Saturday, June 2, 2012

Review: Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength

Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength
Price: $70-$80
Strength: 60 %

The cask strength on this one is definitely unmanageable.  Without water, all you smell and taste is alcohol, so add a few splashes of water to introduce some flavor.  There is a medium strong sherry influence throughout this whisky, about on par as Bowmore is for peated whiskies.  Still, the sherry jumps out as the largest flavor influence, and since there aren't too many heavily sherried whiskies I've gone ahead and labelled this one a sherry monster.

The sherry is forefront but mingles well with other notes and flavors.  Also on the nose are pecan cluster candy, vanilla, and a whiff of oak.  The palate also offers more traditional highland flavors in the background: honey, heather, and pulpy fruit (bananas and pears).  The finish turns zesty with a touch of wood smoke and leaves a citrus impression in the mouth.

I like the balance between rich sherry fruits and and highland notes, and this whisky has pretty good explorability.  However, Glenfarclas 105 is also pretty youthful tasting and the sweet, pulpy maltiness does too much to obscure the finer character.  It's a little like mixing gourmet pralines in a bowl of mushy bananas.  A good whisky, but I think a couple more years in the cask could make it great.  83 points (B-).

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