Bought – Marks & Spencer, 22nd August 2014
This Glenfarclas 2003 is 43% and not to be confused with the 46% version being sold exclusively at ‘The Whisky Shop’. Initially I thought it was the same but it seems that Glenfarclas provide Marks & Spencer with a different, less alcoholic version. They probably don’t want their customers swaying uncontrollably down the High Street. Nevertheless, Ralfy in his video review says this 43% behaves more like 46%. So much for watering it down! The Whisky Bible provides a review for ‘The Whisky Shop’ version, giving it 83/100 but no mention of the M&S bottle. Thankfully other reviews are available online and 84/100 on Whiskybase is a very good mark. My bottle cost £35 from M&S but the version at ‘The Whisky Shop’ costs …. brace yourself … £62.99! Don’t all faint at once.
When Ralfy first opened his bottle he says it tasted “raw, aggressive and unsettled”. He then poured out some of the whisky into a sample bottle to give the remaining whisky a change to breath, which apparently resulted in a big improvement. All in all he is very impressed with this Glenfarclas. Always good to hear having spent money on it!
One thing Ralfy mentions, and I’ve noticed about Glenfarclas, is their value for money when it comes to older bottlings. For example, today’s prices for a 21-year-old bottle from the following distilleries would cost:
- £118 – Highland Park
- £108 – Glenfiddich
- £93 – Glenlivet
- £85.50 – Old Pulteney
- £70 – Glenfarclas
These are the best prices I found using Whiskymarketplace, with the Glenfarclas 21-year-old available for £70 from ‘The Whisky Shop Dufftown’. At the same time ‘The Whisky Shop’ is selling the 21yo bottle for £115. £45 more! It goes to show that it pays to shop around.