Back to Scotland today, and a first visit to Speyside – the home of over 50% of scotch distilleries!
Rather confusingly, Glenfarclas call themselves a Highland whisky rather than Speyside. While technically true (as the Scotch Whisky Association map shows, Speyside is a subregion of Highland) it’s a confusing position to take. I have also managed to list them as Highland rather than Speyside, on my ever-growing Whisky List.
Glenfarclas 10 Year Old is the entry-level dram from this distillery. As you might expect from the baby of the range, it’s bottled at a standard 40% ABV.
The nose starts with a litle raw spirit soaking into old wet oak, echoing the distillery. Below is buttered toast, and touches of brown sugar. Watered, it loses some of the subtler notes and it starts to remind me of old, pre-70’s Highland Malts I’ve tasted – soft and uncomplicated spirit and wood.
In the mouth it’s a little simple, but tasty – a little spice, a burst of honey sweetness and a brief flash of cold smoke in the finish, which also carries a little harsh raw spirit. Water flattens things further; the honey absorbs the spice and becomes subtle and the finish shortens still further.
It’s not a complex whisky but then, it’s not trying to be. As a lightly watered dram, it’s exceedingly drinkable – 3.5 stars.