Review: Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 87.5/100 a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf) Posted January 26, 2012. Bottling Code: N/A. The expression was initially an 8 years old bottling and continued as such into the early 1970’s. Ignoring single cask releases from their Family Casks range, all of the whiskies in the Glenfarclas core range are sherried to one extent or another. Maybe they're just playing it safe. 144.00 . Aberlour A’bunadh (the “Original” in … Continue reading "Aberlour A’bunadh: Scotch 100 … With my Pittsburgh Steelers fan hat on, I despise the Baltimore Ravens. Glenfarclas has long been a favorite of mine though for many years they were either not represented in this area at all or very sparingly, as we could … Glenfarclas 21 Year-Old. In this context, one can understand why a’Bunadh feels the need to boldly declare its cask-type on the label. Aberlour A’Bunadh Batch 50, bottled at a cask strength ABV of 59.6%. Nice long legs, again, oaky and hints of … It’s simply the nature of the game, and I’m ok with it. Most punters wouldn’t be paying more than $100, and often for 1 litre bottles. For those of us who are fans of heavily sherried, cask strength whiskies, why should we keep buying a’bunadh when we can buy Glengoyne Cask Strength, Glendronach Cask Strength, Tamdhu Batch Strength or Glenfarclas 105 for a fraction of the price? As a reminder, A’Bunadh is bottled at cask strength from a vatting (mixture) of Aberlour malts from varying ages (10 to 15 years old). Point being: we’re consumers in free countries, and we’re empowered to buy other products if we don’t see value for money. Today, Chivas advises that the average age of the whiskies used to make each batch of a’Bunadh is a figure they’d prefer to keep inhouse. For the mainstream, global release, Glenfarclas advises that the whiskies used are never younger than 8 years old, and rarely older than 10 years old. After Glenfarclas 105, Aberlour A’bunadh was one of the first widely available cask-strength single malts when it debuted in the late 1990s. I'm sure it's not the last time these two titans will meet. While they’re similar enough in quality, there is something about the ‘105’ profile, and how it all comes together, that really wins me. This is a big whisky - the heavily sherried spirit from Glenfarclas, bottled at a whopping 60% (105 UK proof, hence the name). It is the only one which doesn’t presently carry an age-statement (however the Internet suggests that it is at least 8 year old). Glenfarclas 12 Year-Old 70cl. Aberlour A’bunadh. Whether it’s Glenfarclas 12yo, Glenlivet 12yo, or Aberlour 12yo, the reality is that the Master Blender is required to assemble the requisite number and types of casks several times each year for each production run and must produce a vatting that – hopefully and ideally – tastes the same as the previous one. When operating at full capacity, Aberlour is capable of producing 3.8M litres of pure alcohol per year. In addition to the above, Glenfarclas has raised the stakes occasionally at times, producing limited-edition, special age statement releases of 105. Many decades ago, in the lead up to Christmas, George Grant – the fourth generation Grant at the helm at that time – would bottle a single cask of Glenfarclas at cask-strength and gift it to family, friends, and distillery staff for Christmas each year. Glenfiddich and Glenlivet respectively), both companies know that, firstly, sales need to be considered across their full portfolios, and that their blends (e.g. As such, bottles of either expression purchased today taste notably different from their counterparts from 10, 15, and 20 years ago. With retail prices of Aberlour A'Bunadh almost doubling in 2018, could Glenfarclas 105 now claim to be the best 'value for money' sherrybomb out there? Aberlour A’bunadh This is the 15th scotch tackled off my Scotch 100 list. Bottled in late 1999 to mark the new millennium, it was 12 years old, with 2,000 bottles produced. First reactions – WOW that’s got a kick. Yes, there were other distilleries putting out fantastic sherried drams (e.g. These two are incredibly well matched. When I pitted Aberlour A'Bunadh Batch 53 head to head against Glenfarclas 105, the 'farclas came out on top. Does any comparison of the two simply come down to brand loyalty, or is there something objective we can measure? While they’re similar enough in quality, there is something about the ‘105’ profile, and how it all comes together, that really wins me. And for those who love their cask-strength sherry monsters, we have Glenfarclas 105 versus Aberlour a’Bunadh. Finish: Amazingly smooth for the strength; wonderfully warming and with a lingering smokiness, … A’bunadh is better. However, it was not always this way. Greg B. says: May 28, 2019 at 12:49 pm . Glenfarclas 105 is a superb cask strength whisky, with a history that can be traced to 1968. After the bottle’s been open for a few weeks, the heat on the arrival calms down a bit. Ian, some classics on your list, for sure. The distillery is ticking all the boxes otherwise, so maybe I just haven't … Both seem to have different strengths: the A’Bunadh Batch 53 feels like it could be sipped alongside some sharp, well-aged cheese or a. If they are ‘in the know’ it lets them know that you know and if they aren’t, you get to drop some knowledge and introduce them to something incredible. It’s just as intense, but the flavour spectrum is a little wider – the barley malt manages to lift its head above the sherry. Comps. In the more expansive … To be fair, the rivalry between the two men went beyond sport because of the social context in which it occured. In fact, it’s only 3 hours short of being a full 50% longer. While they doesn't carry nearly as much socio-political importance as Ali-Frazier, similar rivalries exists among scotch whisky enthusiasts. Glenfarclas 25 Year Old. In the context of fermentations that go for 4-5 days, an increase from 50 hours to 72 seemed “slight”. No surprise, then, that both whiskies rely exclusively on maturing their spirit in ex-sherry casks. Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength Single Malt 1Ltr; Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength Single Malt 1Ltr Colour: Deep peaty-gold. A litre bottle of Glenfarclas 105. Any continually-appearing whisky expression in a distillery’s core-range that is not a once-off or single cask release is, by definition, produced in batches. An age statement re-appeared on labels in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, this time declaring it to be a 10yo. Home ; Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky; Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Glenfarclas employs a slightly longer fermentation of 72 hours. 70cl / 61% £79.95 (£114.21 per litre) Aberlour 2004 14 Year Old Sherry Cask Distillery Edition. In their present incarnations and, indeed, for most of their lives, both 105 and a’Bunadh have been No Age Statement whiskies. I'm not sure if that's a joke or not. Warming creamy scents of vanilla. Where the Master Blender may once have selected the top 10 casks from a batch of 100, he was now required to pick out the top 20 or 30 from that batch of 100. The 105 is quite a bit hotter on the finish – more than the 0.4% difference in ABV should account for. Stepping back for a moment, Aberlour has a diverse range of expressions in its portfolio, with some that feature 100% bourbon-cask maturation; one or two that feature 100% sherry-cask maturation; but a majority of expressions that feature a combination of the two. Aberlour is another distiller that focuses on sherried malts, along with GlenDronach and Macallan. There’s no way the A’bunadh is worth double, and in fact a Teeling Brabazon volume 1 may even top it for breadth of flavour – but that’s the same price for 700ml as 105 is for 1000ml. Balvenie 17 Year Old DoubleWood Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml. Your Review. portwood. The colour is always the result of the interaction between the whisky and the casks. I love the balance of bright fruit and sweet notes that Glenfarclas offers. Date; Likes; Newest; Oldest; Most; Fewest; Maude replied. I think this could be my new ‘best bottle’ whiskey. Aberlour a’Bunadh arrived on the scene in 1998. At the time of writing, a’Bunadh was up to Batch 65. _I did a head to head comparison a few nights ago between A'Bunadh and Glenfarclas 105._ Aberlour A'Bunadh is an incredibly popular, loud and bold cask strength offering from Speyside. Glenfarclas, while admirable in its following long-dated tradition and remaining privately owned, simply is not keeping up in terms of the richness of nose and taste relative to its competitors. One small issue: 72 hours of fermentation compared to 50 is NOT “slightly” longer. Aberlour A’bunadh. It’s at this stage that objective comparisons end and any assessment becomes more subjective and personal. I tried the 105 (Carl actually gave me a sample in this same bundle): Nose was high-pitched wood and nutty aromas; little fruit. Whisky opinions, articles, feature pieces, info and reviews. 1. The Aberlour is much darker, oakier and more drying while the Glenfarclas is brighter, a bit “hotter” and simultaneously sweeter. Glenfarclas Family Reserve £511.19s.Od . Glenfarclas is a Speyside distillery owned by the Grant family, not to be confused with William Grant & Sons who owns Glenfiddich, The Balvenie and many other brands. However, Ian McWilliam, long-time friend of Whisky & Wisdom and the distillery’s much-admired Marketing Executive, advises that 105 can consist of 1st-Fill, 2nd-Fill, and refill casks from both European and American oak, but all ex-oloroso. Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength 100cl. If there are rivalries amongst the brands, they’re being driven by consumers and punters, and they have their origins in the chatter on social media and in whisky forums. Balvenie 15 sherry cask is way better. I’m not disappointed with my 105 purchase. The whisky, which was created as an homage to Aberlour’s historic 19th-century single malt, is filled into oloroso sherry casks at 63.5% ABV, matured for a range of years, varying by batch, and bottled at cask strength two to three times a year. Bottled at 60% abv, yet the sweet, rich, spicy distillery character is still very much in evidence. A Review of Wayne Gretzky No.99 Red Cask, The First Annual Totally Subjective Whisky Awards, Origins: a review of Highwood Ninety Decades of Richness 20 Year Old, Ask the Enthusiast: Frequently Asked Questions, Top Five: The Scottish Distillery Bucket List Edition. Pages. There are online rivalries between Laphroaig fans and Ardbeg fans, feuds between Glenfiddich fans and Glenlivet fans, and two leading contenders for the title of "Best Cask Strength Sherry Bomb". Glenfarclas 10 year old—40% ABV, $48 vs. Glenfarclas 105—60% ABV, $90. Holiday Wine Cellar's Fine Wines, Craft Beers, Rare Spirits, Gift Cards, PLUS a coveted Wine Club Membership that comes with extra benefits. Starting from £23.99. Thanks Mark. Heck, Ali vs Frazier may be the greatest rivalry ever, in any sport. Aberlour a’bunadh batch #46 (85 points) 3. A liter bottle of Glenfarclas 105 however, goes for €30 and leaves a huge impression. Ian Logan, a wonderful colleague and a brilliant brand ambassador with Chivas, chimes in by adding that, to the best of his knowledge, the casks are always 1st-fill. With water there’s more oak on the nose, maybe even some cranberries, and the oranges take a back seat. Aberlour A'bunadh, Glenfarclas 105 or maybe something else.... 9 years ago. Most A-B comparisons – for example, a 2001 105 with a 2019 105, or an a’Bunadh Batch 10 with a Batch 60 – seem to establish a reasonably uniform consensus of opinion. Standings after Part III: 1. That's not to diminish the beauty of A'Bunadh's dry sherry character. Both cask strength, both nearly same ABV (59.9 vs 60). Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength 1 Litre Cask strength Glenfarclas, matured in sherry casks. That’s the skill (and objective) of the Master Blender. Glenfarclas, on the other hand, has a name and reputation as a distillery focussing on sherry maturation. That's outside the scope of this blog post though. A’bunadh doesn’t exist in a vacuum; among NAS cask-strength sherried Speyside malts, it is competing with Macallan’s increasingly dear trophy bottlings and Glenfarclas 105, to name but two. Both lovely, I give the Aberlour a slight edge for its smoothness with a touch of cold water . As an avid Boston Red Sox fan, it is my duty (and pleasure) to hate the New York Yankees. Aberlour A'bunadh / Batch 53: Battle of the Cask Strength Sherry Bombs round 1. In terms of flavour, the 105 is a bit more rounded. The a’Bunadh is spicier; the 105 is sweeter. It is quite well priced, though. Ardbeg 'Corryvreckan' Single Malt Whisky 700ml. Live. This is a hard question, I would have to say the A'bunadh, it has a special place in my hearth. The bottling was eventually re-named to 105, referring to its alcohol content in British Proof, which equates now to 60% ABV.