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Glenfarclas 40 yo (1971/2011, Silver Seal, 52%)

Again this year, as timely as a Scandinavian can be, the fat man in a red dress has arrived. In line with tradition, we offered him a dram and gave him the possibility to choose a celebratory sample, to gulp down under the tree. Santa chose a Glenfarclas with monstrous credentials, a “family cask” from the distillery,  bottled directly for Silver Seal. How can you blame him?

29599

N: the alcohol is very smooth, the ABV is imperceptible. It certainly doesn’t show this forty years. Very intense and deep aromas emerge, but neither heavy nor “dirty”. However, there is one side that suggests a long interaction between cask and distillate: the extreme silkiness, spices and citrus fragrances (chinotto, dehydrated orange, tamarind, and a veil of sweet cinnamon). The quality of the malt is truly stellar. Ruben, who tasted it and liked it very much, has a commendable intuition: cardamom! Then, of course, we can abandon ourselves to the best cliches of an ex-sherry aging: we find red apples, brown sugar, a little cooked fruit (apples, plums, raisins). The red fruit is particular, not too jammy, and not completely fresh: it is excellent and compact. Finally, some herbaceous peaks are gifting us infinite suggestions, including vermouth and infusions. Over time, big chocolate and the memory of a pine forest under the rain la pioggia.

P: sometimes whiskies in their forties tend to faint. As the wise man says: “good whiskies over 25 years of age are the exception, not the rule“.  In this case, however, the rule does not apply. There is a great intensity, including alcohol, and the body is dense and ‘chewable’. The palate walks dangerously on a wire between two cliffs: the Sweet and the Bitter. On one hand, robust notes of orange (jam), apple, dehydrated red fruits; on the other hand, a wide range of flavors, including wood, nutmeg, cinnamon, herbal infusions, tobacco pipe, eucalyptus, bitter chocolate, cloves (but keep in mind that our division comes from the arid needs of written language: in the experience, everything is ecstatically melted). We forgot to mention the hot and beautiful malt: you can totally feel that, too.

F: an inception of different levels of excellence, endlessly developing. Peaks of ash, tobacco, Scandinavian Christmas cookies with ginger and cinnamon dominate. And no, it’s not Santa Claus who stole them.

It might be the spirit of this Christmas day, or maybe it’s just the fact that we feel like we did our best during this year…but after drinking a whisky like this, we feel better, almost purified. And we are already looking forward to the next visit by the bearded man, who gave us a 93/100 for this Christmas.

Recommended soundtrack: come to us Santa,come! Jacques Brel

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