Whisky Reviews

Glenfarclas 1953


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“You lucky, lucky bastard.” That’s what I imagine most of you will be thinking in about a minute, once you’ve read what the mailman handed me a little while back. Well, I say a little while, it was actually about a month and a bit – which makes this my new personal record in lazy review writing. All that nonsense aside, what the mailman handed me was an inconspicuous looking parcel; inside said parcel was a slightly less inconspicuous but still on the whole unremarkable bit of protective packaging; inside said slightly less inconspicuous but on the whole unremarkable bit of packaging was a not at all inconspicuous looking wooden boxed, emblazoned with the well-known Glenfarclas logo.

“So,” I hear you all eagerly ask, “what was inside the not at all inconspicuous looking box inside the slightly less…” – I’ll let that little insight into my current and somewhat annoying mood end there, you’ll be glad to hear, but will nonetheless answer the question. Inside the box was nothing less than a cheeky little sample bottle of Glenfarclas 1953, sent to me courtesy of WealthSolutions, a Polish company that – I would imagine – solves wealth for people with too much of it. Or something along those lines.

Now, the 1953 barrel is the oldest Glenfarclas released to date, making it very rare – indeed, out of an original 132 gallons less than 79 remained when it went into bottling – and, I would imagine, stupendously expensive. I say I would imagine, because I actually haven’t a clue of the price attached to a bottle. All I can tell you is that a 1953 “Family cask” edition was released in 2007, and is still available through Master of Malt – at $1,181 per bottle, or $66 for a 1oz sample. If that’s not quite expensive enough for you, it’s also available through The Whisky Exchange for $1,778.23. Whatever floats your boat.

Glenfarclas 1953

At this point I’d love to say that it was the best whisky I’ve ever had and that it’s worth every penny, but unfortunately that’s not the case. The nose starts out quite sour – reminiscent of Rodenbach Grand Cru – which is unusual yet pleasant, followed by a somewhat less pleasant chemical-like smell and, finally, a nutty (Brazil?) and fruity endnote. I realize that I don’t sound entirely too positive so far, but it simply didn’t sit quite right with me. Moving on to the palate, it still has some of that sourness that reminds me of Rodenbach, along with spice, a bit of ginger, and just a whisper of that nutty fruit from the nose.

If you are looking for an exceptionally fine whisky to splash a bit of cash on, I’m sorry to say that this, to my mind, is not it. While I’m normally a big fan of Glenfarclas this did little to excite me, and with what I can only imagine will be a quite hefty price tag attached to it, I personally wouldn’t buy it. That said, it is by no means a bad whisky as such, it simply wasn’t for me. If you’re a businessman wanting to impress on your clients, however, I’m sure casually serving up some Glenfarclas 1953 will do the job very nicely indeed.

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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