(Expect a look into some duty free shops in the coming weeks as I edit the photos and write the posts)
Richard, who is a member of our mighty little Facebook group and frequent commenter, has a pretty delicious looking whisky collection and in winding down our July 4th celebrations (the irony of celebrating July 4th in England was not lost on us), he kindly offered me my choice.
As a good steward of your time and mine, I opted for a distillery I’d heard many a good thing about but hadn’t yet tried – Glenfarclas.
Glenfarclas is a Speyside distillery owned by the Grant family, not to be confused with William Grant & Sons who owns Glenfiddich, The Balvenie and many other brands. The name, Glenfarclas 105, refers to it’s alcohol content in the old British Proof system where 105 meant 60% alcohol by volume.
First reactions – WOW that’s got a kick.
Funny enough, I didn’t know it was cask strength so I didn’t prepare my senses! Once I stuck my nose in the Glencairn, I knew. I took a cask strength sip, could taste the sherry and chocolate but the alcohol overwhelmed the rest. Might have had a spicy finish… or it was the alcohol, I couldn’t tell.
I put in a couple drops of water and got to scribbling some notes.
- Nose: Sherry notes with chocolate espresso
- Palate: Sweetness from the sherry, rummy, chocolate, some dry fruit like raisins with a smooth creamy nuttiness like almond
- Finish: Spicy, long and lingering sweetness revealed once the spiciness fades
It’s a no age statement, as most cask strengths are, and I found it to be delicious. A little context, I enjoyed this dram as kind of a wind down to the evening (which featured lots of beer and wine drinking, and a mid-party nap) and so I wasn’t expecting a cask strength wake up call… but there it was.
I’m a fan, for sure, however I think given the choice between this ($75) and Aberlour A’Bunadh ($65), I’d pick the A’Bunadh.
I think it’s time you got a NEAT glass. Since we aren’t likely going to be able to get ahold of any cask strengths anytime soon, I’d be interested to know how it may change things for you.
Hrm… maybe (though I wouldn’t have had it in England!), I’ll give them a closer look. Thanks Tina!
Boy, I would love to know where Aberlour A’Bunadh can be bought for $65. It’s $85+ everywhere I look. Good dram tbough.
Ha, it’s $80 now here too, it was on sale a while back in Montgomery County, MD for $65.
Aberlour a’bunadh is $65-70 in many shops here in Southern California. Great whisky, always consistent regardless of batch.
$65 in Phoenix.
When we were in Scotland last summer, we stopped at a tavern called “the Mash Tun”, which had a glass case behind the bar with one bottle of Glenfarclas from every year starting in 1952 and ending in 1998. Yes, … I do have a picture if anybody wants a copy, and yes, a dram from the 1952 bottle was very expensive!
I have a bottle of “105” in my whisky cabinet. It is one of my favorites! Of course, my wife claims that all Scotch Whisky is “My Favorite.” I am sure that the 60% ABV helps to contribute to the fantastic long finish. On more than one occasion, I have finished of the day with a dram of “105”. Slàinte mhath!
Great dram I love this too, but have a question. If it really is “Cask Strength”, how can they manage to make it exactly 60% year after year. And become exactly 60% after being kept on different barrels up to 8-10 years? Other brands and ranges that come out in “Cask Strength” often vary from year to year, and can be 58.3%, 61%, 60.5% etc. Is this a vatted malt, a single cask, a mix of different barrels from different years? And how can it be exactly 60% every time? 🙂
Love it, but have a question. If it really is “Cask Strength”, how can they manage to make it exactly 60% year after year. And become exactly 60% after being kept on different barrels up to 8-10 years? Other brands and ranges that come out in “Cask Strength” often vary from year to year, and can be 58.3%, 61%, 60.5% etc. Is this a vatted malt, a single cask, a mix of different barrels from different years? And how can it be exactly 60% every time? 🙂