Glenfarclas 1990

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
The Family Casks (Release S20)
Sherry Butt
Number of bottles
55.2 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
06 aug 2020 6:06 pm by Schmausel
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 1104.23

71 × in wishlist

77 × member ratings

138 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Glenfarclas 1990

17 users have left 17 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 91.53 points.

  1. Macallan1968 scored this whisky 94 points Expert Senior

    Just wow, what a cask hammer!

    I'm very impressed and that doesn't happen very often recently. You notice the 30 years in the barrel - it has such a wonderful full-bodied harmony that I have rarely experienced. My personal Christmas present :-)


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  3. Hvdree scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      86 86

  4. twinmike scored this whisky 90 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  5. Whiskywobbler scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
      Deep notes of wood, which remind me of some old Armagnacs, polish, condensed notes of cooked forest fruits, in particular black berries and red berries, jam, dark spicy honey, burned crusts, clove, juniper and much more. Alcohol is almost perfectly integrated.
    • Taste
      89 89
      Spicy, drying, woody, all kinds of cookies, clove, curcuma, cardamon, lots of rancio-like earthy flavours, canned apricots, white pepper and an evident alcohol kick.
    • Finish
      90 90
      Long with many spiced woody flavours, drying except for some beautiful condensed fruity notes.

  6. Jens2020 scored this whisky 88 points Member Senior

    lovely smell. but it reminds me off a chew of wood. it's bitter and my tongue hurts!

  7. WhiskyWitold scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      92 92

  8. Gregers scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    Fantastic nose, interesting and super deep. It needs time to develop on the palate, and didn't get all the way there during the sample I had available. The finish made up for it, though.

    • Nose
      93 93
      Really deep sherried nose, feels thick with dark berries, plums, black cherries, furniture polish, old worn leather, wet pipe tobacco, also fresher orange oils and orange zest, loads of prunes and dates, moist sultanas, dried apricot, toffee, good dose of vanilla, spicy maple syrup. This nose really has it all, and the depth that makes it fun to nose for a long time. Thick, creamy fig jam, heavy cream and custard.
    • Taste
      89 89
      Really dry on the insides of the cheeks, and sweetness is really low. It starts strong with a good alcohol punch, black pepper, light ginger, light oak, very light barley and toffee, light smoke, leather, tobacco leaves, but missing sweetness, dried fruits and all that. Showing age, but not complexity. Second chew brings a little sweetness out, mainly custard, it helps the balance a lot. Otherwise still very dry with oak and wood spices, a bit of nutmeg, smoke still building up, though ginger still has the upper hand. Definitely improving. Third chew is fuller, oilier, better texture and mouthfeel, more full cream and toffee, smoke still building, ginger and a bit of mint.
    • Finish
      94 94
      Smoke, ginger, cream, custard, light oak. Simple, but it goes on for ages and this is probably the most enjoyable part.

  9. Corkscrew scored this whisky 96 points Member Senior

    This is just a delicious old sherry whisky. It is reminiscent of numerous dark sherries from the 80s and 90s, also from other stills (e.g. Glen Garioch). Simply great: complex, banana-like, clearly Glenfarclas, terrificly beautiful!

  10. sengaia scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    As with all first fills this is a very cask-forward bottling, but that is hard to fault when the cask is as wonderful as it is here. The integration of alcohol and flavours is so well done that it is easy to overlook. Upon repeated tasting the effortless harmony of this whisky is what impresses me most.

    Great casks have always been and still are rare. With the oceans of whisky being distilled now, how much of it is being filled into really good wood? Time will tell. I am glad such casks were still around in 1990 and I hope they still are now.

    Re-tasting this from another bottle much later, and again I sit here in awe at this whisky. Put this next to any modern sherry matured whisky, and it’s not even close. I expect that in the 2030s we will look at casks like this much as we do at 1960s sherry casks now.

  11. Soderberg scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      89 89

  12. Mik scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  13. Whiskylika did not rate this whisky Newbie

    For me an almost perfect sherry whisky!
    Dream fabric !!!
    Everything has already been said about it.

  14. Chesterfield scored this whisky 100 points Expert Senior

    Prof. Dr. John and hs305 have already described the whisky perfectly.
    These 1990s barrels are outstanding in my opinion.
    This whisky is the consequent continuation of the barrel 5117 Release Winter 2018, which was a revelation for me, because it completely fulfills my whisky preference "old complex woody sherry monster".
    This bottling hits the same line!
    On the subject of PLV, I can only say, imagine what a whisky with these key data would cost at Macallan, Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Dalmore, Highland Park, etc ...

  15. hs305 scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    [December, 2020] Finally I managed to get a sample of this way-too pricey release - personally I think no drink is worth a price north of 500 bucks let alone a "somewhat standard" edition like a Family Cask from a non-restricted vintage year (so far). But as long as customers pay these prices Glenfarclas seems to do everything right and this release was sold out very quickly at its initial price point (hopefully not just because of its dark colour)... if you are willing to pay 500+ bucks for a delicate high-proof sherry drink this one is for you. It is flawless and very quaffable but to be honest: There is not very much malt left in this whisky - but maybe I am wrong and my olfactory cells and taste buds are simply too dull to find it. Nonetheless I wonder if there are no cheaper ways to produce such a tasting experience (e.g., mixing seasoned sherry wine with neutral alcohol and maturing the vat in virgin oak barrels for a year or so), but than all the "magical spell" about whisky is gone.

    Do not get me wrong: This is fine drinking stuff (see my score) but I never ever would spend more than 100 Euro on a drinking experience missing my beloved malt aromas and flavours completely. By the way, Macallan1968 is absolutely right: This is a "cask hammer" but this hammer killed the whisky over time so all that is left is the impact of the cask, unfortunately...
    • Nose
      90 90
      The colour is quite dark at tawny and the nose offers a flawless modern sherry profile with strong leathery aromas (leather from old books and armchairs in a library). After some breathing all the other sherry aromas join in like raisins, plums, oranges and nuts but the leather stays somewhat dominant. The malt itself is not recognisable anymore and buried under this massive sherry wall - just the wood manages to break through after a while - a typical "sherry monster's" nose but this is way-too sherry-driven (for me).
    • Taste
      90 90
      The taste is about the same: high-proof sherry wine enriched by spicy-herbal and slightly bitter wooden flavours but where is the malt? Usually Glenfarclas is capable to withstand even strong sherry impact but this cask did too much even for the 'farclas. If bottled five to eight years earlier this would have been a sensational sherried whisky (like this year's 1996 vintage) but now it tastes rather like wooded "sherrsky". If you prefer strong flavours you will enjoy this very much, probably and this is absolutely okay ("There is no accounting for taste!"), but if this is worth 500+ bucks depends solely on the deepness of your pockets.
    • Finish
      88 88
      The initial mouthfeel is hot and punchy with significant bitter-drying moments (tannins at work). The finish is medium to long and again adds a bitter astringent feeling to the still dominant sherry flavours which I do not really like (wood-heads might see this differently). Water releases additional chalky aromas but turns the nose even punchier (alcoholic) while a bigger reduction flattens the dram. The taste turns smoother but less interesting while the bitter-drying mouthfeel stays throughout all reduction levels. I like the neat dram best.

  16. Prof_Dr_John scored this whisky 94 points Photo Moderator

    Glenfaclas 1990 Cask 5122 and 30 years. This time the flagship of the latest release - not only in terms of price. Just two years ago, the 1990 bottlings were available for just under 300 euros, but now they are unfortunately well over 500 euros. That means: the surcharges of the resellers and the secondary market are already priced in here from the beginning. With the last release the 1990er (Cask 1188) was more of a slow seller and couldn't keep up with this one in any way. This one is the logical consequence of Cask 9468 (summer 2018) and 5117 (winter 2018), only with two years more maturing time. In my opinion, you can feel it on your tongue. It's spicier here than in nosing, which for me is the absolute dream here. The finish is again wonderful and it shows what other good casks Glenfarclas has to offer. Unfortunately, they are now paying a lot for that. A good 500 euros is a lot of wood, but if you have the necessary change, you should definitely get this bottling. For me the best bottling of the new release. I got 94 points today. Slaintè!
    • Nose
      The color is deep dark chestnut brown and already when pouring it becomes clear: THAT is an absolute dream material! The Glenfarclas hugs the walls of the nosing glass and produces fine streaks. A real flood of flavors strikes you. Pickled raisins, plums, cherries, blackberries, plums, dark chocolate, cinnamon ... the much-cited Oloroso-Sherry Register is celebrated up and down here. After a few moments, you can also hear a light breeze of vanilla, cotton candy, a touch of subtle leather and the finest spice aromas. These become a little stronger over time, but the sweetness dominates and the alcohol with its 55.2% is perfectly integrated. As expected, the malt here has a hard time fighting this sherry wall. In any case, the nose is an absolute dream!
    • Taste
      On the tongue, however, the 55.2% push hard. Immediately a warming feeling spreads in the mouth. Da nosing continues in the mouth, all of the sweet sherry flavors described can be found again. However, it quickly becomes clear that wood and spices are more present on the tongue than on the nose. Coffee, espresso, dark chocolate, slightly tart, earthy notes, then again caramel, a hint of pepper and again sherry, dark fruits. A little less complex than on the nose, but a bit tart and a little more spicy, but without fighting down the sweetness. With a little water, the Glenfarclas becomes milder and a little more balanced on the tongue and further chewing makes the malt flash a little more. Water and a little time in the glass will definitely improve the result.
    • Finish
      The finish is long and warming and leaves a mouthfeel that is second to none. Wonderful! A potpourri of elements. Now the taste buds feel the full range of what this 1990s has to offer. The flow of saliva does not let up, the chocolate notes are now a little more intense, then the delicate bitterness of the oak knocks again and reminds you that this dream material has been in the barrel for a full 30 long years and these tannins are more than justified. Little by little, all the flavors mix and what remains is an indescribable mouthfeel that you simply have to experience. Absolute dream material!

  17. tommy12 scored this whisky 94 points Expert Senior

    Dark color similar to the 2003 / S20. Scent: raisins, plum, dark fruits, light vanilla, sweetness, scent is somewhat reminiscent of the Glengoyne 28.
    Taste: great aroma pressure, rum pot, some coffee (espresso), dark chocolate, light earthiness, complex, sweet, caramel, cream, the taste is completely different from the GG 28 mentioned (this looks much more sedate, more harmonious, but also less individual and not so intense). Despite its age, the Family Cask is almost a bit stormy and definitely very powerful, has a long finish with wonderful development. Conclusion: A great whisky with which you should spend a long time in order to grasp the spectrum of aromas and with which there is a lot to discover. With a little water the whisky opens and wins (tried with approx. 48%). Dream whisky, definitely one of the absolute best.

  18. I_am_not_HS305 did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    price in Germany (November 2020) around 530 Euros


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