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Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

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Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby shulaw05 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:37 am

For whatever reason it has been a long time since i've bought a bottle of Glenfarclas. i've been drinking more sherried whiskies lately (glendronach 12 yr, balvenie signature and a'bundah), and decided that the next distillery i want to try again is glenfarclas. any thoughts on which bottle to buy?
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Re: Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby Single Malt Kommunist » Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:10 am

Glenfarclas 105 - a sherry monster @60%abv. Excellent price for the quality. Not quite as good as the Macallan CS though IMHO.

There are a few good Glenfarclas quarter cask bottlings as well - bottled by the year (around €65). These may have been delivered only to selected markets in Europe.
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Re: Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby shulaw05 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:17 am

Single Malt Kommunist wrote:Glenfarclas 105 - a sherry monster @60%abv. Excellent price for the quality. Not quite as good as the Macallan CS though IMHO.

There are a few good Glenfarclas quarter cask bottlings as well - bottled by the year (around €65). These may have been delivered only to selected markets in Europe.


i'm not a very big macallan fan - seems to be the only sherried whisky i don't enjoy (at least the only one i've found to date). as for the quarter cask bottlings, i don't recall seeing them in the US. i'm actually travelling abroad in about 2 weeks though, i'll check out the duty free shop.
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Re: Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby Gov » Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:30 am

I have only had the 12 and the 105. I liked both very much :D
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Re: Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby matthew2512 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:55 am

I would recommend the 21yo for a lovely sweet candied whisky with a touch of smoke, excellent value for a 21 year old whisky. Would anyone recommend the 25yo?
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Re: Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby Red_Arremer » Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:29 am

The 21 is a terrific whisky-- not just because it is a value (though it is that too). I highly recommend it. The sherry is enticing and well-defined, but not overpowering.

I would also recommend the 17. That's a great whisky: very subtle, in a good way. It really leads you on.

In response to your question matthew2512 , no I would not recommend the 25. Actually, I just remembered that I wrote a review of a Glenfarclas tasting a while back. It was at Federal Wine and Spirits, Boston, MA, and was hosted by George Grant from Glenfarclas and Joe Howell who is an awesome whisky seller and has about a million bottles open that you can taste. Here are the notes I took:

Glenfarclas 10
A lot of green fruit. Very citrusy. A little flowery. Some soap on the finish, but it's not overpowering. Tastes a touch immature in a pleasant sort of way. Almost like a young lowlander. Very different from the rest of the range.

Glenfarclas 12
Subtle raisin-like fruit, a little bit of oak herbs, a good bit of malt and body, some nuts, some grass. A nice relaxed drink. Straightforward without being simple.

Glenfarclas 17
Very refined is the first impression before the tastes even sink in. Smooth. Somewhat heathery. All of the flavors from the twelve (less nut) but here they integrate more naturally and effortlessly. A supple body. Leads you on as if it always had a little more to offer. The beginnings of depth. Feels good to drink. One of my two favourites.

Glenfarclas 21
This has good depth. And a firm malty foundation too. The fruit is disappearing and giving way to a well harmonized oak influence. The finish is great. Very long and soothing. An enjoyable grit from the oak right at the beginning of the finish. The presence of the sherry here is slightly more pronounced, but like the oak influence it blends in beautifully and its aromatic fruity-chocolatiness arises from and passes back into the other flavors in a very sublte interplay. I notice that I haven't commented on sherry at all in my notes for the 10, 12, and 17, but it is present in all of them (except maybe the 10). I think that the reason I didn't note it was that, like many young scotch drinkers, I'm accustomed to sherry having a more dominant and unabashed influence. This is the era of monster flavors. More often than not, being a hardcore Islay fan means considering Ardbeg to be the best whisky of them all. Of course Ardbeg is the most heavily peated whisky that's easily available to most. And appreciating sherry in scotch means debating over, which batch of Aberlour (one of the most heavily sherried whiskies) is the best put together. Truth be told Glenfarclas has plenty of sherry, but with the possible exception of the 105 I feel like it's better integrated and less in your face than most of the other scotch that gets hyped for its sherry. But back to the review-- Glenfarclas 21 is really great very powerful whisky, and I would recommend it or the 17 to any serious appreciator of scotch.

Glenfarclas 25
I feel like the oak is dominating a little here. Sipped simply and not slowly it comes across as sweet, resinous, thick, and satisfying. It also has a fascinatingly deep texture, which is worthy of savoring, but unfortunately, if you let it move around in your mouth for more than a second, most of the flavors fold out to the oak. It's not that the whisky tastes unpleasantly woody--it's just not as brilliantly balanced as the 21.

Glenfarclas 105
This one is different. It's a cask strength and the sherry flavor in it dominates to a degree. The flavors are gratifying. Drunken straight, It's almost syrupy in its texture. A few drops of water tone it down, though, and what you're left with is a the sherried whisky equivalent of an excellent workhorse. Good stuff--especially if you enjoy up-front sherry. It's also an excellent value.

Glenfarclas 1974 Cask Strength
This is similar to the 105 not just because it's cask strength, but also because of the dominance of the sherry. That said it's much better balanced and more complicated than the 105. It's soothing and drinks well straight even at 54.7%. If you like the 105 and you have some money, then you'll probably like this even better.
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Re: Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby borgom » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:35 pm

Glenfarclas 21 is one of my favourites whiskies and probably my favourite sherried whisky (non CS). I've only tried 105, 8, 12, 15, 21 & 25 but 21 is my favourite for the extra smoothness, wood influence and chocolate favours. Others really like the the extra strength, spice and character of the 15 so it's worth trying both to see which you prefer. I wouldn't go out of my way for the 105 as a'bunadh is usually far superior.
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Re: Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby shulaw05 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:20 pm

thanks for the replies. looks like the consensus is the 17 and/or 21, i'll give them both a try in due time
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Re: Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby The Third Dram » Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:17 pm

borgom wrote:Others really like the the extra strength, spice and character of the 15...

As do I. Yes, the 15YO did go through a questionable patch a little while back when the Sherry-enhanced roundness diminished and a spirity bite came a tad too much to the fore. But the latest I've tried is back to its old self, and quite tasty. As others have pointed out, the 25YO is relentlessly oaky... I still like it!
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Re: Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby Ganga » Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:49 am

Actually, my Glenfarclas of choice is an 11 yo bottled for Traverso's in CA. There's a nice little cherry note on top that just isn't anywhere else in the line that I've found.

My second is the 17. The 25 in the old tall bottle was exceptional and quite different from the rest of the line but more recent ones are more herbal. The old 25 used to be very nutty instead of herbal.
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Re: Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby michaelsheldon » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:52 pm

the Glenfarclas 15 is a fabulous start....recent editions have been wonderful...then for something totally different go to the '105'....on we go!
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Re: Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby LagaDrinker » Sat Feb 14, 2009 5:27 pm

If you can afford it the 105 40 YO is absolutely amazing
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Re: Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby shulaw05 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:32 pm

well, i'm happy to report that i picked up a bottle of the glenfarclas 21 yr on my cruise last week (in st. marteen), for only $77!!! looking forward to trying it in due time. thanks again for the replies
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Re: Which Glenfarclas should I buy?

Postby borgom » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:30 pm

Well done :thumbsup: . I hope you enjoy it!
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