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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Glenfarclas

Celebrating Speyside!

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival kicks off next Wednesday, but even if you don’t have a ticket you can still enjoy the spoils of the historic region. Speyside is…

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival kicks off next Wednesday, but even if you don’t have a ticket you can still enjoy the spoils of the historic region.

Speyside is home to some of the best distilleries in all of Scotland and to some of our favourite drams. From Glenfiddich, Macallan, Glenlivet and more, the region boasts some of the industry’s biggest names as well as a variety of styles – not just the classic honeyed and sherried single malts (though it does have plenty of those, and they are mightily marvellous, of course).

With The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival on the horizon, it seemed only right that we took the time to celebrate the most prolific whisky-producing region in Scotland with a selection of some of its most magnificent whiskies. Enjoy!

The Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak

Macallan produces some of the most revered, sought-after Scotch whiskies in the world that can sell for eye-watering sums. The Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak might not grab the headlines like some its older, rarer drams, but it’s one of the most impressive bottlings around in its age group and makes for a perfect introduction into what has become the modern Macallan style.

What does it taste like?:

Sultanas, fresh apple blossom, tropical fruits, golden syrup, hot pastries, barley sugar, marmalade and a solid oaked notes.

Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask

A terrifically tasty and well-rounded single malt from The Balvenie, the distillery perhaps best known for its use of secondary maturation (or finishing). This bottling was initially aged in traditional oak casks before it was finished in casks which previously held a select blend of Caribbean rums chosen by malt master David C. Stewart MBE, imparting additional notes of toffee, spice and dried fruit.

What does it taste like?:

Tropical fruits, creamy toffee, sweet vanilla, apples, baking spice and mangoes.

Scallywag

Scallywag from Douglas Laing is a blended malt made from a host of whiskies sourced from some of Speyside’s finest, including Mortlach, Macallan and Glenrothes, many of which were matured in Spanish sherry butts. Some bourbon cask whisky is also in the blend for balance, making this a go-to expression for many Scotch whisky lovers. Also lovers of dapper little Fox Terriers. It’s wearing a monocle for goodness sake!

What does it taste like?:

Icing sugar, sultanas, candied ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, oak spice, nutmeg and cereal.

Tomintoul Tlàth

Tlàth (pronounced “Tlah”) means gentle or mellow in Gaelic, which gives you a clue as to what to expect from this non-age statement whisky which was matured in ex-bourbon barrels. The Speyside distiller’s Scotch is often described as ‘the gentle dram’ and this expression boasts plenty of distillery character and makes for a perfect introduction into all things Tomintoul.

What does it taste like?:

Sweet toffee, toasted vanilla, shortbread citrus peel, hints of mint leaf, lively white pepper and some oak-driven spiciness.

Mortlach 12 Year Old

The Mortlach distillery is known for its robust, muscular malts which proves a delightful reminder that Speyside is as varied as it is spectacular. Its 12-year-old expression, drawn from bourbon and sherry casks, features the subtitle The Wee Witchie, which comes from the name of the tiny still that distils a portion of the whisky.

What does it taste like?:

Warming oak, damson, soft raisins, toasted almond, cinder toffee and heavy barley with some lingering citrus oils cutting through.

Tamdhu 10 Year Old

Since its return to the Scotch whisky scene, Tamdhu has established a principle of ageing all of its whisky exclusively in Oloroso sherry seasoned oak casks. That distinctive, well-sherried profile, and the fact that it’s rather lovely, makes Tamdhu 10 Year Old the perfect go-to dram for those who desire a classic sherried Speysider.

What does it taste like?:

Dried orange peel, red wine, pecan, soft red fruit, brown sugar, chocolate-covered Brazil nut, crystallised ginger, cacao, spicy clove and raspberry jam.

Speyside 26 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

That Boutique-y Whisky Company independently bottled this 26-year-old single malt from the Speyside distillery in the Speyside region. Imagine celebrating The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival with a dram of Speyside Scotch from a distillery actually named Speyside. That’s commitment, people. Oh, and it’s a seriously delicious whisky, in case you were wondering.

What does it taste like?:

Lemon peel, chocolate, oily barley, honey, strawberry jam, clove, ginger and apple strudel, topped with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Glenfarclas 25 Year Old

Last, but certainly not least, is a classic of the genre. You say Speyside and many will immediately think of this long-time family-owned distillery and its magnificent 25-year-old single malt. Glenfarclas 25 Year Old, which spent its entire maturation period in 100% Oloroso sherry casks, is a refined, complex and delicately peated dram that’s sure not to disappoint.

What does it taste like?:

Sherry and creamy barley, hints of gingerbread and nutty chocolate, oak rich, smoke and cocoa.

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Whisky Advent 2018 Day #18: Glenfarclas 105

Behind the 18th door of Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar lies a classic sherried Speyside single malt bottled at cask strength… In this ever-changing world of whisky, where…

Behind the 18th door of Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar lies a classic sherried Speyside single malt bottled at cask strength…

In this ever-changing world of whisky, where it seems that not a week goes by without the announcement of a new distillery, and drinks companies are constantly consolidating, amalgamating, and mutating, Glenfarclas is an anomaly. Just look at those labels, they haven’t been anywhere near a Shoreditch-based graphic designer. What worked in the 1940s works now. Visiting the distillery is a similar experience. It’s not glitzy and polished, the equipment is neither antique nor brand new. It’s the same attitude: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Glenfarclas is one of the last distilleries in Scotland to use direct-fired stills, and all its whiskies are aged the traditional way in ex-oloroso casks in a dunnage warehouse.

This immunity from the whims of fashion has a lot to do with being in the hands of one family, the Grants, since 1865. The current chairman, John Grant, is the fifth-generation family member in charge. This continuity extends to stocks as well. The family are able to offer very old whiskies as well as vintage-dated expressions dating back to the 1950s.

These whiskies are some of the most highly-regarded in Scotland. Along with Macallan, Glenfarclas is the apotheosis of the sherried Speyside style. And despite all that tradition, the family isn’t immune to a spot of innovation. In the 1960s it was one of the first distilleries to shift business away from supplying blends to bottling its own single malts.

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#WhiskySanta’s Glenfarclas 1956 (cask 1767) Family Cask Super Wish!

#WhiskySanta’s really pushed the boat out for his final Super Wish of 2018. Fancy a whisky distilled waaaayy back in 1956? What about one described as ‘age- and logic-defying’? This…

#WhiskySanta’s really pushed the boat out for his final Super Wish of 2018. Fancy a whisky distilled waaaayy back in 1956? What about one described as ‘age- and logic-defying’? This week’s mega super-duper Super Wish is… Glenfarclas 1956 (cask 1767) Family Cask Spring 2015 Release!

Ho, ho, ho, my marvellous, merry chums! I’m in exceptionally fine spirits this glorious Monday. Not only did my elves cook me a terrifically tasty early Christmas dinner yesterday (I need to get my strength up in the last week before the Big Day! I’m still working my way through my mega Santa sack of gifts worth £250,000! Keep wishing on social and buying those boozes. You never know what I might slip in with your order… I might even pick up the entire tab!), but I have a right treat in store for my final Super Wish of 2018.

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The most marvellous Christmas gifts

Make this the most holly, jolly Christmas ever with this sensationally seasonal selection of spirits! Christmas is perhaps the best time of year to enjoy a well-earned tipple. It’s the…

Make this the most holly, jolly Christmas ever with this sensationally seasonal selection of spirits!

Christmas is perhaps the best time of year to enjoy a well-earned tipple. It’s the perfect way to wash down all the fabulous festive food you’ll stuff yourself silly with and helps you to relax, wind down and take your mind off the ongoing game of charades/horde of children running amok/rubbish Christmas TV schedule. It makes an ideal gift too. Maybe you know a special someone who deserves to be spoiled this year with a great bottle of booze?

Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find all manner of boozy delights to suit all tastes here, each appropriately seasonal and utterly delicious!

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Brilliant boozes for Bonfire Night!

Remember, remember the Fifth of November fondly this year with these cracking tipples… Bonfire Night, or as those who own cats and dogs presumably call it, National Scare the Crap…

Remember, remember the Fifth of November fondly this year with these cracking tipples…

Bonfire Night, or as those who own cats and dogs presumably call it, National Scare the Crap out of My Pet(s) Day, has come around again. This is great news because Bonfire Night is brilliant. Countless fireworks lighting up the sky. Heaps of amazing autumnal food. Plus there are the actual bonfires, carrying that fantastic scent and welcome heat through the crisp night air.

For some people, it’s all about the festival atmosphere at parties and displays. For others, it’s all about wrapping up warm and snug at home, enjoying the spectacle from afar. Ultimately, we’re all going to take advantage of another perfectly good excuse to indulge in some spectacular seasonal spirits. Right?

For those nodding enthusiastically in agreement, we’ve decided to round up some of the best Bonfire Night boozes and fireside beverages, each with an appropriately smouldering serve. Enjoy!

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Our Selections for Sherried September Treats

If you’ve been thinking about breaking out the sherried whisky from its summer slumber, you’re in good company. We’ve got a whole bunch of ace sherried whiskies to enjoy during…

If you’ve been thinking about breaking out the sherried whisky from its summer slumber, you’re in good company. We’ve got a whole bunch of ace sherried whiskies to enjoy during the chillier months…

As the fiercely mild September weather continues to cause a polite ruckus outside the window, we’re diving into autumn head-first. Everyone is wearing about five sweatshirts. We’ve spruced up the halls of MoM Towers with decorative gourds. Nobody is daring to go outside to forage lunch items for fear of frostbite and the bite of frostcrocodiles. It’s all very thrilling. However, none of this compares to the excitement of unearthing our favourite sherried whiskies from the cupboards where they sheltered from the harsh rays of the sun.

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It’s Glenfarclas 105 Day!

Sunday 15 April is the 105th day of the year – aka Glenfarclas 105 Day! To celebrate with our friends at the distillery, we’re taking 10.5% off Glenfarclas 105 Cask…

  • Sunday 15 April is the 105th day of the year – aka Glenfarclas 105 Day!
  • To celebrate with our friends at the distillery, we’re taking 10.5% off Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength just for today (geddit?!)
  • That’s £5.14 off a bottle of the superb cask-strength whisky you lot describe as ‘absolutely beautiful’, ‘well-crafted’ and ‘boss stuff’!
  • It’s that magic time of year again, pals! The 105th day of the year is upon us (we know, how is that possible?!), and the perfect way to mark the occasion is to pick up a bottle of Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength.

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    Whisky Advent 2017 Day #23: The Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak

    It’s 23 December, which means that after today, there will be just one lonely dram left in Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar. #WhiskyAdvent is almost over! As #WhiskyAdvent…

    It’s 23 December, which means that after today, there will be just one lonely dram left in Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar. #WhiskyAdvent is almost over!

    As #WhiskyAdvent draws to a bittersweet close, you’re probably eager to get straight to the point and savour what’s behind window #23.

    I’m going to let you do just that! And this one is just what you want on a chilly evening as you persistently bat the cat away from the dangling decorations on your tree – a dram of reliably excellent sherried Scotch single malt from The Macallan!

    Which Macallan would that be, per chance? Why it’s… The Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak!

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    #WhiskySanta’s Glenfarclas 40 Year Old 1976 Super Wish!

    We’re into December and #WhiskySanta has chosen something pretty incredible to give away as a Super Wish – a bottle of Glenfarclas 40 Year Old 1976! Did you have a…

    We’re into December and #WhiskySanta has chosen something pretty incredible to give away as a Super Wish – a bottle of Glenfarclas 40 Year Old 1976!

    Did you have a fun-filled first weekend of December? I certainly did, because I spent it poking around the shelves at MoM Towers, searching for something thoroughly wonderful to give away as a Super Wish this week! I searched high, I searched low, I definitely didn’t leave mince pie crumbs from my lunch near the rum, and I found the perfect bottle for the Super Wish. When I laid eyes upon this bottle, I knew that everyone would love to find it under their Christmas tree – it’s a bottle of Glenfarclas 40 Year Old 1976, worth £1,150!

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    Whisky Advent 2017 Day #1: Glenfarclas 25 Year Old

    Welcome to #WhiskyAdvent 2017! Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar is back for 24 days of terrific tipples and Christmas cheer! You know how I know it’s Christmas? It’s…

    Welcome to #WhiskyAdvent 2017! Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar is back for 24 days of terrific tipples and Christmas cheer!

    You know how I know it’s Christmas?

    It’s not because there’s festive greatest hits ‘gracing’ every conceivable sound-system.

    It’s not because there’s an impractically large Christmas tree dominating every town centre.

    And it’s certainly not because of any Coca Cola or John Lewis advert.

    No, I know Christmas is truly here because it’s Day #1 of #WhiskyAdvent 2017, and that and that alone means it’s Christmas.

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