Review #39: Glenfarclas 21

To continue my reviews of the Glenfarclas range this is a review of Glenfarclas 21 bottled at 43%. The sample for this review came from my own bottle.

N: Lots of fruit, apples, pears, apricots, orange sherbet, lemon zest, mint, strawberry jam, rich honey and some milk chocolate. Quite bright and fresh.

P: Sultanas and oranges, nutmeg, vanilla, almonds, cocoa, rich honey again.

F: Long. Honey, oranges, sultanas, oak, nutmeg, tobacco.

Overall: The sherry influence in this one lies somewhere in between the 15 and 17. The nose is light but complex, very fruity, bright, fresh and more tropical than the younger Glenfarclas expressions. The taste and finish have much more obvious sherry cask notes with raisin/sultana, tobacco, chocolate/cocoa all coming through more and the fresh fruit fading to the background a bit. The mouthfeel is a bit too thin though and I found it very light on the palate. The finish starts sweet and then turns a little spicy, bitter, and dry at the end. Overall this is a very pleasant and fairly complex dram. It’s a little too subtle for my tastes however and like all OB Glenfarclas other than the 15 I think it would really benefit from being raised to 46%.

Score: 86

Review #11: Teeling 21

This is Teeling 21 year old Vintage Reserve, aged in ex bourbon casks before being finished in ex-sauternes casks and bottled at 46%. Sample for the review came from my own bottl

N: A lot of tropical fruit right away, mangos, papayas, pineapple, honey, vanilla sugar cookies, orange peels, leather, tobacco, some oak and it’s a slightly floral. I love this nose, its complex, rich, and the tropical fruits are pronounced and delicious.

P: Slow arrival. Starts with tropical fruits, apricots, banana, pineapple, peach, malt, honey, fresh wood, leather, chili, and some ginger. Complex again, nicely balanced, becomes a little bitter at the end.

F: Medium-long finish. Mangos and other tropical fruits are dominant again before being balanced by some slightly bitter oak.

Overall: I think this is a great Irish whiskey. The nose is the best part for me and I always end up spending a long time just smelling this one when having a dram. The tropical fruits are just delicious and then the added depth and complexity are what put it over the top to make it great. The taste is a small step down compared to the nose as in comparison the notes seem a bit muted but it is still very nice and then it picks up again on the finish leaving you wanting more. This is one of the best Irish whiskies I’ve had for sure and I suggest you try it if you get the chance and you’re a fan of the style, I just wish it wasn’t so damn expensive.

Score: 90