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Glenfarclas: Five Decades of Family Casks

Features

25.12.2020

As a complete set of first editions from the Glenfarclas Family Cask range come to auction, we explore the acclaimed series..

Glenfarclas Family Casks

As a complete set of first editions from the Glenfarclas Family Cask range come to auction, we explore the acclaimed series..

As a complete set of first editions from the Glenfarclas Family Cask range come to auction, we explore the acclaimed series..

Significant dates can call for a significant gift, but finding the perfect memento to commemorate the vestiges of our past can be difficult. In 2007, Glenfarclas launched their Family Cask series, a collection dedicated to showcasing the very best of their maturing stocks whilst providing an unbroken string of vintages; perfect for memorialising the special milestones in our lives.

Glenfarclas is considered by many to be one of the finest distilleries in Speyside. Its direct-fired stills produce a heavy single malt that is almost exclusively matured in Jerez sherry casks. It is one of only a few in Scotland that remains family-owned and is now in the safe hands of the fifth and sixth generations of the Grant family. The distillery’s focus on single malts, and cool microclimate means that their casks are particularly stingy to the "angels" and has resulted in an incredible depth of stock.

This impressive cask stock in the Glenfarclas warehouses meant that over the years the distillery amassed a wonderful collection of old and rare spirit. In 2007, all thanks to the foresight of George S Grant, Glenfarclas launched The Family Casks range. In the beginning, this was a plenitude of single cask, vintage single malts (43 in total) which spanned from 1952 to 1994. After a while (the series is now approaching its 14th year), some of the oldest vintages disappeared as stocks dwindled and new vintages from the new millennium made an appearance. Several vintages also experienced numerous reincarnations and over a decade later, there are more than 380 vintages ranging from 1954 – 2004.

The Family Cask range offers whisky connoisseurs the chance to experience the full spectrum of Glenfarclas, discovering this iconic Speyside spirit in a new light. From first fill to fourth fill sherry casks, plain hogsheads and even the occasional port pipe, The Family Casks offer an insight to the diversity that can be found in this very individual Speyside malt. Unlike their core range of bottlings (usually offered at 40% ABV), The Family Casks have been bottled at cask strength - a fitting decision from the distillery who, after all, share some credit for the modern day love of cask strength whisky with the introduction of the first cask strength single malt in 1968.

The Family Casks collection is said to encapsulate the essential character of this family distillery. The range provides a bottled timeline of Glenfarclas; in other words a drinkable history which can take one on an exploration of not only the differences between casks but the Grant’s history. In an interview with Scotchwhisky.com, George Grant explains just some of the changes in the distillery’s history that are reflected in the range. He discusses the expansion from two to four stills in 1960, and then four to six in ’76, however, one of the most noticeable differences he claims is the switch in 1988 to a reliable quality source of sherry casks from Jose Miguel Martin – before this they just used whatever they could come into possession of.

Each release in The Family Cask range tells a unique human story and tale of history, an unplumbed narrative of different experiences and emotions, generations of craftsmanship and knowledge-sharing and the chequered past of the Scotch whisky industry.

Those who have always dreamt of acquiring the full Glenfarclas Family Cask series now have the opportunity to fulfil that dream in one fell swoop in our Extended December Auction. Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection features a complete set of first editions from the Glenfarclas Family Cask range, the first time that they will have appeared at auction, presenting an unmissable opportunity for serious whisky collectors.

 

Eilidh Jack

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