Exploring the Glenfarclas Family Cask range

We asked Retail Manager Paula Arthur to talk us through the Glenfarclas Family Cask releases, many of which can be purchased from our onsite whisky shop…

“Buying Scotch whisky gifts for a special occasion can be difficult. Anniversaries, retirement, special birthdays, weddings – significant dates can call for a significant gift. A limited-edition age statement or dated whisky, such as those in Glenfarclas Family Cask range, can be of great help: with significant dates from 1954-2003, you’re bound to find a whisky that suits the anniversary you are looking for!

The story

Back in 2007, the Grant family released 43 single cask, cask-strength expressions of their Glenfarclas Distillery’s single malt Scotch whisky. Bottlings ranged from 1952 all the way to 1994, using a variety of casks from first to fourth-fill sherry casks, and even the occasional port pipe. Something for every taste, it seems, all showing a different aspect to this distinctive Speyside malt.

The style

So what is the Glenfarclas Scotch whisky style? Glenfarclas describes itself as a Highland single malt – and yet, the distillery is in Ballindalloch, a small town in the heart of Speyside… Technically, this is because the whisky region of Speyside is a geographical sub-region of the Highlands – so both terms can be true. I find Glenfarclas is usually a rich, spicy, fruity malt with elements of melted butter and clove. The Grants visit a family-owned bodega in Spain to source their sherry casks, ensuring a supply of good quality casks to keep this spicy element in their single malt. Glenfarclas also still use direct fired stills – most Scotch whisky distilleries now use indirect fired stills because this method cuts down on caramelisation of the sugars in the wort and low wines, as well as extending the life of the expensive copper pot stills. Direct firing is a very traditional method of Scotch whisky distillation and may contribute to some of the delicious toffee notes you find in a Glenfarclas…

The Glenfarclas Family Casks

The Glenfarclas Family Cask range was originally intended as a showcase of what this distillery could offer as part of its heritage, being one of the few distilleries owned (and managed) by the original family. However, twelve years on the Family Cask project is still going strong and, while inevitably, some casks are no longer available (1952 and 1953 have all sold out, for example), newer bottlings have now joined the ranks. Depending on availability, multiple bottlings have been released seasonally throughout the year (although not necessarily every single year): there are now over 380 bottlings of the Glenfarclas Family Cask range, including a couple of Millennials.

Here, at The Scotch Whisky Experience, we are fortunate to have a range of Family Cask bottlings in our stock, and you can find the current stock via the website.

If you wish to find out more about this whisky dynasty, the Glenfarclas Distillery was among the first in Scotland to open a visitor centre back in 1973 and has been welcoming visitors ever since. If you are lucky, you may even get to take the Glenfarclas Connoisseurs or Five Decades tours and sample some of these rare, Family Cask bottlings yourself…”

For more information on the Glenfarclas Family Cask bottlings available at the Scotch Whisky Experience, visit our website, or contact our Retail team here.

Delivery for online or phone purchases is UK only, but our onsite Scotch Whisky Shop is open every day from 10am, with no obligation to take a whisky tour in order to explore our range of limited edition and luxury Scotch whiskies.

Leave a Reply