Zum Inhalt springen


November 6, 2011

A Moustache-tickler of a Malt

November is something of an oddity, ecologically speaking. On the one hand, the last of the leaves are falling to earth in stunning heaps of biodegradable fire, and yet at the same time new growth is appearing. A frenzy of foliage is breaking out over top lips everywhere.

At this time of year, the Gregorian calendar is upstaged by allusions to facial hair. Movember is the charity mo-vement raising awareness for all matters concerning mens’ health, harnessing the power of the ‘tache to fight prostate and testicular cancer. Both genders can get involved in sporting some eccentric style of face fuzz and sponsoring others in their pursuit of the most outlandish, striking beards imagination (over and above good taste, usually) can conceive.

The charity has raised more than £106m globally so far and online whisky retailer Master of Malt, together with the very gentlemanly Speyside distillery Glenfarclas, have decided to lend their characteristically good-humoured muscle behind this year’s campaign. A 9yo bottling from two Oloroso sherry casks, at cask strength, is available now to purchase with £10 from the £39.95 RRP going directly to the charity. MoM promise that both parties are working at cost price to maximise donations for Movember. You ought to buy it anyway (do so here), but in case you were swithering, here are my tasting notes.

Glenfarclas 9yo Master of Malt Movember Bottling 2011, 53% abv.

Colour – Toffee apple red.

Nose – Straight away a pleasing toasted sweet malt aroma emerges. It wields a sticky fragrance reminiscent of the Whey Pat, St Andrews’ premier whisky pub: it’s all rich clean malt, polished wood, leather and nacho spice. Sticking your nose in further you encounter a bold - but not brazen – Oloroso sherry punch with an icing sugar-like sweet core. Marmalade is in there, too, along with heathery, big dark honey flavours. Mostly, though, that rich, ginger biscuit malt, with a touch of toffee, steals the show.

Water renders this dram even stickier: toffee and baked red fruits. Lovely candied citrus (orange and lemon) skips out with a bit more time. The oakiness builds, too, with floor polish. It is one lively whisky.

Palate – Playful across the palate at first with blueberries, redcurrents and strawberries. Then there is a light cling from the oak imparting vanilla, Spanish oak raw sweetness and prune.

With water the palate keeps the floor polish headiness, with a lick of sherry cask. Then the softness returns with orange-accented, smooth and rich maltiness. Fire lighters in the background. Punchy oregano and tomato sauce in the empty glass.

Finish – Jaffa Cakes, sticky dark sherry notes and treacle-like malt round off a stonking little dram. With water it is winey and oaky.

So…?     This was always going to be a winner with me. Previous experiences with cask strength Glenfarclases have not disappointed, and the closer one gets to a solitary cask bottling, the better they become. I hadn’t expected it to be quite so charming and assured, however. The maturation is absolutely perfect: not overpowering but still with enough intense Oloroso notes to create the true Glenfarclas experience. It was more coherent and personable without water, I would say, but either way a delightful and delicious reunion with this consistently excellent distillery.

Many thanks indeed to the guys at Master of Malt for sending me the sample.

Tags: , , , , , ,