Whenever I pour a glass of a new whisky, I give my wife Carly the first taste. She’s had a sip of every whisky I’ve sampled at home, even though she isn’t a fan. In general, her reaction ranges from a puckered face to an indifferent “eh.” She’s liked two whiskies she’s tasted, and they couldn’t be farther apart in flavor – Four Roses Yellow Label and Sazerac 18 Year Old Rye. However, the key word there is “liked”. Once, and only once, did the word “love” come out, and that was after tasting Glenfarclas 17-year-old single malt.
Glenfarclas 17-year-old single malt Scotch is bottled primarily for North America and Japan. It’s SRP is $93.99, but I’ve seen it online for upwards of $140, more expensive than the 21-year-old expression. Like all other whiskies from the distillery, Glenfarclas is aged exclusively in sherry casks. Those casks impart big fruit notes. After tasting and enjoying the 12-year, I’ve been looking forward to Glenfarclas 17. So, how is it?
The nose is robust, full of bright fresh strawberry and raspberry as well as dried fruits and sherry notes. There’s a bit of oak and light, creamy toffee. The palate carries lots of refined fruit, again both fresh and dried. There’s spiced wine, light toffee, maltiness and sweet oak. Very rich! In the background there’s the slightest bit of dry smoke. The medium-bodied whisky concludes with a long sweet and spicy finish.
Compared to the younger 12-year-old, the flavors here are a little darker. The dried fruit is more assertive, but the rich whisky still maintains a freshness with the fresh berry notes. This is an excellent whisky, and one I plan to keep in stock at the house. Highly recommended.