Spoiler alert: the highlight in one of Master of Malt‘s whisky advent calendars is this Glenfarclas 1991. This single cask whisky was bottled exclusively from them at the end of 2021. We’re talking about a refill Oloroso cask, which can do wonders when given enough time.
The wooden box mentions the famous Family Cask name, but on the bottle it says Single Cask. I’ve never seen it like that before.
Glenfarclas 29 yo 1991 (55%, OB ‘Family Cask’ for Master of Malt 2021, refill Oloroso sherry hogshead #10225, 213 btl.)
Nose: it starts on wild flowers, pollen and hints of dusty spices. Some nice oak polish as well. Then it turns into sultanas, citrusy notes and mild green fruits, becoming slightly juicier. Hints of dried herbs and a kind of minty chalk. A subtle earthy side, whiffs of tobacco and subtle coffee beans as well. Refill casks can bring so much complexity.
Mouth: earthy spice comes forward now. Ginger, white pepper and nutmeg. There’s also a resinous side and some minty Fernet Branca. Caraway seeds. Then the leathery edge that wood can impart. Dunnage earthy notes withlemon peels and salted leafy notes too. A nice profile but the tannic dryness is a little too prominent.
Finish: long, still slightly salty, with tobacco leaves, minty notes and peppery oak.
The nose is a great advocate for refill sherry casks. They need time, but you’re rewarded with complexity and gentle aromas. However on the palate the high age is easy to note, which brings down the score a little. Only available from Master of Malt.