Glenfarclas 105 (60%)
This whisky was originally bottled back in 1968. The 105 represents the "proof" in the old british alcohol proof system when the whisky was first produced. This equates to 120 in the American proof system, and 60% ABV in todays UK measurements.
Given it's high strength, you won't want to look at those numbers after you've had a few drams... it can get quite confusing.
Originally, the distillery owner was bottling 105 as a gift for friends and family, and when he recieved great feedback from them (rumour has it, the norm at the time was 40% whisky, and it was very difficult to find something of higher proof), he decided to bottle it to sell.
The 105 used to have a 10 year age statement, however, with climate and weather changes over the years, the distillery warehouses were no longer getting as cold as they used to, so the whisky was maturing slightly faster.
With an emphasis on making sure the whisky was the appropriate mix of casks to achieve the desired taste, as well as maintaining the appropraite ABV levels (which is no mean feat for a whisky of this strength), the decision was made to remove the age statement (making it a No Age Statement [NAS] whisky).
On the Nose
Intense with the high alcohol content. I first noticed toffee, but also more recognisable oak and apples note, with a sweet sherry aroma.
On the Palate
Brown sugar sweetness and spice, with a slight honey on burnt toast finish. Neat, the high alcohol content really overpowers the taste. It's not rough (sting in the aftertaste), but it is an aggressive whisky, but not in a bad way at all. It settles with a few minutes in the glass, and I certainly let it sit for a minute or two before trying, it did make a difference.
Bringing this whisky down to just below around 50% really allows it to open up. I started to get caramel, toffee and vanilla which I hadn't experienced neat. The taste also improved, with less of a harsh alcohol shock, I was able to detect dark cocolate notes in the finish with an unmistakeable oak sherry note from the cask.
In my opinion, this whisky requies a drop of water to enjoy it to it's full potential!
A good introductory price point for a sherry finished cask strength single malt. It's a whisky I enjoyed with some water as a "sipper", but I wouldn't see myself drinking it neat and enjoying it.
Want to give it a try for yourself? Pick up a bottle HERE