I’ve decided to end the year with a trio of older whiskies. First up, an indie Glenfarclas. Glenfarclas has long (always?) disallowed the use of its name on independent bottlings and it’s quite common to see variations on “Speyside’s Finest” used instead. This 28 yo bottled by Sovereign for K&L this year is named “Possibly Speyside’s Finest”. There’s another bottled alongside named “Plausibly Speyside’s Finest’ (which I might possibly/plausibly review on Wednesday). Now which is a more reassuring qualifier in this context: “Possibly” or “Plausibly”? This follows, by the way, on the heels of last year’s K&L cask which was named “Perhaps Speyside’s Finest”. What’s next? “Purportedly”? “Potentially?” “Perchance”?
As with many indie Glenfarclases (Glenfarclas? Glenfarcli? Glenfarcleaux?), this is from a bourbon cask. It’s always interesting to try whiskies that depart significantly from the home distilleries official profiles. Yes, it’s true that the distillery has also bottled a few ex-bourbon casks in their Family Casks series (for example, this one) but you know what I mean: Glenfarclas is generally synonymous with sherry cask maturation. Anyway, let’s see what this one is like.
Possibly Speyside’s Finest/Glenfarclas 28, 1992 (46.2%; Sovereign for K&L; refill barrel; from a bottle split)
Nose: Lemon at first with some oak behind it. The lemon gets musky quick, turning towards makrut lime and pineapple; a leafy quality in there too. Sweeter, more floral notes emerge as it sits and the fruit gets sweeter as well. A few drops of water pull out softer notes of vanilla and cream
Palate: Sweeter entry here but the lemon is still present, the oak more subdued. A big hit of fruit as I swallow (pineapple, peach, berries). The texture is a bit too thin. On the second sip the oak jumps out more quickly but so does the fruit; the pineapple is joined by some passionfruit from the tropical basket. With more time the oak is more prominent. Okay, let’s see what water does. Well, it pushes the oak back but it also mutes the fruit a bit as well. It does make the palate a little richer, which is not unusual for older whiskies at lower strengths.
Finish: Medium. The fruit fades out and then the oak pops out again. With more time the finish lengthens a bit with the fruit hanging out longer; the oak now mixed with roasted malt at the very end. Less oak here too with water.
Comments: This is very nice indeed. The only things keeping it from heading to the next tier in my book are the slightly too prominent oak and the thin texture. It’s better on both fronts with water but at the cost of the fruit. Still I’d be happy if I’d got a bottle at the asking price.
Rating: 88 points.