An excellent introduction to the distillery style. Glenfarclas means Glen of the Green Grassland, and the freshness on the nose reminds me of grassland in spring. So, for me, this is the ‘farclas’ aroma. Single Malt World Cup named this whisky as the ‘Best Sherried Whisky’ in the year 2006. More recently Glenfarclas 12 Years Old won Gold at the Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival in 2007 and again in 2008. Glenfarclas markets itself as a Highland malt, eschewing the coveted Speyside origin designation. However, most texts categorize it with its brethren in the valley of the Spey due to its location.
One of only two Scottish distilleries that has remained in family ownership since its establishment, the Speyside distillery has six stills, and are some of the largest in the region, but still refers to itself as a “Highland” malt. The stills are direct-fired rather than steam heated, which the family claims is necessary to produce a weighty spirit. Its water flows from the heather-covered slopes of Ben Rinnes.
Glenfarclas whisky is aged exclusively in ex-sherry casks, most from producer José-Miguel Martin. The whisky matures slowly in earthen-floored dunnage warehouses, with little loss to the angels. It might be said that Glenfarclas shows best after long aging, and the family releases a long series of bottlings into the 40 and 50 year-old range.