...and it is the lush old style sherry-matured dram I hoped for! Such casks were quite common before the paxarette ban of the SWA in 1989 (which was the most stupied thing they did, by the way) and (almost) every whisky connoisseur adores such drams - simply look at the high ratings here at WB (they are more than justified)! If I could I would kick the SWA guy who proposed the paxarette ban into his (you select which part is best)...
The colour is brown sherry and the nose offers a bold old style (and for sure paxarette-improved) sherry nose that is simply ... unmatched by any dram after the paxarette ban of 1989. It is not just completely sulphur-free but free of all other off-notes or imbalances too. Yes, the sherry is massive but still the powerful Glenfarclas malt manages to hold its head up. This nose is almost rum-alike given its intense power and it offers high esthers and muscovado sugars beside fir honey (including hints of tree resin), fruits, spices and marzipan. Ooh, what a pleasure to sniff! Where is the guy with the paxarette ban???
The taste is nicely layered on both sherry-induced and malty flavours in a fine balance. There are fruits (both home-grown and exotic), raisins, nuts, vanillas, tannins, sugars, spices and and and ... no one tries to dominate the others! A perfect composition without any flaw - that is extremely quaffable. Bring me that guy with the paxarette ban, please!!! Water turns the dram smoother and more approachable - actually I like both the power of the neat and the charming beauty of the reduced dram (best at about 43% abv).
The initial mouthfeel is ... simply great. A pleasant warming and coating feeling takes place with the right amount of bitter tannins to keep the enormous sherry-sweetness under control. The finish is virtually endless and adds more delicious spices and chocolatey notes. A minor bitter note develops towards the end but this is welcomed to counter the sherry sweetness. Okay, finally I condemn the guy with the paxarette ban to drink a dram of the modern style and sulphur-spoiled sherried whisky every night right before going to bed...