Blind Tasting Competition Day 1: Glenfarclas 25

So, yesterday night was the first day of the Blind Tasting Competition. I have been looking forward to it for a while now, and I made sure I tried the sample in time. I have been known to forget about it when the time came, even though I was looking forward to it.

From now to the 24th of December we’ll try one dram every day with the following rules:

  • They’re all single malts
  • They’re all from Scotland
  • A distillery is only in the competition once
  • The minimum ABV is 43%
  • A region is never represented two days in a row

So, with that in mind (this doesn’t give us any info on the first day, obviously) I started my dram yesterday. It was fairly clear that this was a low ABV right away. I couldn’t imagine this being over 43%, even 46% seemed too high for this one.

A malt forward single malt at first, rather quiet and classic. Some green scents, like mossy trees, fresh barley, that kind of stuff. Some leafy herbs and a bit of oak.

The palate is gentle and slightly peppery. There’s oak and barley, but still in that green, sappy way. Slightly creamy and not strong at all.

The finish is nice and grainy (barley-y) and green. Hints of oak that last fairly long.

Because of the creamy green-ness it reminded me of Tomatin 18, albeit a bit sharper on the palate with the pepper. I still wanted to go for that since there might be some single cask around that is similar.

Of course, me being me, I was about to fill in my guess just before eleven when I remembered the reveal is at eleven PM and the deadline for filling in your guess is 10.45. Two minutes too early for me, apparently. So no points and I did miss out on the first 20 points.

The only thing that would’ve gotten me any points was the ABV. Although Tomatin is quite near to Glenfarclas it is a highland whisky instead of Speyside. The age was a bit off too.

Interestingly, I also tried Glenfarclas 25 last week for the Advent Calendar, and I didn’t like it then (too oaky and bitter, not enough fruit) today it was a green sappy dram. Is this suddenly the most inconsistent whisky available? What is going on with Glenfarclas?

Strangely, I liked my own bottle when I had it some years ago. I didn’t like the sample from the Advent Calendar, but I loved this one. I realize that buying a bottle of whisky can be a gamble when you don’t know it, but with this one it can apparently be a gamble from bottle to bottle.

Glenfarclas 25, 43%, available from Zonneveld (Uw Top Slijter) for € 110


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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