One of the most popular dream drams at the London Whisky Show was the 1966 Glenfarclas aged in Fino Sherry casks, and no wonder, as you don’t get to see Fino Sherry coming out of Glenfarclas every day. The official story is of long forgotten casks, which then had to be traced back to diaries kept by 4th generation George Grant, who was at the helm from 1949 to 2002.
This expression is the harbinger of a new series of six whiskies, celebrating each of the six generation of the Grant family, who have owned Glenfarclas since 1865. This one is dedicated to John Grant, founder of the dynasty. There’s no information yet on the next expression. presumingly honoring George Grant. His namesake, Brand Ambassador George S. Grant, with whom I chatted in London, said in a press release that the next expression in the series will be totally different.
Glenfarclas 1966 Fino Casks, Casks 4194, 4195 and 4197 distilled 23/9/1966, bottled 18/12/2013, 1/1444 bottles (50.5% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Bronze, thin legs and quite a bit of residue drops
Nose: It’s clearly Glenfarclas, but gone is the sweetness of the nose, which obviously makes sense when you replace the Oloroso with Fino. The nose starts out with some tart notes with some citrus and becoming more sour as it opens. With the sour notes, a tantalizing sweet distant flower note appears. Curiously, the malt is still on the nose despite all those years in the cask.
Palate: Dry on the palate, with sweet and bitter notes playing across the mouth. It’s spicy, but not peppery (more like allspice or white pepper).
Linger: Long with a tangy sourness remaining on the tongue with light spice and floral notes remaining.
This was another face of Glenfarclas I got to see, following the previous day’s Port Cask I previously reviewed. Fresh, despite being 47 years old, this is a great dram with a very subtle complexity to it.
I can definitely say I’m curiously looking forward to the other expressions in this series.
On another note, I’ll be celebrating my 45th birthday on December 12th. My friend and fellow blogger Yoav of Whisky Gospel noticed that my tasting list is at 460 malts, and challenged me to make 500 by my birthday by tasting one new dram a day until then. I accepted the challenge (which is considerably faster than my normal rate of tasting, shows and festivals not included), and plan to have my birthday dram – a Glenfarclas 1969 Family Cask, incidentally – coincide with my 500th single malt.