This whisky review has been a long time in the making. I have had a soft spot for cask strength editions for quite some time, and having greatly enjoyed Glenfarclas’ 17 year old edition, I have longed for a taste of their cask strength product. I have patiently waited until now to try a dram though I have held it in my stock for some time now. The product is called Glenfarclas 105. The story behind the name is explained on the box by John Grant, chairman of Glenfarclas. As the story goes, in 1968 George S. Grant, the grandfather of the current chairman, bottled a cask at 105 degrees British Proof for Christmas and thus gave birth to the product. The current edition is bottled at 60% abv after 10 years of aging in some of the finest casks in Glenfarclas’ warehouses.
Now that we’re done with the history lesson, time to taste the product and determine whether it was a gift well received in Christmas of 1968.
An amber colour greets the eyes and a good swirl produces thick, slow running legs. Quite nice.
The nose is caramel and apple, some pear, spice, pie crust, honey, a hint of cinnamon, and orange peel . Maybe a bit of vanilla at the back end of that. It is soft and sweet, but deeply satisfying.
The palate is just as satisfying with a rush of sweet fruits, caramel, apple, honey, and oak in the background. The texture is a bit gritty though.
The finish is long and warm, yielding more honey, sweet fruits, oak, and vanilla.
Adding a healthy dose of water changes the texture and lightens the intensity of it all.
The nose maintains its initial charms and adds a bit of melon and nut.
The palate adds banana and nut, apricot, sherry, raisins and a hint of tangerine.
The finish stays long, but smoother than before.
Overall, this is quite a revelation in the world of cask strength whiskies that tend to come on a bit too strong. Though the whisky warms the mouth, it does not burn. Though I am not a fan of gritty whiskies, the overall experience on this one is pleasant and casually invites the drinker to continue experiencing all that it has to offer. A complex whisky, it can be purchased at the SAQ for about $73 or $74 whereas the LCBO is retailing it for about $80 so go figure.
Enjoy this one neat at first to address it in its raw state, then go ahead and take it with water to take out some of the grit and expose the hidden qualities of this whisky.
Oh, and by the way I’ve already got this bottle if you’re thinking of Christmas gifts, but feel free to give it to another worthy soul on your Christmas list. They will not be disappointed.