Monday, November 21, 2011
Have just tried > Glenfarclas 'Movember 2011'
The reason is a charity group called Movember, which was started in Australia a number of years ago. Movember aims to raise awareness and money for a series of male health issues, primarily The Prostate Cancer Charity and testicular cancer charities, and raises money during November through people growing moustaches (or a 'mo' - get it?) for the whole month. For further details or to donate to Movember, then check out www.movember.com.
Part of this large charity organisation is a UK division named Whisky For Movember. The group is made up of people from across the whisky industry - writers, bloggers, retailers and drinkers and they grow a variety of facial hair for the cause. For more details, updates on this year's moustaches or to donate, please visit the official website or follow them on Twitter. We are sure that the participant's girlfriends, wives, kids and pets will all be relieved when the 1st of December arrives and these fashion abominations get shaved off, but it is all for a great cause.
Each year there is a special whisky bottled for Whisky For Movember. This year's offering sees the Speyside distillery of Glenfarclas team up with online retailer Master of Malt. The single malt was distilled in September 2002 and has been bottled at nine years of age. It has been made from just two ex-Oloroso sherry casks and has been bottled at the cask strength of 53% ABV. Each bottle will cost £39.95 and can be purchased from the Master of Malt website. £10 from each sale will be donated to Movember.
Glenfarclas is a distillery located in the Speyside region, close to the small town of Ballindalloch. It is owned by J&G Grant and is the second oldest family owned distillery in Scotland - the Grant’s have owned it since 1865 and are currently on their 7th generation of whisky makers. The distillery was founded in 1836 and was originally named Rechlerich. The name was changed to Glenfarclas when the distillery was completely rebuilt by the Grant family in 1896. Glenfarclas translates as ‘the valley of green grass’ from Gaelic. The distillery has an annual production capacity of three million litres and boasts the largest stills in Speyside.
Our tasting notes
The colour of this special Movember 2011 bottling is dark amber, almost brown. The nose is clean and rich, sweet and deliciously heavy. There are obvious initial aromas of caramel, spiced orange and crumbly brown sugar. Underneath, other aromas begin to come through - think of milk chocolate, espresso coffee, baking spices (cinnamon and nutmeg), almonds, treacle and vanilla. On the palate, this is again rich and sweet and feels very velvety, almost treacly. It sticks to your taste buds and has a sumptuous warming spiciness. The obvious caramel and spiced orange notes are joined by raisins, dried apple, toasted almonds and hints of chocolate and coffee. Some drying wood spices develop with time (think of cinnamon and nutmeg again, plus oak) and these carry through to the finish. There is also a bit of heat from the cask strength ABV and this manifests itself as a white peppery note. The finish is again intense and becomes increasing dry and tannic, gripping to your taste buds and not wanting to let go. Plenty of barley comes through with delicious treacly caramel notes adding balance and sweetness.
What's the verdict?
This is a delicious whisky but one that packs a punch. The 53% ABV gives great intensity which can be lacking in the regular core range of Glenfarclas - it reminds us a little more of the 105 bottling, which is the cask strength offering from this range. It is also good with the addition of water, which bring out the brown sugar and orange zesty elements in particular. This whisky offers great value for money at £39.95, especially when considering that £10 goes to the Movember charity. You still have time to purchase a bottle if you wish but they don't have many bottles left, so hurry!