Glenfarclas 2002

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
The Family Casks (Release S20)
4th Fill Butt
Number of bottles
57.8 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
06 Aug 2020 6:06 pm by Schmausel
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 210.09

35 × in wishlist

51 × member ratings

115 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Glenfarclas 2002

17 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 89.08 points

  1. Prof_Dr_John scored this whisky 91 points Moderator

    Glenfarclas 2002 Cask 900285 (whichever way the barrel got this number?) 4th fill Sherry Butt is again a successful filling from the new 2020 Family Cask Release. Like its brothers Cask 4677 and 4337, this fourth-filled barrel is convincing. For its age of around 16 years, this Glenfarclas has an amazing complexity. Everything is well balanced, the sherry does not cover the spicy notes and the malt, which is typical for these bottlings from Glenfarclas. This whisky is a modern, sherry-ripened dram that offers both a good load of sweet aromas, but also sets enough other spicy accents. For my taste, the finish is astonishing, with the sweetness and spice constantly alternating and there is no clear “winner” on the palate. Good for those who could get hold of a bottle from Cask 900285. Unfortunately, this bottling was sold out again within a very short time and is now only available on the secondary market for well over 200 euros. I look forward to another tasting. For today there are 91 points from me. Thanks to my painting brother Herbert Glass for the sample. Slaintè!
    • Nose
      The color is golden amber and surprisingly dark again for a 4th fill, but a shade lighter than its brother Cask 4337 from 1994. And immediately after pouring a glenfarcla-typical sherry scent exudes from the nosing glass. The alcohol is very present and at first stings a bit in the nose. But this will happen after a few moments. Aromas of plums, mirabelle plums and brown sugar are the first associations, followed by honey, caramel, vanilla, cherries and a hint of menthol. Only after a while the spicy notes of the oak become more noticeable. The addition of water makes the Glenfarclas a little softer and milder and other spicy notes such as bread and leather come to the surface. This whisky takes time and the more you give it, the better it gets on the nose.
    • Taste
      The 57.8% push hard at first and press something on the tongue. The first impression on the palate is dominated by the sweet notes. Here the nosing continues and the aromas are so complex that it is difficult to assign them all. Gradually the Glenfarclas becomes spicier in the mouth and the sweetness is now joined by the spicy side, which is due to the 4th fill barrel. Herbal notes and a slight spiciness of ginger shine through here, forming a bold counterpoint to the sweetness of the sherry influence. You also get the feeling that a fine, slightly cooling pinch of mint is involved, which gives the Glenfarclas a certain fresh note. A very complex taste experience in which it is not clear which taste components are gaining the upper hand. Very complex, very interwoven, very interesting. The second sip makes the taste experience even more intense.
    • Finish
      The finish is initially dominated by sweetness, but the mouth becomes dry quite quickly. Now the fresh, cooling mint appears again for a brief moment before it is replaced by the peppery and tart spicy notes. The leather recalls itself again while the oral cavity continues to dry. A touch of dark chocolate greets you and again the caramel and honey show up. This is amazing as such constant alternation of recurring flavors is not necessarily common. Interesting in any case.

  2. Monte Gehro scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Nice example of how a 4th fill butt can contribute to a very pleasant ripening. Complex in nose and mouth, a worthy barrel for a family cask filling. It is remarkable how the nose changes after a long time in the glass and experiences an increase from 89 to 91 points.

    Comparison with Cask # 3384, 2001/2020 S20
    This shows that similar malts can turn out so differently on paper. In a blind tasting, I would (pretty sure) not assign the two malts to the same distillery. The 2002 also looks older than it actually is. It applies to both that they gain in intensity with a little water. A long time in the glass is also good for both (> 1 h).
    • Nose
      Thick, oily, intense. Cherries, ripe plums, old leather dust, fresh menthol notes from (well-integrated) alcohol, tree sap, fresh oak.
      Adding a little water opens the malt. After a long standing time (2 hours), the dark fruits change to exotic, the wood aromas change to a deep oak note with spicy forest honey, which I appreciate in long-matured ex-bourbon bottlings (and here I am talking about over 25 years).
    • Taste
      Mouth: This is where the aromas from the nose continue. But that's not negative, everything is already complexly interwoven and no component is superimposed on everything else. Sweet with dark fruits and candied sugar, oak spice emerges, dark chocolate. Adding water also improves the palate.
    • Finish
      Long, sweet finish, with a tart and spicy coating on the tongue, dark chocolate.

  3. aspa scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    soft, subtle sherry, definitely one of the typical refills of the family cask series. Bread dough, dark forest honey, dried plums. That's how it should be, that fits. Slightly alcoholic in the nose, the alcohol could be better integrated, but that might come in a few minutes. Beautiful rust-golden amber color, the eye drinks with it. Fruity, almost flowery. But there remains a note in the background that is a bit floury or something, that dampens the attack of the sherry very nicely and makes the whisky clearly sherry-driven but not dominated by the barrel. Brown sugar, light vanilla, light caramel. come to it. After a while in the glass, significantly less alcohol in the nose, which helps and makes the nose even better.

    Very sweet, caramelized fruits, soaked in dripping dark forest honey. Great! Soft, creamy, sticky, the alk is now perfectly integrated and supports you with power but without burning or stinging. Caramel, light oak, light vanilla, some leather and also more typical sherry flavors such as raisins and dried plums. towards the end something fresh is added, light mint, spices and some furniture polish? Or leather milk? Still fruity and fresh, now also in the interplay between strong sweetness but also spicy and slightly tart aromas in between.

    In the finish there is a brief flash of pepper and a slight tickle on the tongue, but that can turn back into sweetness. There remains an interplay of leather, slightly bitter chocolate, more forest honey and a little cinnamon. This mixture stays there for a long time and changes constantly between the aromas. The palate is warmed for minutes.

    Delicious family cask, which for me has some of the typical flavors, but should have a little more forest honey in the finish. I would have liked to have bought a bottle of it, but you have to be so fast now that I have to be content with the sample.
    N-91, T-90, F-88 for tasty and very tasty 90 points.
    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      88 88

  4. hs305 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    [December, 2020] Shortly before Christmas I will have some more of this year's Family Casks just in case I have to buy another Christmas present (for myself)...

    ...and this rather young vintage (for a Family Cask) is okay but not on eye-level with its older siblings which proves that 4th fill casks usually require longer maturation times to develop their adorable profile. No, it is not bad and it is easy to drink but never ever I would spend more than 100 Euro on a bottle of such drinking quality.

    PS: I just checked that there is no proof this is a 4th fill maturation because they lost the records about this cask and therefore just declared it that way. To be honest, given the nose and taste I doubt it is a 4th fill, this rather tastes like an ordinary 2nd or 3rd fill cask that never ever would support another good maturation cycle and should be re-charred instead. But why bottle this as a Family Casks edition? I have to ask the guys (or gals) at Ballindalloch next time when travel will be safe again...
    • Nose
      86 86
      The colour is amontillado sherry and the nose offers a rather shy and a little punchy profile first. Even after a long breathing period it does not really open up so I add a splash of water - and nothing happens, how strange! Another splash reduced the anyway shy aromas even further - hey, what is going on here? I try another shot (now it is reduced to about 40% abv) with the same negative impact - the neat nose is the best, actually.
    • Taste
      88 88
      The taste is flawless and complex for a barely 18-years old dram but it is not layered and lacks this adorable harmony older 4th fill maturations are famous for. Do not get me wrong, this is a delicate and quaffable taste with all the malt and sherry flavours there and the wood is very appropriate in this setting - I just miss the extra kick compared to other fine 18-years old sherried drams which it should have (given the price point it is sold).
    • Finish
      88 88
      The dram arrives hot (57.8% abv) and coating on the palate without distracting moments. The finish is of medium length and adds some more dark chocolatey notes which are tasty. Again no bitter-astringent moments here but this can be expected from such a rather short maturation in a 4th fill cask. Some water turns the dram even punchier without releasing significant new impressions and any bigger reduction does no favour to this whisky either. To be honest, this dram swims like a flat iron!

  5. Mapl scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  6. tommy12 did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    beautiful dark color, very intense fragrance, light fruits, possibly mirabelle plum, orange, vanilla. Taste: only very slightly earthy, sweetness, fruit, only very slightly pleasant bitterness, tasty, small second wave, complex.

  7. Fudschafudscha did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    price in Germany (November 2020) around 170 Euros

  8. didi1893 scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    We had to wait a long time for the summer release of the 20s Family Casks ... By and large, I think the current bottlings (tasted so far) are successful, but unfortunately, in my opinion, the quality has declined over the past few years. Even with this bottling I am a little bit divided, although this 2002 piglet convinces me with its reserved and refreshing style.

    22/22/22/23 (89P)
    • Nose
      A mixture of intense amber and reddish copper shimmers in the Premium Snifter. Dried, slightly fermented fruits come into their own, hints of apricots and mirabelle plums, crumbs of hard caramel and old toffee mix with dull fruit sweetness. A touch of menthol is refreshing, as are hints of dried meadow herbs and abrasion of mandarin peel. Cinnamon stick with a hint of old vanilla, old and dry wood tones, old zest of grapefruit and orange peel are timid.
    • Taste
      The first sip wets the tongue mildly and sweetly, herbs and tart citrus fruits explode on the tongue, caramel and spicy wood tones, hazelnuts with dried mint. Tart and sweet fruit aromas play closely together, spicy wooden elements mix with caramel and yellow fruits, malt and hints of chocolate. The mouthfeel changes steadily from gentle to tart, from sweet to sour while slowly peppery sharpness emerges and the tip of the tongue massages. With a menthol note that becomes more intense, the taste fades into the aftertaste.
    • Finish
      Subtle sharpness with spicy wood tones and tart citrus fruits sticks warmly on the palate, hazelnuts play with unripe walnuts, tart fruit and wood notes end in mint and menthol. In the middle, the sometimes bitter aromas stick to the palate before the finish with hazelnuts and a hint of menthol.

  9. Sjaunja did not rate this whisky Specialist

    one shouldn't be fooled by the 4th Fill Butt. Unfortunately, the history for this barrel has been lost, so it has been described as a 4th fill, but is more of a refill sherry butt.

  10. WhiskyCasual scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    Too alcoholic for me even with water ..
    Some Furniture polish, bright red fruits, black tea
    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      83 83


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