Having reviewed what was said to be “possibly” Speyside’s finest it’s time to move on to what might “plausibly” be Speyside’s finest. The first was rather good, just held back by a bit too much oak and a thinnish texture. Will this one improve on those and other points? Let’s see.
Plausibly Speyside’s Finest/Glenfarclas 28, 1982 (46.4%; OMC for K&L; refill bourbon barrel; from a bottle split)
Nose: More muted than the other at first with a leafy note with some dusty oak behind. Starts to open after a few beats with lemon and pear and some powdered sugar. With time the pineapple begins to emerge more fully on the nose as well. A few drops of water soften it up and pull out some cream—the dusty oak is long gone.
Palate: Comes in with all the stuff from the nose plus rich malt and then there’s a big explosion of musky fruit as I swallow. Better texture than the other. Sweeter with each sip and then there’s a glassy/metallic quality. Let’s see if water pulls the richer fruit out faster. Well, it pushes the metallic thing back but only makes the rest sweeter still.
Finish: Long. The fruit goes on for a while—overripe pineapple, passionfruit, tart mango. The oak hangs out as well, getting spicier as it goes. With water the fruit on the finish also goes from tart-sweet to sweet.
Comments: Well, this is very nice too. I like it a little more than the other. I really like the nose and finish; I just wish the musky fruit was more prominent on the palate where things are a bit too sweet both neat and with water. Still, I’d have been happy with a bottle of this too at the original asking price. Hmm these Glenfarclas were not quite the outstanding whiskies I’d been hoping to close the year with. Time to pull out a confirmed heavy hitter for Friday’s year-ender.
Rating: 89 points.