Glenfarclas 12 Yr: 43% abv
Glenfarclas is a Highland Single Malt distillery, which is actually not very well known in Michigan. They provide their bottling in a practical cardboard canister that doesn’t really jump out at people when they see it, which might be its only crime against humanity. I can assure you that this whisky is worth that second look, despite the plain looking packaging. At 43% and an affordable price, Glenfarclas 12 hits the right marks. This whisky also does a great job of demonstrating that there whiskies with the influence of sherry that don’t need to be predominantly sweet.
So on the nose, we’ll start off by saying there is that sherry. Sherry is coupled by malt, butterscotch, agave, gingerbread, caramel, sugar, vanilla, slight black pepper, rye, slight wet grass, and cream. It is a light, mellow nose that won’t jump out at you, but it does have a subtle complexity with a huge spectrum of flavors. The arrival does give you a great introduction into the Scotch, with vanilla, sherry, caramel, malt, sweet sugar, and a slight pepper bitterness. The body adds to this with butterscotch, slight floral notes, pear, pepper, vanilla, malt, spiciness, dry oak, and herbal notes, with some saltiness to it as well. After water, there is more saltiness and herbal notes to the whisky. The finish gives off sherry, raisons, caramel, malt, slight salty brininess, vanilla, pepper, pear, mint, tobacco, greens and herbs.
There is a slight heat to the finish, but it is pleasant and not overbearing. Sot his might not necessarily sound like the longest list of tasting notes, so you might not think it’s the most complex, but in reality, the balanced blend of flavors does a great job of adding an intrinsic quality and complexity to this Scotch. As far as sherried Scotches go, this one takes the cake for uniqueness, mixing a weird herbal and tobacco flavor with sweetness. We also didn’t get the full scope of flavors, so we think there is more to this whisky than we’ve gathered. Highly recommended.