Tag Archives: whisky

Whisky Notes – Glenfarclas

One of the things I enjoy very much is whisky, check the name of this blog after all! And as part of my doing things more deliberately, I set a timer at 8:55 am this morning and I didn’t waver from work until it went off 50 minutes later. At that point, I got up and walked around the floor of our building twice and came back to spend 5 minutes checking personal e-mails.

One of them was from Glenfarclas telling me that they had updated their website. I marked it as unread and labelled it “want to follow up” and returned to it at lunch. First note, I don’t really remember the old website, so it’s sort of as a new viewer that I’m reviewing this one.

from the Glenfarclas website

So, the new website – first of all, thank you for not making me have to enter in my whole birth date. A simple Yes or No to the question “are you of legal age wherever you are in the world right now” was nice.

The first image is of a couple of rows of barrels. And the byline “Made to age” is nice. The font choice is very deliberate I am sure, ‘Made’ is block letters that look a little worn around the edges, ‘age’ in a great flowery flowy script.

The stories told on the site are lovely and the pictures are very nice. I loved learning that when John Grant’s son George died, the licence for the distillery went to George’s widow Elise. And nice to find out that there’s yet another George Grant carrying on the Glenfarcas tradition.

Glenfarclas is a speyside whisky. Speyside is an area in Scotland around the River Spey. For a Canadian connection, wikipedia tells me that Robert Simpson, who founded Simpson’s, was born there. And “Speyside” is a protected locality for whisky in the UK, much like a DOP rating for Italian cheeses – in English it’s “protected designation of origin.” Basically, the UK law sets out that a whisky cannot be labelled, or advertised, in a way that includes a protected locality or region unless the whisky is Scotch Whisky that has been distilled in that locality or region. (source: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/2890/regulation/10/made)

The definition of “scotch whisky” in the regulation is a little over half a page!

By Drawn by User:Briangotts as Image:Scotch regions.png and converted to SVG by w:User:Interiot. – Erskine, Kevin. The Instant Expert’s Guide to Single Malt Scotch. Doceon Press, 2005.Jackson, Michael. Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch. Running Press, 2004.Wilson, Neil. The Island Whiskey Trail. Glasgow: Angel’s Share, 2003., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2498675

Anyway, it’s a speyside I spent all of the afternoon thinking about: how I would pour a drink, post a picture and some tasting notes. Only I have none! None! I must have finished it a while ago. But I already had this much of the post so there you go. You get a bit about Glenfarclas, and I add it to my list of bottles to watch out for at the LCBO.

My parents are enablers….and spoil me rotten

So my mother calls me a month or so ago:

Mom: I want you to look this up: master of malt
Me: I know exactly what that is.
Mom: you would. Anyway, go buy the advent calendar for me. I want to give it to your father.
Me: Okay (typing in the background)
Me: They don’t ship to Canada
Mom: Then why are they advertising here?

hmmmm I dunno about that one. BUT conveniently enough my father was going to be in Malta shortly. Master of Malt ships to Malta. So the rest is history:

it's the most wonderful time of year....

it’s the most wonderful time of year….

My mom actually bought us both one. And how I knew about it? No less than four friends shared a link on facebook with me. Clearly, my friends know what I like!

Day 1 = Glenfarclas 25 year old. Man, talk about starting on a high note. One of my new favourite whiskies ever. Tangy but clean. Nutty with a bit of ginger. Consumed neat 😉 And in a price comparison the Master of Malt wins (£90 vs. £108 at the Whisky Exchange. And a whopping $237 at the LCBO 🙁 – which is about £114 so I suppose not so bad if you factor in shipping etc.) Of course finding one here might be a whole other story.

I seem to be returning to the year of my birth a lot lately. From the Glenfarclas website: “Glenfarclas was one of the first distilleries in Scotland to open a dedicated visitor centre in 1973.” It’s a Speyside whisky – both mine and my dad’s favourite whiskies are Speysides (Glenlivet and Glenfiddich respectively) Of course, those are also – according to Wikipedia at least – the two best selling single malts in the world!

I’m sure I won’t post every day for every dram but the origin story needed to be told. Day 2 is a Japanese whisky: Miyagikyo

day 2

No age statement on this one but I’m not overly concerned with that. On opening – definitely strong sandalwood. Left open for a bit – far more fruity. Definitely raisins. And my sense of smell sucks. Lots of spice on the tongue right away.  A bit of a warming punch as it goes down. A clean finish with some lingering spicey notes.