Glenfarclas 17 Year

Operating continually for over 180 years, Glenfarclas is one of the big players in Speyside, its six stills (3 wash, 3 spirit) are the largest in the region with a capacity of 3.5 million liters per year. Even more impressive is, in a time of proliferating No Age Statement malts, this distillery has an extremely wide range of age statement whiskies in constant production. While they have a few older bottlings like a 25, 30 and 40 year, they also have many younger offerings like 10, 12, 15, 17 and 21 year whiskies that are, relatively speaking, very affordable. This expression, like many Glenfarclas malts, is aged exclusively in ex-sherry casks.

Distillery: Glenfarclas
Region: Speyside
Age: 17 years
Strength: 43%
Price: $94.99
Location: Ballindalloch
Maturation: Oloroso sherry cask
Nose: Sherry, peach, rose, baked fruit, saltwater taffy, caramel
Palate: Butterscotch, apple, vanilla cream, grain
Finish: Fall spice, smoke, sherry

Comments: It pays to let this one sit untouched for ten minutes or so, as the oxidization opens up the bouquet. 

Adam – This scotch doesn’t help anyone with it labeled “Highland” on the bottle sleeve, as it certainly has the wonderful aromas of some Highland flora and fauna samples I’ve fallen in love with over the years. The nose is very fruit forward with an element that almost goes too far into an unpleasant fauna place but thankfully doesn’t. There is fruit, but speaks of a vibrant bounty not yet harvested. The mouthfeel is warm and smooth, with a little oil that doesn’t linger too long. When it does fade, though, there’s just a hint of smoke and spice. This whisky here knows what it is doing. Refined, elegant and complex enough to satisfy, this is a delightful treat that is worth every penny. Well it feels fine in the transitional seasons, the warm heat of summer really made this malt sparkle for me. 

Jenny – I was mostly getting caramels and vanillas, the warm sweet smells you associate with fall and baking. I wasn’t getting a lot of the fruity stuff. A lot of that translates to the palate for me, the caramel flavors, including the rose, along with the oily mouth feel. It coats the tongue and evenly distributes the flavor. I like it. I’m excited to revisit it in the fall on a cool day.

Meghan –  Fresh, ripe peach was the first thing to hit me when I took a sniff. On subsequent nosings I picked up more traditional Scotch smells, like the sherry, a hint of malt, not quite identifiable baking spices. The palate is much sweeter than the nose suggests. It is fairly creamy on the tongue which compliments the butterscotch flavor well. This is one of those whiskies with which buttery Scotch = butterscotch suddenly makes sense. However, it manages to avoid being too cloying. There’s just a twinge of sharpness to cut the sweetness. I don’t know that I’d describe it as apple, per se, but I will not argue with my counterpoints’ finding since I cannot think of a better way to describe it. There is a definite sherry note on the back palate and finish. I do not know why I can identify a sherry note so readily but it always jumps out, generally in a less than desired sharpness. There is also a nice spiciness in the finish too- cinnamon, cloves, a touch of allspice. Then, this whisky does something a little strange. It quickly disappears after I swallow as though there was almost no finish. I do not feel it in the throat at all but the suddenly, it appears in the chest with a deep, growing warmth as though it were spreading throughout my lungs. This sensation feels much better than it sounds and is nothing like what it would really feel like to get Scotch in one’s lungs. If you haven’t read it, be sure to check out our Westland Whiskey review for more on my experiences with whisky and the respiratory system. 

Michael –  Gives me the sensation of fall spices. The sensation of a baked good, like apple pie, something with a crust. There’s an oily texture. The mouth feel isn’t especially thick but there is an oily quality that distributes the flavor well. The sensation I get of fall baked fruit dessert is still there. You can pick up the fact that it is well aged by how well balanced the flavors are. With many scotches, you can pick out distinct flavors. The flavors in this case blend into one another. I like that.