This is the end. Of the blind tasting. For 7 weeks Yapi has shown us the different ways in which whisky can evolve. Now it comes down to the last two samples (there’s actually one more, but we don’t talk about that one. Ever! Well, maybe next week). Let’s see if there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, shall we?
The nose hits you with oranges and almond paste. It continues in a distinctive round fruity way with cherry, raspberry and mild spice (European oak). A slight acidic note develops a little later. All in all, this is very comfortable and rather clean. Like a spotless farm kitchen. With some water, the fruit transforms into summer flowers in bloom.
The first impression the taste gives is a tannic, drying one. An earthy sherry-note follows, as well as European oak spice, dark red wine and walnut. With some water the dryness abates somewhat, but a charcoal note takes its place. Could be an older cognac or armagnac, apart from the obvious missing grape-note.
Speaking overall: this, to my taste, is a whisky which has spent just a few years too long in the cask. The nose has survived, and is really good, but the taste has suffered to the point of becoming mildly uncomfortable to drink. Still, there is quite a bit of complexity here, even if balance is off: 86 points
Glenfarclas 40yo 2012 46%
This nose is most definitely woody. My first instinct is that it could be an old rum. A trace of (cask?)smoke and a load of wood spices come charging forth. Resin as well, and fruit biscuits, marzipan and nutmeg. This is a very full-bodied, wood-themed nose. Pleasant, but without any appreciable spirit-influence.
The situation does not improve in the taste unfortunately. It has been completely taken over by the cask: dusty splintery wood, some undefined fruit in the background. Really quite simplistic.
Overall, the nose on this is good and even somewhat complex (87), but the taste has gone over the hill severely (78). Too long in the cask once more… so: 84 points (for the nose)
Glenfarclas 40yo 2010 46%
Guesses: I could see these coming from the same distillery. #7, I think, is the younger of the two at 27 years old and 48% abv. #7bis is a bit older, 32 years, and bottled at 45%. Over the hill refill-sherrycasks made from European oak on the both of them. I’ll take a punt at Glen Garioch or Tomatin for the distillery.