Nestled in the heart of Speyside we find the independently run and family owned Glenfarclas Distillery. The name means the valley of green grass in reference to the incredibly surroundings of the distillery.
It was orginally owned by John Grant, who bought the distillery for £511.19s in 1865. Amazingly, it is still owned and run by the very same family. The current owner, John L. S. Grant, is the great-great grandson of the first John Grant and is the sixth generation of Grant to run Glenfarclas.
This is a family dedicated to great malt, and their products show that perfectly. Their 105 Cask Strength is a stunning example of just how good their malts can be.
This expression is bottled at 60% ABV, which is quite high, but definitely not a hindrance to flavour.
The nose is wonderfully rich and complex. It is filled with dark caramel and hard toffees that give a sugary tang to the aromas.
These flavours are dripped over a background of crisp orchard fruits, with green apples and ripe pears making a solid appearance. The fruits provide a nice fresh bite to the nose that is perfect in contrast to the thick, smooth caramel.
This caramel takes on flavour and refinement on the palate, where it is joined by a sweet vanilla oakiness.
The oak adds real depth to the dram and goes hand in hand with both the caramel and the orchard fruits.
The apples and pears are refreshing and bright, with a slightly earthy note to them.
Sweet nuts also appear on the palate and perfectly compliment every flavour that has gone before them. Almonds, pecans and hazelnuts take the lead and are especially good with the smooth caramel in the background.
The caramel also lends a thick mouth feel that is pure luxury on a single drop. The mouth feel is also quite dry.
The oak takes on a distinct peppery and cinnamon note towards the end of the dram that adds great warmth to the dryness.
These flavours create a harmony on the palate and are given one last play in the finish. The finish is strong and smooth, with lots of sweet nuts and one final blast of the oaky spices. It lingers just long enough to have you reaching for another dram in no time.
The Glenfarclas 105 is best enjoyed with a drop or two of water to really bring out the smoothness and flavour!