Glenfarclas 35 1981 Port Cask Matured IV

Glenfarclas 35 1981 Port Cask 3.jpg

When one thinks of a cat, they think of it being a calm animal that sleeps. However when someone trains a cat, that’s a surprise. It’s different. Thus we take note.

When one thinks of Glenfarclas, one thinks of sherry casks. Among Glenfarclas, Aberlour, and Macallan, Sherry screams from the rooftop. Not literally, otherwise drinking it would be inhuman and frightening.

Glenfarclas 35 1981 Port Cask 2.jpg

So when something is different, people pick up. A port cask, now, seems like it’s somewhat of a norm. Of the casks used, shopping the whisky aisle, we see we see ex-bourbon or sherry first, and then port as the next most popular.

However Glenfarclas has a regular series of the Family Collector line, in which they bottle a single cask in reverence of a past member. In this case, the whisky is dedicated to George S. Grant, who was custodian of Glenfarclas for 52 years.

I, for one, and more so my bank account, am happy they didn’t release something that was 52 years old.

This is the oldest port cask maturation for a Glenfarclas ever. It beats out the last one, a 33 year old, or the 31 year old, released as number III in the series. It’s also one of two port casks in the entire series.

So with all that, there leaves just one thing: How does it tastes? Let’s see, shall we?

Glenfarclas 35 1981 Port Cask 1.jpg

Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: Speyside

Vintage: 16.01.1981

Bottled: 19.05.2016

Cask Type: Port Cask

Cask Number: 151

Number of Bottles: 521

Abv: 47.9%

Colour: 2.5Y 8/8

Nose: Plums, Honeycomb cereal, lime juice, strawberry chocolate, rhubarb, fennel

Big nose. Lots of rich fruit. The port hasn’t erased the whisky notes. Added tons of rich fruits. There’s not much complexity, however a lot of fruit here. It’s taken to it well.

Water brings out more fruit and chocolate notes, and just a little bit of spice. If anything, I wish it had more of that.

Taste: Honey, rose water, oak/butter, cereal, strawberry

Cereal forward. Very cereal forward. Honestly the main note I get over and over. In a previous port Glenfarclas I noted that it was closer to a sherry cask or an apple based alcohol. This is close to that. Floral, fruit notes in the side, more cereal than I’d want.

Not as much complexity as the nose, and missing elements.

Finish: Blueberry syrup, floral, cranberry, mineral, toast

Weak finish. Very weak. Wouldn’t guess the age at all. Light, more cereal, more fruit, and bam, gone.

Sad, really.

Conclusion: This is the second old port cask Glenfarclas I’ve had, and of both, I think I know why they stick to sherry casks. That’s not to say it was horrible or bad. It just was very simple beyond the nose. And while it was nice to sip on, at a price of $2,500, I want more.

Perhaps they should do sherry cask and then a long finish of port. That may be better. Or maybe a first fill bourbon followed by port. Or maybe a better port pipe, or a white port pipe. I’ll keep trying if they do.


Scotch review #759, Speyside review #215, Whisky Network review #1254

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