Glenfarclas 105

Glenfarclas 105

The Glenfarclas 105 is the distillery’s young NAS* whisky—it seems like every distillery has one now—and is more specifically a challenger to the well-loved Aberlour A’bunadh in the “heavily sherried young whisky at a very high abv” category. Perhaps because Glenfarclas have not thought to release the 105 with batch numbers it’s never quite received the cult acclaim of the A’bunadh series. Or perhaps that’s because it’s just a little too young, raw and hot. At least, that was my impression on the very few occasions on which I’ve tried it in the past. Recently, however, some friends and I split some bottles and this was among them. I’m interested to see what I make of it when I’m paying a lot of attention to it.

By the way, as you probably know, the fact that the 105 is always at 60% doesn’t mean it’s ever diluted to reach that unlikely round number. Apparently, Glenfarclas vat casks at higher and lower strengths till they get to 60% (and I assume 105 refers to the proof—57% is abv in the imperial system which probably means 60% = 105%; it may say this on the bottle but I didn’t keep it after the split). So it’s always genuinely cask strength whisky. At least until we find out, Glendronach-style, that this is yet another term that means something very different to the industry from what we think it does. Continue reading

Glenfarclas 25

Glenfarclas 25

If ever there were a competition to select the “People’s Distillery” Glenfarclas would surely be in the running. Independently owned and almost entirely bullshit free (can you remember the last silly Glenfarclas release?) the distillery puts out a lot of whisky, most of it within reach of regular punters. I am thinking of course of their regular range. It is true that in their “Family Casks” series they release a lot of fairly expensive single casks—not always very old—but it’s hard to begrudge them this when they regularly release a 10, 12, 15, 17, 21 and 25 yo, none of whose prices have risen dramatically in the last half-decade, and all of which are priced more reasonably than the malts in the range of pretty much any other distillery in Scotland (Tomatin may be the sole exception). Their 21 yo can be found for less than $125, and this 25 yo can easily be found for $150 or less. And even their 40 yo was priced far, far below whisky of similar age from their competitors (less than $500 in most US markets)—though it doesn’t seem to be around any more. Their success doing what they do seems to be one of the strongest rebuttals of the arguments made to rationalize increasing prices and the rush to NAS—keep in mind that most of Glenfarclas’s spirit is matured in ex-sherry casks (which you would expect would be another driver of cost).

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