We tried to compare two sherry bombs, both cask strength and NAS. Along with the GlenDronach Cask Strength we tasted this Glenfarclas 105 (“5 over proof”, 60% ABV). The colour is amber, lighter than its “cousin” ‘Dronach.
N: definetely less expressive but fresher compared to the GlenDronach: some prickly notes of solvent and leather gradually giving way to fresh red fruits as strawberries; imagine lying in a wood, surrounded by sugary whiffs difficult to describe. The higher ABV doesn’t allow the flavour to dance in the glass. Furthermore, it shows a stronger winey influence, with weird notes of red wine and even rum, as Serge says. With water it surprisingly becomes rather smoky (think about a cigar just out) and you can detect some unripe fruits (citrus and unripe apricots).
P: the alcohol doesn’t hide, but a young sherry profile stands out: leather, tobacco, red fruits (cherries, again). What are those orange pralines called? Compared to the GD, the palate is more closed and simple. With water a note of blue cheese (damp and dirt oak) emerges, followed by a lively sweetness. Tons of red fruits, orange, a splash of rum and a mix between malt and pepper. Apple juice.
F: everything is focused on red fruits and cigar tobacco. Young malt. Long and persistent.
It’s a good whisky. It’s funny playing with water to understand the influence of dilution on changing aromas. However, this 105 loses the match against its feisty competitor. The GlenDronach is very intense, round and deep, incredibly rich and striking, with dozens of nuances. This is rather more restrained and austere, even if smooth, fresher and simpler. Two different sherried styles, anyone will choose his favorite. We enjoyed GD the most, but Andrea goes crazy for Glenfarclas… What about you? The vote, however, is 84/100.
Recommended soundtrack: Dream Theater – Metropolis 1 (The Miracle and The Sleeper).