Back to where it all began. Farclas – 23 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead and then finished in a 1st fill PX hogshead.
Nose: All of the bees – beeswax together with bee honey (this is certainly well named). Intensely reduced fruits – cherries and strawberries with orange and mandarin – all quite syrupy. Brown sugars, molasses, leather seat covers and bound books alongside pipe tobacco. Deep overt PX sherry – sticky sweet and concentrated is livened by rum and raisin ice cream and fig rolls. Dilution adds brightness with fresh berry fruits alongside chopped almonds and marzipan icing.
Taste: Intense, incredibly rich and quite aromatic – Sandalwood and cedar sit alongside very dark chocolate sauce, liquorice and molasses. Fruits are still perceptible in the abundance of sugar-led treats – stewed apples and apricots together with dried mango slices and guava. Spicing develops in the mid-palate with cinnamon and cloves alongside oven-cooked fans, raisins and figs and cigar tubes. Water reduces things down to a syrupy consistency with ginger-flavoured cream and a freshly packed aromatic pipe.
Finish: Long with leather armchairs and syrupy orange and red fruits.
There’s nothing diminutive about this PX-finished Glenfarclas – huge sherry, big sweetness and near cavernous intensity. The fact that there’s still plenty of life and brightness here is a testament to the original ex-bourbon maturation as the 1st fill PX has had a colossal influence on the spirit over its final couple of years. The price is quite stiff (and the ‘free gift box’ is unlikely to lessen the blow), but the liquid itself is excellent. Sherryheads rejoice. Joint pick of the month.