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Glenfarclas 18 yo (2019, OB, 43%)

In between many bad things happening in this lockdown period, we found one that is giving us joy. Together with Andrea and Giuseppe from Milano Whisky Festival we invented the Online whisky show, a tasting that overcomes physical barriers, bringing you home 3 cl samples of whisky, and that ideally brings together whisky fans from all over Italy in a large Zoom room (more than 80 people per evening). We will not stop for the whole May and June, and every Tuesday evening there will be a thematic tasting of five whiskies held by the 4 of us (by the way, you can also find them on facebook and on this Youtube channel). Meanwhile, on the inauspicious date of May 5th, we took a nice stroll through Speyside, tasting Glen Moray, Dufftown, Glenburgie, Cragellachie and today’s Glenfarclas. This 18 year old, on a closer inspection, is a rarity because, despite the vast distillery portfolio, an eighteen year old OB was never officially sold in the core range. But the mystery is solved already: we discovered that this is a travel retail bottling, and our brave A&G brought it to Italy and sold it on whiskyshop.it.

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N: definitely not a sherry monster, but this is the style of Glenfarclas core range (we had drunk almost everything at the beginning of the adventure of this blog): therefore we expected it. Deep notes of raisins, dried yellow fruit (apricot and cooked apples); milk chocolate and almonds, ovomaltine. Panettone. A metallic note, light, like copper, or rust, crosses the nose, making it very interesting.

P: kind and light, played on the basis of a theory of yellow fruit (apples and pears again), vanilla, a little raisins. Certainly after 18 years the malt is still speaking out (ovaltine galore): the use of refill barrels is evident. The only flaw is that it’s “’falling” a little too quickly…

F: …to end on a fairly long finish, toasted, on raisins and chocolate.

We know that Glenfarclas is very proud of the consistency of their distillate (remember the anecdote of the new alambic, on which they reproduced an accidental sketch, to avoid any change in the new make). Let’s also not forget that Glenfarclas has remained the only large distillery to distill by direct fire on both washes and spirit stills. It makes perfect sense that, even in old age bottlings, they do not want to frustrate all the work on the distillate to cover it with very active barrels, and it is certainly also the case for this 18 year old. It is a  very competitive Glenfarclas, quality/price wise (around 60 euros!), But in our opinion it lacks a little personality, carrying a dusty sense of ‘travel retail’ wearily on his shoulders: 83/100.

Sottofondo musicale consigliato: Queen – The Show Must Go On.

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