Ask whisky enthusiast around Scotland what they’re famorite brand of single malt Scotch is and you’ll here one name coming up time and again, Glenfarclas. While not as visible stateside, the brand is widely heralded across the pond, so much so that people are stealing it from the distillery. Now, the whisky makers have unveiled another bottle that is sure to get fingers sticky, a Glenfarclas 50-Year-Old.
The new Glenfarclas 50-Year-Old marks the 50th anniversary of chairman and family member John Grant’s start in the industry. The new launch comes follows the brand being named ‘Scottish Distiller of the Year 2023’ at the Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky Dinner. The oldest family-owned distillery in Speyside, John is the fifth generation of the Grant family to take the helm at Glenfarclas.
Copper in color and bottled at 50% ABV, the whisky was laid down during the tenure of John’s father, George Grant. The malt offers marzipan, almond, and cedar wood on the nose, with a sweet and smoky hint giving way to stewed apples and dark chocolate. On the palate, the rich velvety dark chocolate notes lead to flavors of treacle toffee, mixed peel, and a slightly smoky, sweet taste, surprisingly mellow for a single malt of this age. The flavors coat the mouth and provide a gentle, smooth finish which lingers for a long time.
Selected for bottling by Distillery Manager Callum Fraser and Managing Director Douglas Belford, the whisky demonstrates the skill of the distillery team 50 years ago, lead at the time by then Distillery Manager Douglas MacDonald.
“Creating products like Glenfarclas 50-Year-Old is the reason I come to work,” said Fraser. “Producing something so special, which has such an incredible story behind it, is tribute to the passion that runs through everything we do at Glenfarclas.
“This new whisky is testament to the craftsmen who made the spirit and laid it down in the late 1960s and the foresight of the Grant family so many years ago. It showcases their skill and dedication to producing the highest quality Highland single malt, including the care and experience that goes into the time-honoured handcrafted tradition of whisky making, which is so important to us at Glenfarclas.
“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.”
After joining the industry in 1972, John took up post at Glenfarclas in 1974 where he spent time learning various areas of the business then developing the international sales markets, before becoming Managing Director in 1979 and Chairman in 2002. Over the last 50 years John has played an important role in the wider whisky industry, something which was recognised in 1997 when he became a Keeper of the Quaich, before being inducted into Whisky Magazine’s Hall of Fame in 2021.
At Glenfarclas, we’re proud to be able to bottle rare, limited-edition, single malt whiskies to complement our exquisite range of spirits which are fundamental to our brand and story,” said John. “This release is particularly special as it commemorates the 50 years I have worked in the industry, with the liquid in the cask evolving along with the industry during that time. I’m proud of everything we’ve achieved together as a distillery team over the last 50 years and look forward to releasing even more exquisite drams together in the future as Glenfarclas continues to evolve.”
Just 836 bottles of the Glenfarclas 50-Year-Old will be released, each encased in an engraved Glencairn bottle and nestled within a beautiful presentation box. They will be available to purchase worldwide via the brand’s distributors over the coming weeks and months.
For more information, head over to the brand’s official website.