Glenfarclas 2003

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
The Family Casks (Release W18)
Calculated age
15 years old
4th Fill Butt
Number of bottles
58.3 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
09 Mar 2019 8:53 pm by Schmausel
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 239.99

37 × in wishlist

54 × member ratings

107 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Glenfarclas 2003

13 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 89.37 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    [May, 2019] So far I never had a 90+ Family Cask of a vintage younger than 1998, the best scored 89 points (WB id 106203). Is it the lack of maturation time or did the cask selection simply not suit my taste buds? So I give it another try and this is one of my beloved 4th fills (for more info on that issue see WB id 117033)...

    ...and yes, the 4th fill did work again! In a perfect cask even a rather young malt can mature to a great profile like this one. Its complexity and balance is astonishing for a mere 15-years old and there is not a single off-note or flaw. Very enjoyable to explore and dangerously quaffable - this is worth the 140 Eurobucks I paid for it, no doubt.

    By the way, as with my favourite Family Cask (1998 / S18, WB id 117033) this dram requires bigger measures to enfold its full potential. The first 2 cl might taste average only, but any further serving unlocks the hidden secrets of this young beauty...
    • Nose
      91 91
      The colour is old gold and the nose offers a complex modern sherry profile with fine sweet and sour wine aromas, leather, barley sugars, spices, dried fruits (raisins), oranges, plums, waxes, olive oil and rather shy herbal-wooden notes that grow stronger upon breathing. All is nicely balanced and without any off-note, this was a flawless modern sherry cask. But beware all you heavy-sherry lovers - this is a rather subtle and delicate sherry maturation...
    • Taste
      92 92
      The taste is layered on dozens of delicious flavours that come and go in different waves. These are the wonders of an excellent 4th fill maturation, no flavour dominates the other and all play in perfect harmony. I like this! Chew it for minutes and you detect a new impression every ten seconds, I promise. Some water releases a very interesting and fine aroma of quinces (I had a quince schnapps just recently) - what a flabbergasting surprise. The nose turns even more complex upon reduction as does the taste, this dram swims like Mark Spitz (google him, if you do not know this guy). Actually, I like this dram neat and at various reduction levels.
    • Finish
      90 90
      The dram arrives warming and instantly coating on the palate without any distracting moments. The finish is of medium length and adds more molten barley sugars and cocoa powder, guess what these combine to - right: milk chocolate. Again there is no bitter or drying feeling, the wood is about perfect to provide a firm structure without dominating.

  2. Rhönräuber scored this whisky 91 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      91 91
      vinous, fruit salad, flowering herb garden, lovage, buckwheat honey, subtle woody notes.
    • Taste
      92 92
      mirabelle, orange, dried fruit, malty sweet and tasty.
    • Finish
      90 90
      cane sugar, coconut, cherry pits & milk chocolate.

  3. LeChiffre scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Great complex fruit basket in the nose, is fun smelling. Also in the mouth very complex and interesting. Amazing what a 4th Fill barrel has produced. Overall, a great fruity malt, only the finish is minimal. However, quite high priced.
    • Nose
      91 91
      complex fruity sweetness (fruit basket); Grapes; Raisin organs; Quince; ripe fruits; pleasant herbal notes; Herbal honey; slight oak flavoring; great balanced and complex
    • Taste
      88 88
      fruity and sweet; bright fruits (mirabelle, quince, pear); Orange notes malty; behind a beautifully integrated tingling oak
    • Finish
      87 87
      medium; malty sweetie; Cocoa powder; spicy oak note

  4. prz22 scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    What a great value for money!
    So not obvious, full, round and complex whisky!
    Fruity-herbal sweetness and oak notes that are never next to artificial.
    Will repeat soon as this might go even +1 point !
    Well recommended in this pricetag.

  5. StyrianSpirit scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    So the nose belongs to the top class of 4th-fill butts with their wonderful balance of glenfarclastical spirit and barrel notes. The mouthfeel and the finish are then something for barrel strength aficionados, because it sparkles properly, fruit and sherry notes recede and the finish also shows something of the relative youth. Overall, a 93-point malt for me. I like natural barrel strengths from Glenfarclas.

    _With a few drops (and in small increments more) of water_ the malt becomes even more fruity on the nose and especially on the palate it loses the heat and the gradation of aromas of apricot, honey and the emblematic herbal notes becomes much easier to understand. This family cask literally demands a bit of water and thereby wins enormously; now this is clearly a 94 point malt (95-94-93).
    • Nose
      95 95
      Welcome to the formidable 4th-Fill-Butts! The wonderfully malty-honey Glenfarclas spirit character rises immediately in the nose and is accompanied in the most pleasant way by also typical apricot and peach aromas. Amazing how harmoniously dense the spirit from this barrel appears, the New Make was hardly 15 years in it. The 58.3% are also perfectly integrated and ensure the fine freshness. I like this nose almost as much as that of the somewhat older 1998 family cask (ID: 117033). Here we now have a trace more herbs (chervil, marjoram) and a little less bakery aromas and sherry. That's the wonderful thing about Glenfarclas 4th Fills: the balance between new make and barrel aromas.
    • Taste
      92 92
      But now the herbs are in the foreground and the 58.3% are really steaming. Character change from elegant density to slightly brute heat. Nevertheless, the development is interesting because the fruitiness remains, as does the honey (from a distance). If you are used to barrel strengths, the herbs should also be broken open; with the second and third sip the thing becomes differentiable again.
    • Finish
      91 91
      The finish is initially intense, sparkling, herbal and oak-pregnant. Even after further sips, the notes of peach and apricot don't really set in, the sherry greets from a distance. The relative youth of almost 15 years, served in cask strength, cannot be completely denied. Still memorable.

  6. topos did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    just OK, I am much less enthusiastic than hs305 (and I am no heavy sherry lover). 4/10 (point lost for price).
    • Nose
      At first there is an industrial/menthol note, so a little water and time to reveal its character, which it certainly does have. Fresh fruit salad, flat lemonade, cake batter with dried fruit and fresh citrus peels. There's some putty which is nice and will turn into some funky cheese if they left it 20 years more. There remains a raw/industrial note in the background like citrus cleaner though water greatly attenuates that. It noses like stock that should be left another 10 years, promising, even good, but still raw.
    • Taste
      It behaves like a much younger liquid on the palate (sub 10 yo), thin and aggressive (even with water). Some very pleasant flashes of fruit salad confectionery, cake batter with dried fruit, but also grape skins and citrus peels which are not so nice. Medium finish on those bitter spirit notes.

  7. lonespirit scored this whisky 86 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      84 84

  8. sengaia scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    The nose is nice and typical for the 4th fill butts Glenfarclas bottles a lot these days. The palate was initially decent enough, but as the bottle progressed the bitter-sour notes became ever more prominent up to the point where I ended up disliking it. Tread carefully when buying this, try to get a (large) sample first.

  9. Pins scored this whisky 91 points Expert Junior

    An amazing balanced variety of tastes.
    Nice and fruity. The finish is quickly gone at first, but then develops really nicely.
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      91 91

  10. Fight65 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
      In direct comparison with Family Cask # 4455
    • Taste
      91 91
      IT: 91
      B: 91
    • Finish
      91 91


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