Glenfarclas 105 (60%, OB 2018)

After the Aberlour A’bunadh more than doubled in price, the Glenfarclas 105 has become the undisputed leader in terms of bang-for-your-buck cask strength sherry bombs. Unlike the A’bunadh this one used to carry an age statement too, with earlier batches stating (quite discreetly at the back of the label for some reason) that they were 10 years old. My bottle is from one of those batches.

Nose: Very dark sherry. Raisins, dark chocolate, and a pronounced tannic background.

Palate: Needs quite a lot of water to be tamed. It’s a big arrival, with those bold high notes that you only find in sherry bombs – stewed dark fruit, nutmeg, cinnamon, mulled wine. Underneath all that it’s quite a malty, caramelly centre. Not as fruity as its rival from Aberlour.

Finish: Long – bitter chocolate, oak spices, and a hint of dark coffee.

Comments: The 105 has a few rough edges compared to the elegance of most Glenfarclases, but that’s partly the point with young sherry bombs. Does exactly what it says on the tin. I probably (very marginally) prefer the Aberlour A’bunadh, but there is no doubt that this Glenfarclas offers much better value for money.

Score: 86/100

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