remarkable and glorious depths.
Real Dram Factor: 8.4
Source: The Dram Team’s Subscription Box
More Information: Glenfarclas Website
Buy Online: Speak to The Dram Team to get a Dram Busters box and you will get chance to try this whisky along side five other fantastic drams, all for less than the price of meal at a chain restaurant.