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Spirit Type: Single Malt
Bottle size: 70cl
Glenfarclas, 15 years old, comprises 60% first and second fill oloroso sherry butts with 40% third and fourth fill oloroso sherry butts.
Nose: Pungent, grapey resin, alongside prunes, dried red apples, and other jammy dried fruits. A tart top-note, like red wine vinegar but not as acidic, comes and goes while the overall impression slides towards jam and those bright red candied apples at the fair. Deeper in, there is an oily citrus note, like orange bitters. Rest in the glass reveals some vanilla.
Palate: Medium body, with a very tame tongue burn. Again, the flavors center around dried fruits, jams, and apples. Near the end, there’s also a black licorice element.
Finish: Of medium length. Blackberry jam, drying red wine tannins (like the dregs at the bottom of a big fruit-forward red). Fades quickly without much residue.
With Water: A few drops of water seem to collapse the aroma, muting all of the fruit and adding nothing. If you add water, make sure to give it a long rest before sampling. The palate becomes maltier, with more of a graham cracker note but (again) with less fruit. Just skip the water here.
A mid-line sherried malt, without the “big fruit” hallmarks of a true sherry monster, but with plenty of berries, wine, and resin to produce the desired effect. The fruits are subdued but do contain that aged, balsamic, resinous quality and are balanced by slight malty sweetness. This is the kind of drink you reach for when you want to lean back and relax on a chilly winter evening, but not necessarily think too hard about what’s in your glass.
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