Glenfarclas 1999 Family Cask #5212

Glenfarclas 1999 Family Cask #5212

I may have been quite critical about Glenfarclas’ Family Casks in previous reviews. I have the impression there are too many of them and too few are actually opened or shared. They just don’t generate the interest they once did. I keep trying them though, expecting they could restore my faith, even though they rarely blow me away.

I also have this theory that actively forbidding independent bottlers to use your distillery name on the label (which Glenfarclas has pioneered in a rather aggressive way) will be detrimental for the fame of your brand in the long run. After all you’re actively saying no to a lot of exposure, and falling into oblivion is probably worse than an occasional bottling that’s not up to your standards. There was a time when most ‘undisclosed Speyside’ whiskies were clearly Glenfarclas, but even that’s not the case anymore. Now less is being written about Glenflarclas, and less people are passionate about the distillery, in my opinion. That couldn’t have been the intention.

Today I’m having the Glenfarclas 1999, a single sherry butt #5212. It was part of the Summer 2022 releases.


Glenfarclas 1999 (55,3%, OB ‘Family Cask’ 2022, sherry butt #5212, 585 btl.)

Nose: rather caramelly. Sweet malt, hints of soaked cereals and treacle. Also broth and Maggi, which takes away some freshness. Green pepper. Then hints of graphite and leather. Despite the malty sweetness I’m missing a fruity side here.

Mouth: assorted nuts (peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds) alongside spicy notes (pepper and nutmeg). Cinnemon and herbal honey, with prunes and quinces. Then it gets breadier (brown toast), with a distant hint of vanilla custard and earthy / leafy touches. Toasted seeds as well as hints of forest fruits.

Finish: quite long, on liquorice and slightly bitter herbs, as well as some dark chocolate.

Good whisky, rather robust but not entirely meeting our expectations in terms of freshness and fruitiness. Overall an autumnal Glenfarclas with a leafy and spicy sherry profile. Still available from (also samples) or Master of Malt for instance.