Glenfarclas 1998

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
The Family Casks (Release S18)
4th Fill Butt
Number of bottles
50.8 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
03 Sep 2018 9:43 pm by Schmausel
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 207.09

77 × in wishlist

86 × member ratings

173 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Glenfarclas 1998

28 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 90.29 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    [November, 2018] ...the wonders of a 4th fill cask (in this case a sherry butt) are not just that the woods of such casks are rather smooth to the whisky and hence the spirit matures in a greater balance and withstands even very long maturations without getting too bitter from the tannins. No, there is a little additional secret behind such 4th fill maturations that even most industry insiders do not know:

    It is all about when these casks were built by the coopers - simply calculate around 5 to 15 years per whisky maturation cycle plus several years of use at the Spanish bodegas (to ferment or store young wine before it enters the solera system) and you know such a cask was coopered in the seventies or earlier (a 4th fill laid down in the seventies hence was coopered in fifties or earlier). So why is this important? Simply, because the last very old Quercus Alba (American white oak) trees - and very old means several hundreds of years old - were harvested in the U.S. around that time. Today very old oak trees only grow in protected areas like National Parks still - all others are gone and today's casks are made of trees not older than 100 years, usually.

    Imagine the difference several hundreds of years of accumulating aromas and flavours substances by a tree makes and you easily see why such casks not only support 4th fill maturations (casks made of younger trees are usually exhausted after the 3rd cycle) but they provide a much greater flavours variety and complexity to the spirit than younger woods. Unfortunately, such very old QA trees are not available any longer since decades (and they will never be available again) - hence the old whisky styles they induced are gone with them. That is why I always look for 4th fill maturations but beware, not all of them are great...

    ...this one is excellent, for sure - and I would love to taste a dram each of the first three maturations this cask supported before (they must have been flabbergasting!). But shy away all you lovers of modern style "sulphur-enhanced" sherried whiskies: You probably will rate such a whisky average-only because your taste buds cry out for more powerful kicks that only the devil can provide - and not the angels that took care of this very fine dram...

    Dear Jim Murray, why did you not select this flabbergasting dram as the "Whisky of the Year"? To me, it is!

    [February, 2019] I re-tasted this dram tonight to honour a good friend that passed away (R.I.P. Willy) and fully confirm my old review. Hint: To fully enjoy the magnificence of this dram you should have more than just a small sample - the first 2 cl just re-calibrate your taste buds so they can better cope with the onrush of flavours from that on. So take your time and enjoy a rather bigger dram! [March, 2019] I opened another bottle and to state it again - the first dram is just good (average only) but the second kicks me into heaven (not to mention the third). This is not a whisky for small sample tasting, this one was made to be enjoyed in larger measures...

    [October, 2020] Another re-taste and this dram stays what it is - one of the finest I had during the last years. Extremely enjoyable both the explore and quaff and it impressively proves the statement by good old Silviano Samaroli (R.I.P.) "The best age of malts is around 20 years of maturation".

    PS: Everyone who reads this should remember that tastes are very different and therefore no one should rely on anyone other's tasting note when buying a dram...
    • Nose
      93 93
      The colour is russetmuscat (wow, what a dark colour for a 4th fill!) and the nose is something I immediately fell in love with. A perfect balance of sherry, malt and wood-induced aromas in a variety that is almost unbelievable for a (just) 20 years old whisky. In a blind setting I would have guessed a much older dram (way above 30 years). Not a single off-note or imbalance, this nose is both challenging to explore and very enjoyable to sniff. No, I do not state the endless list of aromas in here - find out by yourself!
    • Taste
      95 95
      The taste is multi-multi layered without any single flaw. All is in perfect harmony - I am somewhat speechless. Hooray, still there are exceptional drams out there! A little water releases even more fine aromas in the nose and flavours on the palate - I like this dram both neat and a little reduced to about 43% abv.
    • Finish
      95 95
      The initial mouthfeel is pure pleasure: A silky, creamy feeling instantly coats all the mouth without any single distracting moment. The finish is very long with more delicious cocoa flavours and a fine spicy-bitter note added from the woods. It virtually stays on my tongue forever without any distracting feeling at all - this is a perfect Traditional Scotch distilled in 1998, I simply adore it! Congrats to all the staff of Glenfarclas on this exceptional fine "old style" dram...

  2. ARDBERG scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    Can't say no more than :-)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    For further details, please see comments of hs305
    • Nose
      94 94
    • Taste
      94 94
    • Finish
      95 95

  3. StyrianSpirit scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    Enormously seductive in its blend of intense peach and apricot fruit, the typical "Glenfarclas bakery flavors" and light sherry. Over time, waves of forest honey aroma and herbs follow.

    If you've always wanted a bit more power and a variety of fruit and sherry depth with the 25y standard bottling, this is the place for you. I understand slowly, what "balance between spirit and barrel flavors" can mean.

    This elegant fruit and herbal honey depth with well-integrated sherry and delicate oak flavors in constant interplay is simply outstanding (95/95/95).
    • Nose
      Again and again intense waves of peach and apricot. After an hour then suddenly very intense forest honey was there. Oh yes, sherry too; as a delicate veil, so to speak, on which the peaches and apricots, drizzled with forest honey lie.
      On the second round also nice apple notes come in the nose. And again the dark forest honey.
    • Taste
      Very clear, very peach-fruit, slightly malty-sweet, honey. Absolutely "crispy" and full of apricot peach fruit. And oily. In the second wave then beautiful herbs, very delicate oak. The 50.9% are perfectly integrated, the desire for water does not appear. In the second round even fruity with decent honey depth - now in the interplay with the typical for me "Glenfarclas bakery flavors".
    • Finish
      In the finish, the malt is somewhat sherrylastiger and the oak with some leather takes over the command. The 50.9% refresh the whole thing before some apricot fruit appears again in the long finish.

  4. Moses scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    Thanks to hs305. Because that made me hot to order this bottle.
    That was the wild card in spring 2019! This bottle is something special.
    Addendum after 1/3 bottle:
    What struck me a lot is that a tea note appeals to me that I know well. The tea I drink every day. Fennel anise caraway. And the honey scent only turns into dark forest honey on the palate. Unfortunately I don't know what a honeycomb tastes like. But it should be something like that. Honey all pure somehow ...? And what this whisky can do like few others is that the nose only releases the full notes when the palate is already working up. Then fed up and knows how to surprise. Big cinema. What exactly happens in this dram is very blatant. If it is said that whisky can also act like medicine, then this bottle is it for sure! A whisky from the health food store.
    Unique selling point. Out of Stock.
    • Nose
      This nose is so special that I can only fully confirm the notes of hs305. A dream nose.
    • Taste
      Oha. There is nothing to add. See Notes v. hs305.
      My special thanks go to him now. That was the tip!
    • Finish
      Wow. This malt stays on the palate and especially on the tongue for half an eternity. Again, I don't want to add much more to the notes from hs305. Hammer. A masterpiece!

  5. didi1893 scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    A great and impressive malt. For a 4th Fill Butt, this bottling burns off a veritable firework of flavors and is extremely present in the mouth and nose. This almost indescribable spice note from the most diverse spices and herbs is extremely impressive and dominates the whole time. A great multi-layered and voluminous malt, I like it very much. Enough Notes and impressions written down, I'll give myself a second Dram after and let me drift! As already mentioned, a great and interesting Malt ... Yessssssss ;-)

    23/23/23/23 (92P)
    • Nose
      Creamy amber rests in the glass, from the streaks sticking to the glass wall of my Premium Snifters oily and syrupy "legs" come out. Dark forest honey and hints of old apricot and apricot dissolve from a malty and spicy herbal mixture, old hazelnuts lie in the background. Röstaromen mix with dried oranges and a touch of sun-drenched raisins, spicy wood tones end up again in this unusually strange and spicy mixture of spices, herbs, dry wood tones and old dried yellow fruit flavors. Do I smell old sawdust here? The nose turns completely and exudes the strangest, but delicious flavors. Thyme? Hay, straw, malt, cereals ... The next moment, peaches, apricots and raisins are briefly on display.
    • Taste
      The first sip flows voluminously over the tongue. Malted grain aromas end in dark yellow fruits, velvety vineyard peaches and a basket of freshly picked meadow herbs end in sweet mirabelle plums and apricots. Abrasion of tangerine peel and a minimal hint of ripe grapefruit settle on the tongue, minimal roasted aromas and a hint of smoke end in spicy and slightly dry wood tones supported by dark forest honey. The second sip looks smokey and malty, you might almost think the malt was roasted or smoked. Subdued sharpness taps on the tongue, warmth floods the palate and warms down the smoke. Slightly tart wood elements come into their own, I taste there a minimal pinch of white pepper or is this due to the emerging wood sharpness. Dried meadow herbs, thyme and other spices make for a strange but delicious flavor. With hints of hazelnuts and subtle roasted aromas blurring taste and aftertaste.
    • Finish
      Spicy and slightly dark, the aftertaste starts. Malt and roasted cereal grains end in dark but sweet fruits, mirabelle plums and apricots emerge. Spicy and discreetly tart wood shines in the aftermath, a slightly minty freshness lies discretely in the background all the time. Gradually, the fresh note increases, peppermint and dried mint remain a felt eternity in memory.

  6. SFWC scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    hs305 for President.

  7. SFWC scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    hs305 for President.

  8. Chesterfield scored this whisky 97 points Expert Senior

    I never thought that a 4th-Fill keg could still transport such fantastic flavors. For me a new experience, for which I am very grateful to "hs305", without his report I would never have ordered the bottle. And as he also writes, I was a little disappointed at first, but that was certainly because my prey scheme so far were always only very dark, oak-laden sherry whisky. This extremely fine drop is very well balanced, is rather refreshing and light-fruited in the aromas and yet there are the finest very old oak wood notes as I love them, but never push themselves. A fantastic station wagon that I have never had !!! In the nose as well as in the finish the finest hints of cedarwood, sandalwood and elegant herbal notes as I know only from calibres such as a Glenfarclas 40 years, come to light. Unbelievable with a "only" 20 years old whisky !!!
    As hs305 already wrote, perhaps this is really the age of the oak trees that were still in existence in the 40's or 50's, when probably this 4th Fill barrel was built, for more than a hundred years. Already crazy when you imagine how much time had to pass until this whisky came into the bottle. Maybe about 300 years until the oak was felled. Then about 20 years of sherry ripening in Spain, then about 30 years the first 3 Whisky fillings and last 20 years for this Family Cask bottling. Makes a total of about 370 years for this whisky !!! Of course, just mind games, but it's fun ;-)
    Thanks again to Glenfarclas for this ingenious bottling !!!

  9. ARDBERG scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    It's a challenge - a Glenfarclas one...

    THE BENCHMARK: Vintage 1998 cask 3587 N: 94 T:94 F: 95 absolutely beautiful, butteric in the nose and a charming sherry - refill like

    Vintage 1998 cask 4449 N:78 T:70 F:60 the more air it takes, the more sulphur comes out. It was around 86 points when pured now it sits at 78 - nosewise - and this is generous. Man, it's dirty stuff. It gets worse in comparisons to ist comrades. Stand alone the score might be better but in comparison it just loses. I just have this one chance to taste, sorry cask 4449 - too many 4s in the number, that's bad luck in Asia... and here in the glas as well. And I had high hopes riding on the 4th fill cask.

    Vintage 2000, cask 6285, N:91 T:91 F:91 nutty oloroso at the right intensity and quite sweet, fantastic complexity, maybe with a very slight touch of flintiness on the tongue/finish

    Vintage 2001, cask 2170, N: 91, T:90, F:89 strong oloroso sherry and spiciness but with a certain sherry note that is sour, quite bitter in the finish

    Vintage 2002, cask 3318, N:91, T:91, F:90 a bit too intense (hm, is this really a complaint?), slightly bitter in the finish and quite spicy (wood)

    Vintage 2004, cask 2383, N:92, T:92, F:92, sherry & spice at a high level, approx 15 years taste like 20. Smooth from nose to finish, the winner of this challenge, though it can't beat the benchmark 1998 cask #3587.
    • Nose
      94 94
    • Taste
      94 94
    • Finish
      95 95

  10. LeChiffre scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    Wow what a fantastic FC, amazing what can come from such a 4th fill barrel. The wonderful fruitiness of peach, mirabelle and apricot in combination with herbal notes and a fine oak flavor harmonize wonderfully. An absolute dream!
    • Nose
      91 91
      sweet and spicy; ripe bright fruits; Peach; Apricot; Apple; Hints of raisins and organs; Honey notes; Herbal notes; in the background there is a great delicate, spicy oak note; beautiful complex nose of light fruity and spicy aromas
    • Taste
      92 92
      voluminous; immediately a clear peach fruitiness; Mirabelle; apricots; hints of dried fruit; malty sweetness; Herbal notes; with a fantastically integrated sparkling oak flavor; everything wonderfully balanced and excitingly sweet-fruity-spicy
    • Finish
      93 93
      the beautiful fruitiness of peach, mirabelle plums and apricot is also evident here; spicy oak aromas (slightly tart) come to the fore; in addition, a wonderful fresh note of peppermint lines the mouth; fantastic finish


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