History In A Bottle Day 25: Glenfarclas 1992 KWM 30 Annv Family Cask
Posted on December 25, 2022
This post is Bonus Content. It has information on one of the KWM Cask bottles that are featured on the back of our 2022 KWM Whisky Calendar box. You can find the blog post for the mini bottle for Day 25 of our 2022 KWM Whisky Calendar here.
We have done 8 exclusive bottlings with Glenfarclas, though only 2 of them have been single casks. Our first-ever exclusive bottling of Glenfarclas was a 1997 Family Cask, bottled way back in 2011 or so. It was a 14-year-old with a rich, honeyed and nutty profile. Cask 1997
In the years since, we have bottled a number of cask-strength Glenfarclas bottlings, parcelled off from runs of their core range whiskies. We’ve bottled two different 15, 21 and 25 years old, four of which comprise what my staff started called the “Andrew’s Ego Series.” We’ve had a little fun with them over the years, and they’ve been embraced by our customers too.
One of them, likely the final bottle in the ego series, our second Glenfarclas 21-Year KWM Cask Strength, arrived early in the summer and is still available. Glenfarclas has tightened up allocations of their older age statement whiskies, and the prices have been rising in recent years. Our Glenfarclas 21-Year KWM Cask Strength #2, which featured George Grant and I circa 11 years ago when we were made Keepers of the Quaich. It is currently line priced with the core range 21-year bottled at 43%, but that will change in the months ahead with the 21-year set to rise about 25% in price, and then be phased out for a couple of years due to inventory shortfalls.
Andrew's Tasting Note
Nose: creamy, honeyed, and decadent with toasted oak and crisp spices; toffee chews, Scottish tablet, and dulce de leche; candied orange, maraschino cherries, and figs in honey; melons, kiwis, and guava.
Palate: big, fruity, and creamy with more spice and toasted oak; buttery with more toffee, tablet and dulce de leche; this has some of that warm blueberry pie character with which I have long associated the standard release of Glenfarclas 21; still fruity with more candied orange, guava, figs, melons, and kiwis, on top of a firm backbone of leather and decadent spices.
Finish: warming, fruity, coating, and long; a lovely mix of cream, fruits and spice.
Comment: as with the standard release of Glenfarclas 21, our exclusive cask strength bottling is on the lighter, likely refill, side of sherry; but it is complex, layered, and elegant, as you'd expect; probably as good a point as any to put a lid on my ego... I could have kept going for quite a while!
I never thought we would ever bottle another Glenfarclas Family Cask, as the prices kept going up and up. But, encouraged by my staff, we asked for 1992 samples, for a possible 30th Anniversary bottling. While I had no doubt they would offer us something good, I didn’t think we would be able to make the numbers work. And then we got the samples, one of them was so good we simply couldn’t turn it down. I was a bit nervous about the volume, and the price, but in the end it was going to take over a year for the whisky to get bottled and find its way to us, and in that time things started to get interesting.
We selected the bottling, and the price was agreed on in the Spring of 2021, but the whisky wasn’t bottled until January of 2022. Since the bottling was selected, the pricing for mature Glenfarclas has gone nowhere but up. The Summer 2021 bottling of Glenfarclas 1992, which arrived in the Spring of 2022, clocked in at $721. This summer Glenfarlcas bottled another selection of Family Casks, the Summer 2022 offering, the 1992 in that offering, which is due to arrive early in 2023 is priced just under$1400. More than double the cost of our 30th Anniversary bottling.
At $600 a bottle, our new Glenfarclas 1992 KWM 30 Anniversary Family Cask is going to take us a while to sell. At least a year, maybe two. But the longer we have it, the better deal it will become… I haven’t thought about raising the price just yet, though we may face pressure to do so in the year ahead, and with inflation nipping at everyone’s heels, we might just have to. But I will commit to this… you’ll never see it on sale!
Andrew's Tasting Note
Nose: big, rich, and nutty with loads of candied fruit, chocolate, licorice, and treacle; this is old school sherry, and very tropical... Five Alive, mangos, papaya, and nectarines; fancy Italian leather; cold tea dregs and Demerara sugars; a touch of menthol and eucalyptus.
Palate: damn... this is every bit as glorious as the nose implied it would be; soooohhhh old school; loads of chocolate, smooth leather, and fruity tobacco; sticky toffee pudding with warm treacle sauce; dried and candied fruits, cracked nuts and a side of Manzanilla sherry; still tropical, more mango, papaya, and guava, but also some stone fruits too, plums and nectarines; decadent spices, licorice, anise, and candied fennel.
Finish: long, elegant, and rich; more candied fruit, Christmas cake, treacle, and Aussie licorice; chocolate, leather and spices to boot, this is the full package!
Comment: I never thought we'd ever have an opportunity to buy another single cask of Glenfarclas; but a little more than a year ago we were offered some samples of 1992 Glenfarclas, for consideration as a 30th Anniversary bottling, and one of them was stunning, we simply couldn't turn the opportunity down; and best of all, the bottled product is as good or better than the sample we tasted in 2021; this is old-school, tropical, sherried whisky; it is the kind of whisky we don't often see anymore... and it is glorious; best of all, in the time it took to get here, the whisky is looking like even better value than it did a year ago; you'll never see another whisky like this, at anything approaching this price ever again!
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