Glenfarclas are known for their almost religious traditionalism, sticking with sherry and bourbon casks and staunchly opposing new ideas such as finishes. However, every once in a while, a non traditional gem pops up. When I say non traditional, I only mean that it’s a cask that you don’t traditionally see, because even the whisky found in non traditional casks, fully matured there its whole life.
In 2012, there was a 43 year old Cognac Cask bottling, which I have regrettably not had. However, at the whisky show, a 31 year matured in port casks was on pour, as was a 1966 Fino Sherry cask that I will review at a later date.
The liquid was distilled in 1981 and placed in a first fill port cask yielding 480 bottles and was released last year.
Glenfarclas 31 Year Old Port Cask (42.8% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Dark gold with rather quick legs.
Nose: Coffee, bittersweet pralines with chocolate-nut filling and notes of gentle spices (ginger and clove).
Palate: This is very different than the “normal” Glenfarclas. The mouthfeel is very dry and the spices are very dominant. You’ll find allspice, clove some nutmeg and turmeric (curcumin).
Linger: The finish is medium, very dry with notes of chocolate, soft spices and coffee, leaving a tingle on the inside of your cheeks.
This expresson is very special. I didn’t get to taste the Congac cask from two years ago, but tasting this completely different animal from Glenfarclas was fun.
In a way, both the special bottles offered at the show, the Port Cask and the 1966 Fino are expressions that vary quite widely from the “regualr character” of the distillery.