Maker: Glenfarclas, Ballindalloch, Scotland, UK (J & G Grant)
Region: Speyside, although the label describes it as “Highland”
Michigan State Minimum: $52
Appearance: Light gold (natural color) with long thin legs.
Nose: Sherry, barley bread, dried flowers, crème brûlée.
Palate: Medium bodied and desserty. Butterscotch, French lavender, oak, mace (the spice not the chemical weapon).
Finish: Fairly hot but sweet. Lingers on the lips for a short time.
Parting Words: Glenfarclas is one of the few truely independent malt distilleries left in Scotland. The Grant family (not to be confused with many other Grants making Scotch whisky) has owned Glenfarclas since the nineteenth century and they have continued to do things their own old fashioned way. They refer to their whisky as Highland on the label although most would refer to them as Speyside these days given their proximity to the Spey river. Their labels are simple, their bottles are butch and their range of malts is based primarily on age. In the U.S. a 10, 12, 17, 21, 25, 40 and a 105 proof cask strength NAS version. Also available (but very expensive) are the Family Cask series of vintage bottlings.
The 12 y/o Glenfarclas is a very good whisky.The packaging and marketing may be spartan, but the whisky is not. The distinctive earthy aromas of the older expressions are muted in the 12 , but are still there faintly in the sherry and oak. The result is a classic sherried Speyside profile of the heavier sort, like Balvenie or Mortlach. It’s an excellent after dinner sipper well suited to books and back porches. I don’t smoke cigars, but I have been told that it goes well with them as well.
$52 is a steal for a mature, quality single malt from anywhere these days. Nothing not to like about Glenfarclas 12. It is recommended.