Saturday, June 16, 2012

Review: Glenfarclas 17 years Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

No ridiculous segues into whisky reviews this week.

Just you, me and this bottle of Glenfarclas 17.

What can I say about this bottle?  Well, it's actually what is inside the bottle that has brought you to this page, and if I do not get to the point rather quickly, I suspect you, bored to distraction, will click on the "Eastern European brides looking for nice western guys" advertisement, never to return.  Now, I don't want that to happen.  So, ignore such primal/utterly stupid impulses, and instead, exercise a more doltish muscle, which involves simply continuing to read this post!

Nose (undiluted)
Sweet sherry, warm morning berry tarts, roses and peat smoke.  Cherry pie just out of the oven.  Well done!

Palate (undiluted)
Herbal, mineral like notes introduce some impressive austerity in spite of being at the same time a big sherry malt.  The sherry casks that seasoned this spirit were very good quality.  Great oak notes too!  I am happy.  The circle is complete.  I can now go gently into that good night!

Finish (undiluted)
A pleasant zing of oak, pencil shavings, red currants and orange rind.  Hmmm!  I love this finish!  The flavors really hang for a long time.  And then there is smoke . . .

Ohh, the smoke.  Good smoke you can enjoy when you part your lips afterwards and inhale through your mouth.  I'm serious.  Take a sip of this malt, swallow, open and inhale.  Wow!  Really good smoke mon!













I better stop the praise now before my Peter Tosh level of enthusiasm attracts an over zealous DEA agent, who spends his spare time lamenting the early prison release of Tommy Chong, and decides to lash out and have this site shut down.

. . .

Austere/Minimalist/Subtle
Compared to the 12 and 15 year old offerings by this distillery, Glenfarclas 17 is minimalist within the sherry bomb whisky universe.  Its equivalent in the cinematic realm is: Lost in Translation or Broken Flowers.

The sherry flavors are not over-the-top, out-of-control or punchy.  This is probably due to the fact that the abv is a reasonable 43%.  Enough to deliver complexity, but not so much as to knock the flavors out of balance.

Hence, Glenfarclas 17 is a well put together malt, balanced, refined and my favorite of the distillery's range of 12, 15 17 and 21 year offerings.  At the same time it is muted and the pencil shaving/oak finish makes you wonder.  Just as the aforementioned films sometimes give rise to more questions than they answer, this malt reels you in repeatedly as you try to fathom that interesting finish.



It's worth the price of admission (roughly $10 more than Glenfarclas 15), and a helluva lot cheaper than clicking on the previously mentioned dating website.

Verdict on Glenfarclas 17:  Highly recommended!

Cheers!


Jason Debly

Copyright © Jason Debly, 2009-2012. All rights reserved. Any and all use is prohibited without permission. Note:  All images appearing in this article are for the purposes of nostalgia, education and entertainment.  Moreover, all images used are considered by the author to be significant in illustrating the subject matter, facilitating artistic/critical commentary, as it provides an immediate relevance to the reader more capably than the textual description.

13 comments:

  1. Nice review Jason. Good Whisky. Will look out for this one!
    Saude!
    Jan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Actually "me" is correct in this case, Jason ;-) My trick is to speak the sentence as if it were singular with just you - and whether you say I or me is correct as you go to the plural.

    e.g. "It's just me and the bottle" not "It's just I and the bottle;" therefore, me is correct here.

    Anyway, happy drinking! (And happy Father's day, if you do that in Canada).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just goes to show how bad my understanding of English grammar is (just like this sentence ending on a verb!).

      In any event, duly noted and I will change the intro sentence accordingly.

      Delete
  3. Never had it. I do love the 12 yr expression.Its robustness is what attracts me to this brand. This 17 must be robust,yet refined with those five extra years of maturation.Dying to purchase the 17 for a special occasion.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds so amazing, i think i am opening my bottle tonight! :) Great review. Perfect bottle for a Sunday evening.

    John
    http://whiskyoftheweek.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Not many would take the 17 over the 15

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  6. Cannot get the 17yr down here Jason.... May have to settle on the 15yr.... At $145 (on special) and the 12yr at $105... Both sound pricey... and you can imagine what the 21 and 25 might be.... The 105 sits at $139 ... Would that be a better option ?... 60%... wow!!
    AL(from OZ)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be honest, in the Glenfarclas product line, I only like the 17. With respect to the rest, I always find GlenDronach a better and more affordable option.

      Delete
  7. Fair enough...I seem to be the eternal pessimist... Can't locate the GlenDronach either... Certainly not local here in Geelong anyway. Glenlivet 18 any good?
    AL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glenlivet 18 is a very nice malt, but its all about the price point. I think you mentioned in another comment it is $123. Too much. Better alternatives.

      Delete
  8. Also just read the GlenDronach 15 has 'Gone To God'... At least for a few years anyway... So that's now out of the equation...
    AL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, the age statement whiskies are getting fewer and fewer.

      Delete
  9. Might give the Oban a look see'....
    AL... The Aussie whiskey 'Starward' (Melbourne) has a couple of nice versions... tried one and enjoyed.... 'Wine Cask' is next.... The Tasmanian ones are good but.... $$$!!
    AL

    ReplyDelete