Tasting the oldest Glenfarclas to date -The 1953 Vintage 58 yo
You know the story: how much I Love Glenfarclas, and how much I love surprises, right? So imagine how happy I felt when I learnt that a wee sample bottle containing whisky made in 1953, and just bottled by Glenfarclas, is on its way here to the holy land! It’s not everyday that such a treasure is released (in fact this is the oldest Glenfarclas EVER to be released). Before we dive into this miracle of a dram, a few more facts about this very special whisky. Cask #1674 containing the whisky filled on the 20th November 1953 was chosen by a group of four whisky experts we all know :Serge Valentin, who needs no introduction, Ben Ellefsen, Sales Director for Master of Malt Michał Kowalski of Wealth Solutions and George Grant himself. All four agreed that this cask was the best available and well worth bottling, and so it was. An Ex-Sherry cask, it yielded only 400 bottles at cask strength (you know how lucky those angels were, drinking their share for 58 years!) of 47,2% ABV. [originally the cask was filled with 500 liters of spirit at 63.4% which were reduced to only 300 liters].
This bottle is so unique, it comes with a book,telling its story and of course the story of family owned Glenfarclas distillery since it started until this day. Editor of the book is Ian Buxton, the renowned whisky writer, which adds his lovely style of writing to the package (even the wee sample was placed in a wooden box, very classy stuff), to create an excellent very collectible package. I do believe whisky is for drinking, so let’s get on with the notes. It deserves to be drunk, and it’s spectacular. This beauty can be yours for a mere £5995, so if you can afford one, go get it (exclusively on Master of Malt)
Now, how do you start drinking a whisky which costs more than 400 quid for a dram. Slowly. and with respect. and this is exactly how I treated this older gentleman, I gave it time, and nose it carefully.
Nose: OMG!. A belter of a nose : old wood, but not over imposing, old library book, and wood polish, spices, a bit of pepper up front, and also dried fruit, butterscotch, and toffee, cocoa powder and orange peel candy. Gentle whiffs but still saving its might. A treat.
Palate: Oily and with a lot, and I mean a lot of wood spices. Citrusy with red grapefruit, wood bark, pepper, nutmeg, dark chocolate and some sage leaves. after a few seconds it gets nutty, and a bit more herbal. It’s not as sweet as you might expect from a whisky which spent its entire life in a sherry cask, and what a long life it led.
Layer and layer of of tastes and textures, it really is so lovely.
Finish: Long , very long finish with those nuts, some toffee, and dry bitterness, and again, hints of sage leaves.
A celestial experience. I was left speechless. It’s such an old whisky, but yet so vibrant. The nose is delicate, yet the palate is quite robust, and multi layered, surprising you off gourd, revealing layer after layer of tastes, and sensations. Wow. This has to be one of the best whiskies I’ve EVER had. I know people would argue I’m just digging it because it’s so expensive and limited, but I have to tell you it’s not just that. it’s really good as a drinking whisky. If you can afford it, do drink this stuff. it’s Sublime.
Many thanks to Ben Ellefsen, George Grant and Wealth Solutions for this official sample!