Tasting: Glenfarclas 14y 1999-2014 for Kirchhellener Private Tasting Circle

Glenfarclas 14y 1999-2014 for Kirchhellener Private Tasting CircleDram data:
Distillery: Glenfarclas
Bottler: Official (private) bottling
Distilled: 1999
Bottled: 2014
Age: 14 years
Limitation: 536 bottles
Casks: Refill Sherry Casks 7072 + 7080
Alcohol: 59,9%
unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
light amber
The nose is immediately and undeniably influenced by the (refill) ex-sherry cask, more precisely the spicy influence of refill european oak. Oranges, orange zest, green grapes, grape and citrus fruit kernel bitterness, fresh ginger, fizzy orange soda, cough lozenges, star anise, tinned exotic fruits (without the sweetness), dark fruits in the background.

Noticeable alcohol influence – no wonder at 59,9% ABV! Water doesn’t change the profile too much, but it does bring out additional notes of caramel and dark cocoa. The palate seems quite a bit sweeter than the nose on the first sip, creamy and mouth-watering, but the alcohol is very noticeable and overpowering, making it difficult to assess – let’s add a good measure of water before we proceed. Right. Noticeably spicy, European oak in full force at work here – just the spices, though, no woody notes at all! Malty caramel sweetness, orange juice, orange zest, ginger, liquorice, lozenges, dark milk chocolate, dark fruits lingering in the background. Very powerful casks indeed. The medium-long finish starts out quite sweet with notes of spices and malt moving to the foreground after a couple of seconds.

This vatting of two still very active refill sherry casks, is driven completely by these casks, imparting lots of spices typical for european oak. Quite strong on the alcohol too – it takes a lot of water and benefits greatly from water and time. I can see a lot of people raving about this on the whiskybase, looking at the scores given. Personally, to warrant a 90+ rating, it would need a bit more balance to counteract the wood influence. Still, a very good dram regardless and it seems like it’s still available in some shops at the time of writing – so if that’s your style of dram, get it while it lasts…

Score: 86/100
(Nose: 86 Palate: 86 Finish: 85)

The sample for tasting was kindly provided by fellow whisky-lover Manny

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