Monday, 25 November 2013

Glenfarclas 15 Year Old

Glenfarclas 15 Year Old
Well, it’s been a long time since I last posted… I’m probably going to stop mentioning that since it’s how so many posts start. From now on in this has blog has moved from regular series of reviews to an occasional series. A very occasional series...

Mind you, in whisky terms these gaps are mere blips in the long maturation of this blog.  The only difference is that in the case of whisky things tend to get better with age, whereas this blog maintains a steady standard (of unexpurgated dreck).

So Glenfarclas 15 year old. An exellent whisky.

I was desperate to love this whisky. Even without trying it I have always had peculiar soft spot for Glenfarclas, I think mainly due to its amazing 1950s styling. The label oozes a kind old-fashioned classiness and distinction… like a grand old victorian theatre. So on a recent(ish) trip to Speyside I picked up this bottle following a tour of the distillery.
As an aside, having done the tour there was nothing there to dampen my ardour for Glenfarclas – it’s a very nice, friendly operation and wholly independent. It looks surprisingly industrial in its process – for example they have massive steel washbacks instead of wooden ones.  But then sometime I need to remind myself that they are operating within an industry and not running a whimsy factory.

A few days after getting home I popped the top off the bottle poured a glass of the dark sweet 15yo, took a nosing… and got blasted by a painful whiff of alcohol. I tamed it with a bit of water but something wasn’t quite right. It almost seemed a touch stale. Maybe I was wanting to like it too much and it wasn’t living up to my expectations but I couldn’t quite get a handle on the taste of it. It just seemed to burn and a be bit flat.

But fear not, I left it a few more days before trying again,  at the second time of asking it well and truly came through and every time since it’s proved itself to be a beautiful wee drop. I got a pleasant caramelised orange on the nose. It still looks the part that dark rich syrup colour but it’s so pleasantly sweet to the taste,  like drinking water that has been running over a tray of molten toffee. 

It lingers for so long too, like having something stuck in your teeth that you keep catching – but, you know, in a good way. The whole mouth feel is amazing.

What to make of the first try I’m not sure – either there was something that needed to happen within the bottle or, more likely, my tastebuds were having an off-day. I think it’s a salutatory lesson not to make any lasting judgments on just one taste.

Anyway I’m so glad it proved to be a winner - not least because it cost me £40. One of the best things I can say about it is that it’s distinctive too, it has a signature taste to it. The kind of whisky you could pick out of a line-up. What’s more I’ve got the 21 and 25 yo to try as well since they came in a tasting pack. Watch this space – I’m sure to have them reviewed this side of the heat-death of the universe.

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