Bought – Waitrose, 22nd May, 2014
94/100 – Whisky Bible 2014
80/100 – Malt Maniacs (average from 4 reviews)
Although Ralfy (of www.ralfy.com) hasn’t reviewed the 12yo, it was a comment on his video review of the 10yo that caught my eye. Another whisky drinker had bought the 12yo about 6 months ago and said “an absolute shocker in my opinion, smells of bland nothingness, golden syrupy taste enhanced by a whole load of sulphur.” Interesting. Jim Murray, author of the Whisky Bible for the last 10 years, is the king of spotting sulphur. If there’s even the slightest hint of it he’d be frothing at the mouth in disgust. But he gives the 12yo an amazing mark of 94/100 and lavishes the whisky with praise. No mention of sulphur. I don’t always agree with Mr Murray but in this case I think the Ralfy commenter must have had a bad bottle.
The Whisky Bible review sums this malt up with “a superb rework of an always trustworthy malt.” And “what a sensational success!” In 2009 the Whisky Bible rated this whisky 89/100 so it has changed in recent years.
The Malt Maniacs rating of 80/100 is so-so. Interestingly I had to go back to the 1979 release of this 12yo to find a lower rating than 80/100, so it seems that not everyone is in agreement that this latest Glenfarclas 12yo is the best ever. Well that’s ratings for you! Even if you find one person agreeing with you about one whisky, chances are they wont when you both try another. But it does seem that, unless you get a rare bad bottle, this 12yo is a decent dram and considered a good example of a Speysider.
Here’s Scotch Test Dummies with their thoughts on You Tube (May 2016):