Glenfarclas 21 – A Fitting Tribute to the Bard

Special thanks to Doug Doughty for submitting this whisky review, although I’m a little sad I was unable to join him at the Robbie Burns Supper in Montreal this year. Enjoy!

Since I moved to Montreal a few years back, I have been going to the St. Andrew’s Society Annual Burns Supper.  It is held in the University Club, which has an amazing selection of Single Malts.  I always have a hard time selecting the whisky I will be enjoying. The first time I went I enjoyed a 21 year old Mortlach (one of my wife’s favourites) and when I told my wife, who was not with me, she was clearly jealous. I can’t repeat her exact words…

Well, this year I thought I’d try a Glenfarclas.  I had seen Glenfarclas all over Scotland, particularly in Speyside region where the distillery is located. I had always meant to try it, but always chose something else. On this evening, I opted for the 21 year old.  The bartender had to hop on the counter to retrieve the bottle; now that’s a top shelf whisky.

He poured me a dram which I could barely wait to sample. It was the colour somewhere between honey and caramel, always a good look for a single malt.

I sniffed the bouquet.  I detected floral notes, possibly some heather or clover, and maybe a hint of vanilla.  But the most interesting thing about the nose was, it smelled warm.  Not like if bottle was stored in front of a heating register, but rather it smelled the way a warm hug feels. It embraced my olfactory senses heartily.

I took a sip to see what pleasures awaited my taste buds.  There was a smokiness to it, but not like a heavily peated whisky.  It was just the right amount.  You could detect fruitiness and floral notes in the taste as well. There were hints of apple and clover and maybe a very subtle vanilla.

One sensation I particularly enjoyed was how on the finish, my tongue tingled.  After every sip it was there teasing me, begging me for more.

When I looked up Glenfarclas 21, the World of Whisky website said “Overall: Very, very pleasant. Could teach Roger Moore a thing or two about smoothness.”

And that is the adjective which best describes this wonderful water of life.  Smoooooooth.

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