Whisky Advocate

Review: Glenfarclas 40 year old

May 6th, 2010

Glenfarclas, 40 year old, 46%, $460
Glenfarclas has a proven track record for aging very well. I’ve enjoyed some amazing 25 and 30 year old expressions, in addition to some older vintage offerings. Does this new 40 year old follow suit? Absolutely! It’s complex, well-rounded, with great depth and no excessive oak. Lush, candied citrus (especially orange), old pot-still rum, maple syrup, fig, roasted nuts, and polished leather, with hints of mocha, candied ginger and tobacco. A bit oily in texture (which I find soothing), with good tannic grip on the finish. A classic, well-matured Glenfarclas—and  and a very good value for its age.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 95

No Responses to “Review: Glenfarclas 40 year old”

  1. Red_Arremer says:

    Sounds terrific– I really hope I get a taste. Did you get any residue of flavours, which might have been imparted by peat, or is that neither here nor there? Also, thinking on it, are there any factors you know of that might contribute to the generally excellent quality of Glenfarclas’s older bottlings?

    • John Hansell says:

      I wasn’t picking up any demonstrable peat. I think the spirit is big enough to handle the extra aging. Plus, it’s obvious that these casks were aged in the right place so as to not become too woody.

  2. jazz lover says:

    Yummy ! I see a case in my furture…

  3. Paul M says:

    Any idea when we will be seeing this here in the USA?

  4. Steffen Bräuner says:

    I was at the “official” release at the distillery. We paid 40£ for 4 drams 🙂

    They were

    Glenfarclas 105 40yo
    Family cask 1966 51.5%
    40yo Millenium bottling 1959-1999
    This one – new 40yo 46%

    The first two I found woody, the millenium was the best palate on any farclas I ever tried, close to worst nose >-<

    I liked the new 40yo 🙂

    Dunno how much I considered it a release party, as the bottle allready was available in shops and I've seen people post photos of their purchase a week before..but then again : I just came to try a few new drams 🙂

    It is/was available in the Oak in Dufftown for 15£ a dram, which is very cheap for stuff like this


  5. Sku says:

    John, is the price you listed correct? If so, I’m impressed. The HP and Glenfiddich 40 year olds go for over $1,000 and Dalmore is around $3,000. All of us who complain about the sharp inflation of aged whiskey should give a big hand to Glenfarclas for releasing a 40 year old at a very reasonable price for the age.

    • Patrick says:

      The price is indeed correct. It is correctly priced in comparison to the overpriced 40 YO whiskies from other distilleries. I hope that more companies will be follow the same trend as Glenfarclas

      • Red_Arremer says:

        Speaking of other whisky producers following the “same trend as Glenfarclas”– In the Pandora’s Box myth, when tiny, fragile “hope” appears, after all the demons are gone off to despoil the life of woman and man, you get the feeling that something good has just happened. But whisky lovers like us know better don’t we, Patrick? Because when “hope” (or principles, or poverty, for that matter) makes us think that, say, Dalmore 18 could be priced less and that that would be better– well then we suffer– because that price is not going anywhere near down.

        So I’m truly blown away by the price on this, but I’m not allowing myself to take it as sign of good things to come.

        Generally, if you want value on older whiskies, keep your eye on the indies. You may be surprised at what comes along.

        • Speaking of the indies – I have had trouble finding an explanation of why Lonach is able to price its whiskies so low. i.e. the Strathisla 42 yo that John reviewed positively here goes for ~$200. Can anyone explain that to me?


          • Red_Arremer says:

            The Lonach bottlings are all vattings of two barrels from one distillery, one which has fallen under proof (80 proof, that is), which can’t legally be sold as scotch, and another which is still over-proof. My sense is that the underproof barrels come cheap. Maybe there’s something else to it though?

          • Yeah, I’ve tried to find out. Because, it was my understanding that most OB single malts (though I guess not most independent bottles) are just vattings from the same distillery. If Lonach is just vatting barrels that are at least as old as the age statement, wouldn’t I be more excited that whisky (as opposed to water like single malts) is being used to get to a lower ABV? Making these an even better deal?

            Ideally it would be cask strength, but we can’t have everything.

          • Steffen Bräuner says:

            Well, in the Lonach serieswhisky is actually used to raise the alcoholpercentage above 40 to make the vatting able to be sold as whisky

            The Black Bull 40 is another example, bottled at 40.2% I guess a handful of casks has been vatted and brought above 40 with a stronger part, most likely the Invergordon grain making up 10% of the vat.

            Springbank has used older (an weaker) whisky to adjust alcohol strength for their 100 proof bottlings before as an example of the mentioned

        • sam k says:

          Well put, Red, and I agree, unfortunately. I’ll also say that one upstanding distillery with a conscience does not a trend make!

  6. Andrea says:

    I am a bit confused regarding this price. Beltramo’s sells a 40 years old Glenfarclas for 4,900 dollars. I imagine it is not the same expression (no picture provided), but still, why such a big difference ???

    • Paul M says:

      That bottle is the Glenfarclas 40 Year Old Millenium Edition. Not the same as the new release.

  7. kallaskander says:

    Hi there,

    I spoke to George Grant during the Whisky Fair Limburg Germany 24th and 25th of April. The new Glenfarclas was sold there for 247.5 €.

    George told me that The Whisky Exchange sold it for 249 Pounds. So he phoned them and said even as Glenfarclas wanted to make a statement they gave it away too cheap at that price.

    All retailers I know sell it short beneath 300 € or Pounds now. That is still a very good price.

    I asked George if he was aware that some others in the whisky industry will be quite p***ed after I congratulated him for the design the sobriety the quality and the price, of course.

    Grinning he replied: “That is the idea”.

    gives a comparison with other 40yos.

    comments on the bottle that could have been but wasn`t.

    Oh and by the way, it is a wonderful whisky. Some may be irritated by the pause all flavours seem to make somwhere between middle and finish and may not like it. There was talk that it lost something over the years.

    But boy when it comes back it seems to stay for ever.


  8. DavidG says:

    Has anyone compared this to relatively recent US releases of older Glenfarclas releases – the 1968 (bottled at 43%) and the cask strength 1974? I think a comparison with these accessible benchmarks would be helpful. Thanks in advance.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      Just asked someone that very question on another blog David, but no ones answered yet.

  9. butephoto says:

    Well done to Glenfarclas for not putting their whisky into fancy bottles and packaging so that us mere mortals (who actually drink the stuff and don’t hide it away in a Swiss bank vault) may sip their fantastic malt. Hopefully more follow suit.

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