Glenfarclas 31, 1988-2020, Oloroso casks, 46% – ‘Flora MacDonald

According to what I can find on the internet when I search for ‘Glenfarclas Famous Scots’, this is the 24th jubilee edition of the series. However, what the other 24 are seems to be shrouded in mystery. The bottling is also mentioned to be part of the ‘Limited Rare’ series. There is a little bit more information on that, but mostly based around Whiskybase and the list of Glenfarclas bottlings there.

Anyway, it seems to be a series of sherry cask matured whiskies, which isn’t too rare for Glenfarclas, all bottled at 46%. This specific bottling is an oldie, and compared to many offficial bottlings from distilleries, it’s quite affordable at a mere € 300-ish. Let’s not linger on that for too long.

Flora MacDonald is famous for heling Prince Charles Edward Stuart escape prosecution after the Jacobite uprising in the 18th century. There’s a lot more information on this on Wiki, and for a romanticized version you can just watch the first season or two of Outlander.

Image from Whiskybase

Anyway, an older Glenfarclas. It was part of the Summer Tasting from De Whiskykoning, which I only got to try fairly recently.

It’s quite gentle, which isn’t too surprising with this age and ABV. Quite some fruit with dried peaches and apricots. Some oak, but not as much as I expected after three decades in it. Some furniture polish, oak and brittle caramel.

The palate brings dry sherry and black pepper. Baking spices, cinnamon and brown sugar. Some nutmeg, oak and a bit of an earthy flavor too. After a little while the dryness becomes a bit of a burnt toast flavor.

The finish focuses more on the spices than the nose did. Pepper and baking spices, with peaches, date and sherry. A lot more oak than before.

It’s a bit of a strange one, in such a way that it starts quite fruity and gentle on the oak, but by the time you get to the finish it’s the other way around. It’s also quite typical of a Glenfarclas with both the spices and dried fruits.

While it is an older Glenfarclas, it doesn’t really bring anything to the table that you’ve not had a hundred times before. In a way, that’s a good thing, but it also makes for this not brining much ‘new’ to the table. A very old fashioned dram. Rather tasty, in the end!


Available in a lot of places, with prices varying from € 250 to over € 400


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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