Glenfarclas 21 & 25 year old’s

Glenfarclas 21, 43% ABV, £7.50 (50ml)

  • Nose: Very faint oranges and apples, heavy cream, dust, old books, and some leather. Everything is very mild.
  • Taste: Honey, almonds, soft oak, wet cardboard.
  • Finish: Short, not overly complex, light and mild.
  • Thoughts: What is going on here? This is Glenmorange Original soft. Just really weak and flat. Zero alcohol note, but a pretty basic whisky. Not sure if this sample has gone flat? It appeared in perfect condition when I got it. Maybe a bad batch? I was expecting a lot more.
  • Score: 74 + 0 value point(s) = 74/100

Glenfarclas 25, 43% ABV, £7.50 (50ml)

  • Nose: Slight sherry, expired fruitcake, whipped cream, damp wood.
  • Taste: Chocolate, coffee bean, Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino (yes, I’ve had a few. They’re good, ok!) A little bit of marzipan/almond thing going on, and a faint leather note.
  • Finish: Med-short, not really complex, a lot of “meh..”
  • Thoughts: Has THIS sample gone bad as well? The palate was pretty good, but I was expecting a lot from a 25 year old. This just comes up flat, much like the 21.
  • Score: 76 + 0 value point(s) = 76/100

Overall Thoughts:

There are no visible signs that these samples were affected in any negative way. The fill level was where you expected it to be, the seals were 100% intact, and there was no discoloration under the cap. So I guess maybe an off batch? Hard to believe both would be, but I was expecting a lot more from these expressions.  I do have a full unopened 25; and if and when I open it, I will re-review and see, but wow, I’m shocked. I guess these whiskies are priced accordingly (cheapest 21 and 25 year-old scotches I’ve seen). Everyone says it’s because Glenfarclas doesn’t advertise as much as other distilleries, or because they are independently owned, but I think it’s clear by these expressions that the age statement sells the bottle and nothing else. A great example how age does not equal quality.
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About my reviews:

I score spirits based on smell, taste, finish, balance, complexity, and value. After my initial score I will add or subtract points based on how I perceive value (based on what I paid for the bottle). A zero value means I think the price is justified.

Scores:

0-69.5 – Don’t bother trying, life is too short for bad spirit.
70-79.5 – Worth trying, but you’re not missing out if you don’t.
80-84.5 – I recommend trying.
85-87.5 – Definitely try this!
88-92.5 – I recommend buying a bottle blind!
93-95.5 – Stuff you reserve for special pours!
96+ – The meaning of life.

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