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1987 Glenfarclas The Family Casks Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 52.6%
If you are a collector or simply looking for that something special in the world of Scotch whisky, this will be for you. Commencing in 2007 as 43 single casks spanning five decades, George Grant speaks candidly about his Family Casks that came about after a high profile rival (Macallan) released a similar range circa 2005, boasting only they had the inventory to pull it off. With six generations of family pride at stake, Grant launched his own liquid genealogy. An exercise in one-upmanship became an ongoing concern after a single bar in Japan purchased 178 bottles. 380 bottlings later, more than one collector has followed suit securing complete sets.
Grant remains emphatic that these are for people who buy and drink whisky but concedes, “Whisky is now deemed as a safe investment. Look at the past 10 years and it outstrips everything – property, oil, you name it.”
The Family Cask prices have been steadily increasing over the last few years, especially in emerging Asian markets. Word has it that demand has been so strong that Glenfarclas have even stopped issuing tasting notes. Instead, they literally reserve every last drop for the whisky trade. Several vintages are increasingly rare even in the distillery’s warehouses and represent their final stocks (Grant admits this project isn’t sustainable). Put it all together and you realise how fortunate we are to have secured an edition like this: Distilled in 1987 and bottled in January 2017 at 52.6% Alc./Vol. from a refill butt (no.1851) with an outturn of just 568 bottles.
Tasting note: Deep amber gold. Another example of a sherried whisky that needs decent airing. Restrained at first, gradually yielding a nutty, mildly salty aroma that’s more Amontillado than Oloroso or PX, which also means it’s a drier nose-feel; It's peppery too. 10-15 minutes air contact draws out subtle fruity undertones. Some found this Fino-like on the palate – again, there’s a delightful salty-nutty interplay with light dried fruits, pepper and finally, fine tannins, balsa wood and hints of liquorice root through the aftertaste. As an intense and alternative expression of Glenfarclas, this is fascinating; flavour-wise, perhaps drawing comparisons with the slightly leaner style of the official 17 year old? It handles minimal water and will make for a great aperitif. 52.6% Alc./Vol.