Scotch whisky distillery Glenfarclas is having quite an end to the year.
In addition to winning Distiller of the Year at the 2023 Icons of Whisky Awards, the Speyside distillery just launched a 50-year-old single malt—and it’s not the first time this venerated whisky producer has released an expression this old.
The new Glenfarclas 50-Year-Old was launched to celebrate chairman John Grant’s five decades in the whisky industry. Grant is a fifth-generation member of the family that has owned the distillery since 1865, and the brand itself has remained independent in a world of rampant whisky conglomeration. (Sazerac, owner of Buffalo Trace, imports the whisky into the US.)
Bottled at 50 percent ABV, the 50-year-old single malt was selected by distillery manager Callum Fraser and managing director Douglas Belford and is a snapshot from a half century ago, when distillery manager Douglas MacDonald led the operation. The whisky’s official tasting notes include marzipan, almond and cedar on the nose, followed by a touch of smoke, stewed apple, dark chocolate and toffee on the palate.
“Creating products like Glenfarclas 50-Year-Old is the reason I come to work,” said Fraser. “To me, this dram is exquisite. It has an incredible depth of character and showcases every element of the whisky making process–from the earthy smell of the dunnage warehouse through to the light, natural smokiness of the Speyside peat that was used back then and the unique taste of the water we use in our production process. A whisky that evolves over time, both on the nose and on the palate, is truly exciting as it’s ever changing and developing. I hope the distillery manager in 50 years time is as impressed as I am by the quality of the spirit we are laying down for the future, today.”
As mentioned previously, Glenfarclas has some seriously deep whisky stock, as the distillery has released 50-year-old single malts before. These include a 2016 release that was part of the Collector Series and a 2019 bottling that was fully matured in sherry casks. This new expression is limited to just 836 bottles and comes in a Glencairn bottle encased in a presentation box with an SRP of £9,000 ($10,800). Check your local high-end spirits purveyor to see if they happen to have a bottle, and happy hunting.