Whisky & Wisdom Glenfarclas Edition 2 Review
Hello there. I’m back, for the meantime anyway, and the site is back, but let’s get back to business.
Whisky & Wisdom is the creation and curation of ideas on paper, or I should say on bits and bytes, of Andrew Derbidge. To describe what Andrew is to the whisky community in Australia in influence, inspiration, and creation in any sort of detail would only either miss something crucial or give a mere summary, so I won’t try to do that in this piece. But I will however say that while also being the Cellarmaster for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Australia, he’s also responsible for a number of whisky clubs that thrive today, and now his third Whisky & Wisdom independent bottling. Oh, and then he also finds time to fit in being a full-time structural engineer. There’s only so many hours in a day, except for one man…
Those who know Andrew also know that Glenfarclas is the greatest distillery on earth, no contest. Glenfarclas is a Speyside whisky distillery in Ballindalloch, Scotland, that produces a whisky that has a ‘house style’ of being often rich, sherried, spicy, and full of complexity. They also boast a core range that has never strayed from age statements nor given in to trends or gimmicks, a family cask selection that is some of the oldest (and often still affordable) core-range offerings of any distillery on earth. There’s nothing not to love. Combine that pedigree with Andrew’s remarkably discerning palate, and you have his second ever single cask from the distillery bottled under his label, and it’s something to really celebrate.
Making comparisons between single casks of whisky can often seem fun, but is ultimately redundant. Every cask is unique, and then when you factor in all the other facets like time, place, company, mood, and what you ate that day, the experience is always evolving and it further punctuates how unique a single cask can be. I picked up my bottles (yes, plural!) earlier today when visiting Andrew and I cheekily asked him how he thought it compared to his first Glenfarclas cask, to which he replied that while it may not appear as dark in colour, nor be as big a ‘sherry bomb’, it’s a rich and complex cask. I think that last point is what I what to remark on most: after just cracking it open, it’s one of the most complex, intriguing, sherried whiskies I’ve ever had hands-down. After years of the SMWS expert tasting panel, and Andrew’s love of big, clean, sherried whiskies, he’s really picked a true winner.
Each bottle comes in a lovely wooden ‘family casks’ box which while a surprise from the usual cardboard tube/box, it perhaps properly presents what would (a) be an excellent gift for a proper festive dram under the tree, and (b) a fitting sign that Andrew is truly a family member at Glenfarclas by now, and rightly so when he’s releasing single casks of this calibre. Now, some tasting notes if you go in for that sort of thing:
Neat, the nose is just a delight of stone fruit and super sticky wine. Ripe mango, strawberries, dusty dunnage floor, PX sherry, and Christmas pudding. On the palate the first sip is just a massive sherry wave that is clean as a whistle. Black cherry jam, dark toffee, waxy chestnuts, macadamia oil, and just the slightest hint of spearmint lollies with white sugar. Finish is long and hugely enjoyable. Something to enjoy in the company of friends or late at night after a big day.
The latest Whisky & Wisdom Glenfarclas Single Cask is available now from https://www.whiskyandwisdom.com/shop/