Single malt whisky - tasting notes

26 Apr 2010

Glenfarclas 40 years old

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Glenfarclas

Glenfarclas 40 A couple of months ago I picked up the plans of Glenfarclas to bottle a 40 year-old at a price level well below the market standard. Glenfarclas has a huge stock of old casks, some of which are quickly losing strength. This bottling is not just a solution for this problem, it’s also a welcome evolution on the market because most other 40 year olds are sold as collector’s items with fancy boxes and a lot of blah blah. This is clearly a no-nonsese drinker’s whisky!

Highland Park 40yo is valued € 900. Glenglassaugh 40yo and The Dalmore 40yo cost around € 1600. Glengoyne 40yo will set you back € 4000. This Glenfarclas 40yo costs around € 330… Even an independent release from a lesser known distillery would be difficult to find for this amount of money.

This 40yo mainly contains casks from the late 1960’s. When I tasted it as a work-in-progress, I felt it still needed some tweaking, so I’m eager to find out what the end result is like.


Glenfarclas 40 years Glenfarclas 40 yo (46%, OB 2010)

Nose: rich sherry with big hints of prunes and oak polish. Quite sweet and deeply fruity, with just some hints of pine needles and resin to make it drier. Lush notes of blackcurrant marmalade, tobacco and cigar boxes. Roasted moccha. A wonderful whiff of mint and eucalyptus. An old gentleman: very elegant. Mouth: starts on dried fruits with resinous notes. Evolves in a more herbal and more winey / tannic way. Orange liqueur. Chocolate. Some black olives. Maybe missing a bit of round creaminess here. Finish: long, resinous but not too oaky. A bit of balsamic vinegar and hints of chocolate. Getting drier.

This Glenfarclas 40yo has an excellent nose and it’s certainly one of the best opportunities to try such an old whisky. An example of a great vatting, but a tad more creamy fruit on the palate could have lifted it even higher. Around € 330.

Score: 91/100

Glenfarclas 40 years old 4.5 Ruben Luyten 2010-04-26
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  • Gal

    i really thought of getting a bottle (even though it’s way over my budget) but now i am not sure, as the balsamic vinegar ending is not something i like…

  • WhiskyNotes

    In which whisky did you have problems with notes of balsamic vinegar? I don’t find them very explicit in this Glenfarclas 40yo anyway.

  • Gal

    Glendronach Revival.

  • Charlie Wang

    40 yo at 46% is neat!

  • Ruben

    Gal, I’ve revisited the GlenDronach and it’s much more prominent there. In the farclas it’s more like a balsamic syrup, not too sour at all. I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you.

  • Gal

    thanks ruben.
    now i have to rob a bank and pay for it :) LOL.
    hoping to get it soon.

  • Red_Arremer

    Anyone want to compare/contrast this to the Glenfarclas 1968, which I own– just to give me a more concrete sense of the 40’s character.

  • aw

    Tried courtesy of Master of Malt sample. Enticing, rich nose followed by an incredibly strong and forceful delivery on the palate: very fruity with a hard, flinty edge. Finishes on a slightly bitter note. Compared with the 1971 Family Cask sample, I was expecting something a bit more sophisticated and balanced; instead it comes on very forcefully. Great, but lacking some balance and cohesion. You’d have to be in the mood for this kind of assault to enjoy an evening on the 40 yo. I’d go for the 1971 Family Cask. 1970 and 1994 Glenfarclas Family Cask samples yet to try…

  • Gal

    Well, i finally opened my Mom Sample. and loved it.

    here u go :

    thanks for the info, i also linked to u.

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  • Ruben

    Seen in stores for around € 225 now, which makes it even more interesting.

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November 2015
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Coming up

  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1933 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.