Nothing Better Coming

One question that I’ve been asked repeatedly over the last few months is: do you have any more first-fill sherry cask whiskies on the way?

The answer to that question remains to be seen. If you mean do we have access to more first-fill sherry casks, the answer is yes. But whether or not we’ll buy them is still up in the air because the pricing for sherry butts right now is outrageous. One thing I can tell you safely is this: in terms of sherry-matured whisky, there’s nothing better in store for 2015, or 2016, than the two Glenfarclas whiskies we already have in stock. Period. Point blank. Nothing. If you want rich, textural, mouth-coating sherry from Scotland’s premier producer of sherry-matured whisky, then those whiskies are already here and they have been for months now—they’ve just been lost in the shuffle a bit. Lately, however, they seem to have resurfaced in the minds of whisky drinkers as we’ve had a little rush on supply in the last few weeks. That’s partially because we’ve run dry of our other Signatory casks, and also because other people in the online community like my friend SKU and the guys at the LA Whisky Society have recently added their opinions to the fold. If you’re waiting for us to find new or better sherry-matured whisky than what we already have, you’re going to be waiting for quite a while. The prices for these casks were based off barrel prices for 2013, so it’s only going to be more expensive moving forward (if we even decide to move forward at the current prices). Part of the reason we loaded up when we did is because we saw these price increases coming. And we were right! Now there’s less pressure to find more stuff in 2015 because we still have plenty of Glenfarclas left. Thank goodness.

If you missed these in all the late holiday fuss last year, here are the notes:

Glenfarclas "The Faultline Casks" K&L Exclusive First Fill Oloroso Sherry Casks Single Malt Whisky $109.99 - When George Grant offered us the opportunity to take multiple casks for a special exclusive bottling, we were over the moon. The creative juices began flowing. We talked about doing an ultra-aged expression, but we didn't feel we could match the outrageous cask from the 1970 vintage, which we'd acquired a couple of years back. Instead, we decided to focus on a NAS (no age statement) mixture of casks from earlier vintages. The goal was to create a high proof, heavily sherried 'Farclas that we could sell for around $100. After tasting multiple vintages from 8 to 15 years of age, we settled on three of our favorite casks in the 9-10 year range. At no other distillery is vintage so important and the importance of their vessel was clear when tasting these younger expressions. We've ended up with a mixture of young casks that surpass even our own high expectations. This is full fledged and powerful, yet tempered by the strong influence of that special wine of Andalucía. If you love sherry, if you love high proof single malt, if you love powerful flavors and massively textural whisky, then this bottling is for you. Even better, if you love not spending a ton for a bespoke offering from one of the world's best distilleries, don't wait to order. We'll have more than the standard single barrel, but this bottling is still highly limited.

Glenfarclas 24 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Malt Whisky $169.99 - We've always loved Glenfarclas. As you may or may not know, this distillery is one of the last independently owned in all of Scotland. It's owned by the Grant family. It also happens to be on most knowledgeable people's list of top distilleries and has consistently provided us with excellent sherried Speyside offerings at incredible prices. We've had success finding single casks in their vast warehouse system, but found that current market conditions have made purchasing a single cask from the Grants rather cost-prohibitive. Negotiating the price down on those casks is also out of the question as wholesalers worldwide are privy to the price structure and the Grants are very loyal and fair. With that option off the table we decided to get creative. Those single casks have a set price list, but picking multiple casks for one bottling afforded us some flexibility. We knew we were onto the next crazy value, but we never imagined how versatile a multi-cask bottling could be. So, into the warehouse we went. George bragged about the quality of the 1990 vintage, but we had no idea how special they were until we were standing in front of the barrels. These casks are from a sequential lot of first fill Oloroso sherry butts at 24 years old. Without a doubt, 'Farclas fans will be pleased, but this bottling is approachable enough for even the most novice whisky lover to appreciate.

My new best friend David J, from Bauhaus and Love & Rockets, is in town tonight playing a show at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, right next to Bar Agricole. I can promise you that we’ll be drinking some 1990 Glenfarclas backstage before he plays his set. In fact, those were his specific instructions for me.

“David, I’m putting you and your wife on the guest list for tonight’s show. Bring more 1990 Glenfarclas. See you there.”

When a rock legend sends you that kind of a request, you comply. 

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll