What is the difference between Glenfarclas 15 and 105?

Answered by Marvin Richey

As a sommelier and brewer, I have had the pleasure of experiencing the distinct flavors and characteristics of various whiskies, and Glenfarclas is no exception. When comparing Glenfarclas 15 and 105, there are a few key differences that set them apart.

1. ABV ( by Volume): One noticeable difference between Glenfarclas 15 and 105 lies in their alcohol content. The Glenfarclas 15 is bottled at 46% ABV, while the Glenfarclas 105 is a cask strength whisky bottled at a whopping 60% ABV. The higher alcohol content in the 105 gives it a more intense and robust flavor profile.

2. Flavor Profile: Glenfarclas 15 is known for its full-bodied and rich flavor. It offers a balanced combination of sweetness, fruity notes, and a hint of spice. The 15-year maturation period allows the whisky to develop a complex character with layers of flavors. On the other hand, Glenfarclas 105 is often described as a powerhouse of flavors. Its high ABV amplifies the intensity of the taste, offering a bolder and spicier experience. The 105 also showcases the sherry influence prominently, with rich dark fruit flavors and hints of toffee and chocolate.

3. Maturation: Both Glenfarclas 15 and 105 undergo maturation in ex-sherry casks, which impart distinct qualities to the whiskies. However, the length of maturation differs between the two expressions. Glenfarclas 15 is aged for a minimum of 15 years, allowing for a more refined and balanced flavor profile. On the other hand, Glenfarclas 105 has no age statement, but it is believed to be a combination of whiskies ranging from 8 to 15 years old. This younger age range, coupled with the higher ABV, contributes to the bold and vibrant character of the 105.

4. Addition: While both whiskies can be enjoyed neat, the Glenfarclas 105 benefits from the addition of water due to its high ABV. Adding a few drops of water helps to tame the alcohol burn and allows the flavors to open up further. It's worth noting that the 15-year-old expression is already bottled at a lower ABV, making it more approachable without the need for water.

The Glenfarclas 15 and 105 offer distinct experiences for whisky enthusiasts. The Glenfarclas 15 is a well-rounded and full-flavored whisky, while the Glenfarclas 105 packs a punch with its higher ABV and bolder flavors. Both expressions showcase the sherry influence that Glenfarclas is known for, but the 105 delivers a more intense and robust experience. Ultimately, personal preference and the desired level of intensity will dictate which of these exceptional whiskies one prefers.