The following originally appeared on Guid Scotch Drink on May 17, 2012:
I could wax lyrical about 1953, or about the incredible surprise I had finding this sample on my doorstep, or just about how much I love Glenfarclas. Instead, I'm going to get straight to the whisky (even though this was the first time I was ever nervous about opening a sample bottle, knowing that once the bottle was open I would never have the chance to open it for the first time ever again!).
Cask #1674, a first fill sherry cask selected by a tasting panel comprised of George Grant (Glenfarclas), Serge Valentin (Whiskyfun), Ben Ellefsen (Master of Malt), and Michal Kowalski (Wealth Solutions), was filled on November 20th, 1953 at a strength of 63.4% Alc. During fifty-eight years in the cask the volume reduced from 500 litres to 300 litres while the strength reduced to 47.2% Alc. This is the oldest cask the distillery has released to date (take a moment to think about that...). It's available from Master of Malt for £6000 a bottle.
C: Burnished copper
N: Majestic! Delicate and perfectly balanced with fennel, black pepper, candied orange peels, cocoa nibs, and toffee, even a little resinous
P: Oil really coats the teeth and tongue, flavors of lightly roasted coffee beans, tea leaves, ground pepper, grilled peaches, and linseed oil try to pry attention away from the texture, eventually it gets a little nutty in the rear (cashews)
F: Long and luxurious before it very quietly dries the palate, tea leaves, subtle anise and toffee linger
In conclusion: Absolutely remarkable for a 58 Year Old! Such a luscious texture and deliciously decadent. The nose alone is worth the price of admission! I thoroughly enjoyed both the subtly herbaceous quality with the fennel and tea leaf notes and the gentle candied notes with the orange peels and toffee. What a treat!
Sincere thanks to George Grant, Ben Ellefsen, and Wealth Solutions for this official (and completely unexpected) sample.