Glenfarclas 185th Anniversary Review

I knew this release was coming, but it wasn’t really one I was really anticipating. Let’s face it…this was not going to be in the same sort of league as the rather legendary 175th Anniversary release which was said to have included casks from as far back as the 1950s.

Having said that, I adore Glenfarclas. I think y’all know that by now. It’s just that this 185th Anniversary release was bound to be younger, bound to be rooted squarely in the more contemporary school of malts. In other words, I’m dancing around one of those ‘back in my day’ type of stories.

But even if that is the case, let’s just say that it’s good to be back in Ballindalloch. Even if only in a virtual and vicarious sense.

I’ve probably been a wee bit snobby and concentrated a tick more heavily on the Family Casks and older expressions from Glenfarclas in recent years than I should have, often to the unintentional neglect of the core range. Said range is ticking along just fine, I might add; it’s just that, well, those low ABVs, George. I know bumping ’em all to 46% is not in the cards (and would absolutely shitcan that cracker of a tale about your grandfather’s initiative to hold the 15year old to a higher proof), but reaching for the sub-46s can be an exercise in willful delusion sometimes. Love the flavors, hate the anemic texture. Anyway, rest easy. This suiting tribute to 185 years of Glenfarclas is a worthy addition to the larder.

Congrats to our friends at Glenfarclas. I’d normally say, ‘can’t wait to see what the future brings’, but so long as you’re chugging away being you, it sorta feels like all is right in the malt-o-sphere.

46% abv. 6,000 bottles. Not a heavyweight, by any means, but robust and oily, and perfectly comfortable on the palate.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Wow. Kinda…dare I say…old school-ish, in terms of sherry profile. Old barrel. Creme caramel and raspberry reduction. Lightly peppered white dough. MacIntosh apple. Raisin butter tarts. Musty purple grape. Caramel Macchiato. A bit mince-y.
Linseed. Antique wood.

Palate: Absolutely, infinitely, unquestionably Glenfarclas. Almost certainly the legacy of those direct-fired wash stills, which always give a lightly sharp burnt note on the palate (especially the finish). Old toothy Armagnac. Orange peel. Fennel. Slightly root-y. A hint of mulled cider. Dry cinnamon buns. Some rather bitter, dark fruit notes. Edging into those tangy, tropicals I love.

Finish: Quite herbal, actually, once the fruit notes back down. Dandelion. Burnt grain. Pleasant, if tannic. And longish.

Thoughts: Clean, flawless sherry casks and almost the Platonic form of Glenfarclas. Others seem to be finding a few more vibrant fruits than I am, but I’m okay with the more integrated melange I’m getting.


1 thought on “Glenfarclas 185th Anniversary Review

  1. Cameron

    Glad you like this one, Curt. Bought one from KWM on the weekend. First ‘Farclas in some time and was debating this or the KWM 25yr on sale last weekend. I’ll look forward to trying this. Cheers!


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