This is from a sample, taken home at an amazing Glenfarclas vertical tasting at which I sadly couldn't drink. The 40 year old did not win the popular vote, but it was certainly the star of the show on paper.
The sample is very small - maybe half a regular pour - so I suspect this will be a hard review to do exhaustively. It's still the oldest Scotch I've ever had the chance to try, so I'll do my best anyway!
1.8, old oak
Sherried notes without being too heavy on the raisins. Fruit of both the fresh and dried varieties. Oranges, apricots. Sandalwood, solvent and some fabric softener. Toffee. It's a quiet nose overall, each note seems to linger in the background and none really comes up to the front. Some might say subdued, some might say elegant. Easy to pick flattering terms when you know it's a 40 year old single malt in the glass.
Definitely a stronger sensation than the nose. A fresh, fruity arrival with typical sherry characteristics. Spicy with a clear oakiness lurking behind the fruit.
Woody, fruity, dry. A little like chewing on a pencil, plus the sherry influences.
The nose might hint at a reasonable complexity and stature for a dram of this caliber, but I have to be honest. Apart from the dry, pencil-chewing woodiness at the end, there is not much mileage from all those years in the cask. A pretty straight-forward (great tasting) Glenfarclas but nothing spectacular. Fun to try though! Side note - the evening's most popular Glenfarclas was an 11 year old cask strength whisky and I have a sample of that one lying around for another day!
83 / 100
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