This expression, which was distilled at the Glenfarclas distillery in Speyside, was made available only at that location. This spirit, which Callum Fraser, the distillery manager, personally chose, was made in 2004 and allowed to age for 13 years in oak casks. This whisky, which is one of a limited run of 599 bottles, has been bottled at a level of 57.5% alcohol by volume.
Appearance: Lovely and dark, like flat cola with an orange hue. A substantial corrugated film forms around the circumference of the glass with thin to medium legs rippling throughout.
The thin jagged swirl mark slowly turns into many small teardrops.
Nose: A heady ABV influence. Cherry and oak, like the appearance, are quite cola-like.
Fresh damp forest, tree bark, red berries such as raspberries and strawberries and a touch of sawdust.
Another more spice-forward level emerges after a short time. Warming and comforting Christmas spice, especially cinnamon, allspice berries and ginger.
Some black pepper and clove-studded orange appear late on.
Palate: A lovely syrupy mouthfeel. The ABV influence is much more noticeable on the palate, with a throat and chest warming and heat tingle on the tongue. It’s quite the hit of ethanol!
Sherry-soaked dried fruits, lots of leather and shoe polish, black liquorice and lemon sherbert feature strongly in the palate too.
There’s a slight oaky dryness and faint astringency, but it’s nowhere near offputting and is balanced by the dried fruit sweetness and a butter element.
It drinks like a whisky much more mature than 13 years. It’s got big bold flavours (which could challenge some), a lovely balance between the spice, sweetness and leather notes and a buttery mouthfeel).
Finish: Long and lingering. The dried fruit, leather and oak are the overriding flavours. The Christmas spices, particularly cinnamon share the palate too.
Overall: Big and unapologetically bold, this is a bit of a flavour monster. I really like it and would buy a bottle up to about £80, but I’m fully aware that it’s easy above this at retail now.
The Christmas spice and dried fruit notes are very pleasing Indeed.