Let’s get back into age-stated Glenfarclas. For those who came in late: I’ve recently reviewed the 8 yo, the 10 yo, the 12 yo and the 15 yo. I’ve also previously reviewed the 17 yo, the 25 yo, the 30 yo and the 40 yo. This 18 yo and the 21 yo are all that remain (I think) in rounding out the full range of age-stated Glenfarclas from their core range (there are also the far more expensive Family Casks, but I’m not going to be running through them all any time soon). Well, I suppose this 18 yo isn’t part of their core range either—I think it’s actually a Travel Retail bottle, though I’m not sure if it’s available in all markets. And though I don’t know how much this one costs, Travel Retail these days is unfortunately usually a shorter way of saying “expensive but not very good”. But there are always exceptions to every rule. Will this Glenfarclas be one of them? It’s certainly different from most Travel Retail releases in that it has an age statement and doesn’t have a silly name.
Glenfarclas 18 (43%; from a bottle split)
Nose: A lot of citrus here too to start (yes, oranges again) but now they’re mixed in with muskier notes (pineapple, ripe plantains); some honey too. Very nice. With water there’s a big burst of citronella and the muskier notes expand too. After a while there’s some sweet red berries in there too.
Palate: Citrus and honey, with a malty turn as I swallow. This too has a nice mouthfeel at 43%, nice depth of texture. Good balance of flavours (though the muskier fruit from the nose is not here) but no real development with time. Let’s see what water does. Brighter and spicier with water.
Finish: Medium. Some oak pops out here to join the fruit as it fades out. The finish extends with water and now it’s both sweeter and spicier at the end.
Comments: The nose got me quite excited but the palate was a bit of a let-down; not because it had any off-notes but because it felt more generic. A very pleasant whisky but there’s no reason to pick it over the more easily available 17 yo. I preferred it with water.
Rating: 84 points. (Pulled up by the nose.)