No, I did not visit Spirit of Speyside in May. However, I lucked into a sample of the Glenfarclas 2004 13 Years Old that was released especially for this years edition of the festival. Matured in a 2nd fill Oloroso sherry butt, only 599 bottles of this whisky were released. All of them sold out instantly, and a few of them were already resold on auction websites…
Glenfarclas 2004 13 Years Old (57,5%, OB for Spirit of Speyside 2018, 599 bts.)
Nose: Some soft milk chocolate with an abundance of stewed apples, apple sauce, and honey. There’s more subtler notes of leather and furniture polish. The balance is simply exquisite. Taste: Proper viscosity. This has a nice oily mouthfeel to it. Slightly aggressive arrival, as it is quit spicy, with a hint of ginger, and cloves too. However, it has other dimensions to offer. There’s some sweet honey here, for example, as well rum-soaked raisins and caramel, and an earthiness that gives it some more depth. Finish: Lingering toffee notes and caramel glazed apple.
This is far from an easy dram. Well, maybe the nose is, as it is surprisingly gentle for such a high strength whisky. The palate proves more of challenge, but those who stick with it, will be rewarded. Matthew, thanks so much for the generous sample!