Whisky Season 2012 Update: A Pair from Glenfarclas

We've been getting a ton of emails asking us when the bombs were going to start dropping, when the Ladyburns of 2012 would be offered, so to speak.  Ladies and gentlemen, please begin to take cover.  Now that we've armed ourselves with a calvalry of selective bargains, we're ready to start bringing out the heavy artillery.  The above picture will give you a pretty good idea of what our visit to Glenfarclas was like.  George Grant going through a gigantic, 1980's-style computer printout of ten thousand casks and where they were located.  Us, salivating like two hungry dogs, wetting our whistles with sweet, sherry-aged juice from decades past.  We could have spent our entire time in Scotland at Glenfarclas alone, digging through the various warehouses and pulling out amazing barrels.  In the end, David and I had already snagged a handful of value whiskies, so we knew we had to take advantage of the situation.  No other distillery would be willing to let us run willy-nilly through their super mature stocks, allowing us access to thirty and forty year old casks at the drop of a hat.  There was no point in settling for a twelve year old cask of Glenfarclas when our customers can buy that right now anyway.  The insane amount of mature whisky needed to be exploited to its fullest potential.  We needed to man up, go deep, and simply take the best barrels we could find - no matter how old, how rare, or how expensive.  So we did.  Man, are they glorious.

(NOTE: We are leaving off the age statements until we can determine the exact age of the malt - 41 or 42, 32 or 33)

1970 Glenfarclas K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (Pre-Order) $579.99 - The next time we head over to Scotland for a business trip, we could easily spend the entire week at Glenfarclas.There are multiple warehouses with an endless amount of barrels, making our discovery of fantastic whisky almost the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack. One of the oldest distillerlies in all of Scotland, Glenfarclas is perhaps the most legendary Highland producer. No one is quite sure when the site was actually founded because records only document those facilities that legally paid taxes. In 1865, the Grants purchased the company and since then has passed it down to successive generations. Today, George Grant still proudly runs the show, making Glenfarclas a true rarity - an independent, family-owned distillery that still maintains complete autonomy over its operations. There are no corporate obligations, which is why David and I were able to walk in, meet with George, and pick out any cask that we wanted from the storied, sherry-aged stocks. With so many mature expressions available, we knew we had to take advantage. The 1970 cask is over 40 years old, with a savory richness that oozes with fudge and coffee grounds. The sherry morphs into cakebread and rancio notes before going back in for more richness on the finish. The full proof really makes this whisky special, adding a punch that most older malts lack.  The finish goes on for an eternity, seriously daring you to go back for seconds.  It's the entire package - rarity, depth, and a complexity only found in whiskies of this age. One of the best we've ever found and very limited. Believe me, we wouldn't bring in an entire cask of whisky this expensive unless we knew it was going to be epic.  It is.  It's AMAZING.  Only 50 bottles available for pre-order.

1979 Glenfarclas K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $279.99 - Glenfarclas is well-renowned for its heavily-sherried character, a mainstay of the Highland distilleries in its region. Located just down the way from Aberlour and other famous Speyside institutions, the dried raisins and fruit cake flavors of sweet sherry casks are ubiquitous in the region and in Glenfarclas whisky expressions.  For that reason, the single cask of 1979 vintage malt we tasted from a fourth-fill sherry cask really caught us off guard.  Because the barrel has already been used three times to mature other whiskies, the sherry residue left on the wood is quite faint, therefore having less of an impact on the eventual color and flavor of the spirit aging inside of it. After more than 30 years, the result is absolutely incredible and very unlike most other Glenfarclas whiskies (exactly why we wanted it!).  Instead of rich sherry, the whisky opens with oily resinous notes, sweet barley, and supple texture that can only come from three decades of wooded slumber.  The finish turns somewhat smoky, filling in the gaps with more oil and a wave of vanilla.  The whisky is simply delicious, loaded with character, and unlike anything from Glenfarclas or any other distillery offering currently on the market.  David and I are always on the lookout for the delicious oddball and we definitely found one deep in the plentiful warehouses of Glenfarclas.  One of my absolute favorite bottles from the trip, if not the favorite. Only 75 bottles available for pre-order.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll