Though I really wanted to become an ardent amateur of Glenfarclas malts considering they are truly independant -as in free from marketing geniuses -- I have a few minor misgivings, alas.
I mentionned the Christmas bottling; the one I got was disilled around the 1980's and bottled in 2003 give a take a year or two. It was about 23 years old, single cask, first fill, cask strength and just out of this world. And the same price as a Mac 18 today.
Someone said that first fill sherry (or port) casks can overwhelm the Gelnfarclas and I would tend to agree. That being said, I prefer a first fill Sherry matured Glenfarclas over any second fill of Bourbon aged one!
For example the 21, was a slight disapointment, but a ten or 11 year old single cask or first fill bottle is always great and in my mind a better deal.
I guess the larger point is that unfortunately for us lovers of big mats, the glenfarclas is a supermiddleweight, or at best a lightheavyweight. While the Macallan is a heavyweight (and for example the Glenmorangie a lightweight). And no amount of trainning (re:Sherry casks!) will make up for it. Its really too bad. (I mena the Glenfarclas has brand integrity in spades and could teach the lads at the Edrington a thing or two in that department...)
I would venture the lighter nature of the Glenfarclas compared to Macallan comes from the stills at Glenfarclas which are the some of the largest in Speyside. While Macallan's are the smallest and create a heavier, more visquous, and I would say better, richer spirit.
Having said all this, I really enjoy the '105' truly a pioneer (or avant guarde) malt! And as mentioned they have great single cask and/or special bottlings. Yes they are expensive, and hard to get. But come to think of it, they are cheaper than the Sherry Mac 18 which is also mpossible to find in certain markets, and getting pricier where it remains available. (I am thinkin of doing a chart on my blog...)
Another idea is to classify Malt distilleries by 'weight' categories, like boxers....
Today's entry: the Marketing Geniuses!