A late night stop in a local spirit seller last night landed me a couple bottles of the old standby, Glenfarclas 15, at the rock bottom price of $65 a piece. If you’ve been following current whisky trends (and I’m sure you have) you’ll know that quality affordable age-stated malts are pretty close to a critically endangered species nowadays. You can imagine my delight at finding such a score just blocks from home.
It was also cause for reflection. While I’ve drunk ridiculous amounts of Glenfarclas over the years, I’ve not yet reviewed nearly as many as I should have. Something to be remedied in the coming days, I think. Let’s face it…second only to Springbank, Glenfarclas is the ‘be all, end all’ in traditional whisky making, and that is something that places this distillery in the top tiers of my own personal favorites.
So having said all of that, let’s dig into an iconic malt from this old school family owned and operated Speyside juggernaut. Here we have Glenfarclas 25. This is a whisky that tends to get glossed over in favour of the always available 15, the bombastic 105 or the rather exceptional 40 (largely depending on your personal tax bracket, of course). The fact of the matter is, though, that this is a great dram at a more than fair price point. It delivers almost exactly what I’d expect, and always feels like a bit of a homecoming. Quite highly recommended.
Nose: Jammy sherry notes with a hint of toasted caramel and sticky vanilla pod. Apple, stewed stone fruit and tobacco. Spicy wood notes. Red ju-jubes and fresh cinnamon. Crème brûlée and grilled orange zest. Warm and familiar.
Palate: Oh wow. Great delivery. Turns to apples and oranges first before plunging deeper into dried fruits and the warming buzz of all things sherry (spice, chocolate, raisin and all things Christmas cake-like). There is a heft of fruit peel (slightly drying) and toasted wood. Speaking of toasted notes, perhaps some roasted marshmallow. A slight nuttiness; walnut, I think, with maybe some almond.
Thoughts: Not the cleanest or most exciting of the Glenfarclas range, but a great old dram nonetheless. Always a treat to revisit.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt
Thanks for the review of this one. Have always being curious about it as the price struck me as quite fair for a 25 yo. Unfortunately it is jumping up about $45 here in Ontario over its price last year, so not quite the bargain based on age as it once was.
Note : 43% (not 46%).. Not to nitpick ; )
You’re right. Good catch. Thanks for keeping me honest.
Sigh…these ever increasing prices. I’m at a loss as to when it will end.
I think the answer is never…
Glad to see a review of this one as GF 105 is a standard for me (I can still get 10 YO’s, so Jeff needn’t get upset). I also think their 12 is better than the other sherried competitors. I haven’t tried the 21 or 25, but may look into that.
It is good to see a company not gouging the public. Balvenie has now joined HP and Macallan in my doghouse with big jumps in prices. Dropped by the store this week and Balvenie 17 DW had gone from $114 to $144!! The new sherried 15 is now $115, which is almost twice what the old 15 cost. I will not buy whiskies that are overpriced compared to competitors. Instead I picked up 2 bottles of 16 YO Nadurra for $75 each. Ridiculous!
Robert I totally agree. If these distilleries keep raising prices, they will lose me and customers alike.