In the past I have espoused the idea that age does not necessarily equate to quality and that young whiskies can be just as good. I haven’t changed my position on this, but I think I need to clarify it somewhat. First, this isn’t an absolute rule – there are always exceptions. Second, while young whiskies can and many do hold their own and very good, there is a depth of flavor in some older whiskies that just cannot be duplicated in a younger whisky.
This leads me to the whisky at hand here, Glenfarclas 1974. Just as an FYI for you before reading my impressions, I like big, powerful whiskies and this one certainly is.
Distilled in 1974 and bottled on December 12, 2005
Color: Black tea, reminiscent of an imperial IPA (if you like to knock back a pint or two)
Nose: BIG sherry, malty, oak, hope its not over cooked, leather, dark and brooding, nutmeg, Christmas cake, ginger cookies, layers and layers, a faint bubble gum sweetness , maybe pez? Yum! Can sit and nose this for hours.
Palate: Just like the nose advertises, dark Christmas spices, not as viscous as I was expecting, oaky bite, nicely integrated sherry – if you like sherry bombs that is, love the ABV! Little spicy, malt, kabocha cake, prunes, picking up some bitterness.
Finish: Long sherry and spice.
Comments: The character and flavors of this whisky are complex and layered. Complexity that I just don’t taste in “younger” whiskies in general. But you gotta like ’em dark, dense and heavy, oh ya…and with a healthy helping of sherry, it might be a little over cooked in the cask, its right on the line for me, but it’s an interesting, challenging and damn tasty dram. The nose was fantastic, I actually spent a couple of minutes nosing the remnants of my empty glass like a strung out drug addict. Unfortunately for me the only thing left in the bottle is vapors.