Master of Malt Glenfarclas 58 Year Old

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I was sent a sample of the whisky below about 2 weeks ago, and it has had quite a journey since then! If you imagine, the first 58 years of it’s life have been relatively quiet. After the extreme change from barley, to beer and then to new spirit, it has spent its time sitting in an ex oloroso american oak butt in the Glenfarclas dunnage warehouse. A nice chilled out life. And then it got sent to me…

Firstly, it got dumped at a post office, because I wasn’t around to sign for the package. Then, when I finally got hold of it, after the joyous emotion when I realised what it was, I took it on a trip up to Edradour and Aberfeldy and accidentally left it in my mates car (he threatened to sell it on Ebay). He gave it back to me when we were in the pub. We had a very merry night in said pub. The next morning, I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I had to assume the pub fairies had stolen it. I wasn’t going to tell Ben at Master of Malt. I wasn’t going to tell anyone I lost a sample of Glenfarclas 58 year old! I felt like one of those Government officials who leave important information about the public on the train. I mean the miniature alone is worth about 400 quid! I don’t have 40 quid right now, let alone 400 quid.

Then suddenly, one day, I found it. It was sitting in my drinks cabinet, like it had been there all along. I’m sure I checked there, so the only thing I can assume is that the pub fairies returned it. Now, after all that, let’s find out if it’s worth it…

Master of Malt Glenfarclas 58 Year Old
1953 distillation. 58 Years Old
1 of 400 bottles
Cask 1674 (one of the last 4 from 1953)
American Oak Ex Sherry Butt
47.20% Abv. Buy it here

Nose: Almonds, peppermint, fennel, honey, cream. It is a really complex and unusual nose. It makes sense that it is unusual, because I have only tasted something like this a handful of times in my entire life. Oaky, slightly oily. it reminds me of many of the other old editions I have tried. There are spices, herbs, fennel and green tea notes coming out after so much time in oak. Many people, when trying something particularly old, say things like “it doesn’t nose or taste that old”. This definitely has the aromas of a very old dram.

I was just about to write that it is not sweet, and then some marzipan and a slight cassis note come through. That is really the saving grace, because in my drams I need some sweetness. Bit of apricot now coming through.

So far, the nose hasn’t blown me away, but I am intrigued by it. Let’s move on to the palate.

Palate: Almonds, spice. Nuttiness like cashew nuts. Figs. Definite oakiness and tannins. Pine nuts. Ginger and a hint of toffee.

With Water: The nose gets more lemony and citrusy. The palate develops with a nice orange note and biscuity note.

Finish: More oakiness and fennel

Overall: I’m intrigued by its fennel, oloroso, citrus, oakiness, damp, nutty palate. Every time I taste it, I get something different. At first when I tried it, I wasn’t too keen, as I like sweeter drams in general and the palate was too left field for me, but when I got back to it, it had changed. Whatever you say, it is one complex dram. I really appreciated tasting it, as it is something completely different, but I have to go with my gut and say I am not in love with it. If I was in love with it, I would be rueing the fact I don’t have 6 grand to spend on a bottle. As it is, I just think one or two of the different flavours (fennel & green tea) just aren’t for me.

I’m glad I got it back. Ben from Master of Malt would have killed me if he had found out I had lost this dram.

Chris Hoban


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