Thursday, 22 April 2021 02:54
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Single Malt Scotch Whisky Review

Glenfarclas 21 Year Old
Single Malt Scotch Whisky

1
43% ABV
2
Chill Filtered (Unknown)
3
Natural Colour
4
£96.95 (Average)
5
Additional Info Below

Our Score

Value Score

From the Distillery - Click to Expand / Close
https://glenfarclas.com/whisky/the-aged-range/21-year-old-whisky/f

A dark amber-gold, full sweet vanilla delicately smoked with a rich and long lasting finish.

  • NOSE

    Intense, full of aromas – sherried fruit, tropical fruit, nutmeg and almonds with slight citrus notes at the end, all held together with a vanilla sweet smokiness.

  • FLAVOUR

    Full bodied rich and rounded develops slowly into fruity, smoky and spicy flavours.

  • FINISH

    Long-lasting, smooth a smoky with a chocolate feel at the back of your throat.

Our Review - Click to Expand / Close
Review 123 23rd April 2021

Continuing with our Speyside mini series for April, we have a review of a sample kindly supplied by Nick Gascoyne, Glenfarclas 21 year old single malt whisky.

We are quite the Glenfarclas fans, but this particular malt we haven't tried up until now, we can't wait.

It is bottled at 43% abv and natural colour. With regards to chill filtration, we have mentioned this before, but Glenfarclas don't mention on their bottles, cartons or their website if it is chill filtered. Speculation suggests it is heavily barrier filtered, but for our value score if there is no statement from the distillery, we have to go with the assumption it is chill filtered.

The 21 year old is widely available online and available for the following prices

Master of Malt £93.95
The Whisky Exchange £98.85
Amazon £95
The Whisky World £99.90

Giving an average price of £96.95 and a value score of 87.36 out of 100, the lack of detail around chill filtration and the ABV is what lets it down.

It is wholly matured in ex-Oloroso sherry casks making this a sherry bomb, however, we have to return to the ABV of 43%. We have to comment that while the price is very reasonable for a 21 year old whisky, we can't help thinking that the bottle strength does not do justice to the time spent in the cask and the fantastic whisky this is and it could be even better, is this the best this whisky could possiby be?

To give you an example of equivalent 21 year old whisky prices, here are just a few

Glencadam 21 Year Old (46%) £99.95 on The Whisky Exchange
Benriach 21 Year Old (46%) £118 on The Whisky Exchange
Glen Moray 21 Year Old (48.3%) on The Whisky Exchange
Benromach 21 Year Old (43%) on The Whisky Exchange

Other than the Benromach, they are all presented at a higher ABV, however, The Whisky Exchange have their own exclusive bottling of the Glenfarclas 21 year old for £125 and bottled at 54.2% ABV. This presentation is much more like how the official distillery release should be offered as, after all, that then gives the whisky drinker the option to adjust the whisky with water to their preferred level through nosing and tasting, this TWE version is undoubtably going to be 'The Best this whisky can be'.

On the nose, this shouts sherry, it is rich and voluminous, oily and dense. The dark fruits and Christmas cake spices are there. The alcohol is noticable and provide decent legs clinging to the glass demonstrating how oily this is.

On the palate, it is as oily and mouth coating as the nose suggests it would be.
It has a chewy and syrupy feel. About medium sweet with a chewy toffee sweetness which dominates a little over the dark sherried fruit. This does require water.
There is all-spice and visions of Christmas Cake with brown sugar. The alcohol does provide a little nip which reminds you to take this 21 year old slowly as it deserves.

With water there is a menthol note appears, almost mint which leads into a vegetal or herbal note. It is obvious that this dram requires more time to open up than the review would allow.

On the palate with water there is a plant stork or freshly cut grass note and oak. The spices start to identify themselves more individually with cinnamon, nutmeg and a ginger syrup cake appearing. There is orange; orange juice and zest. It keeps delivering more over time.

It is a fantastic dram and really quite tasty, but how does it sit in the range?
While we haven't reviewed the 25 year old or the 15 year old from Glenfarclas, we prefer the 25 year old as we can buy it for about the same price as this the 21 year old. However, for the price, we would choose to buy two bottles of the 15 year old for one of the 21 year old.

With regard to an overall score, we give this 88 out of 100. It is definetly worth buying, but for the extra £25-£30 we would recommend you go for the version available exclusively to the Whisky Exchange.
Our YouTube Review - Click to Expand / Close

Additional Info

  • Country: Scotland
  • Region: Highland (Speyside)
  • Age Statement: 21 Year Old
  • Chill Filtered: Non Chill Filtered (NCF)
  • Colour Status: Natural Colour
  • ABV: 43%
  • Cask Strength: No
  • Colour: Dark Amber Gold
  • Peated / Smoke: Unpeated
  • Cask Finish / Maturation: Sherry Matured
  • Single Cask: No
  • Mash Bill: Barley
  • Bottle Sizes: 700ml
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • Whisky Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Average Price (or RRP): £96.95
  • Value Score: 87.36
  • Our Score: 88
  • Ownership: J. & G. Grant (Family Owned)
  • Bottle Stopper: Natural Cork
  • Brand: Glenfarclas
  • Packaging: Tube
  • Category: Single Malt
Read 1266 times Last modified on Friday, 14 May 2021 14:37

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