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Thursday, March 28, 2024

Speyside's Finest 32 year old 1989 Old Malt Cask, cask HL18977

No qualifier on this one. This is Speyside's Finest, as per Hunter Laing. So the whisky should knock me on my ass, or my face, or my assface. This particular Glenfarclas Finest spent 32 years in a refill hoggie, so it has my attention. Time provided it with an excellent drinking strength, so I shall now wet my whistle.

Distillery: Glenfarclas
Region: Speyside (Central)
Independent Bottler: Hunter Laing
Series: Old Malt Cask
Age: 32 years old (Dec 1989 - Jan 2022)
Maturation: refill hogshead
Cask #: HL18977
Exclusive to: The US of A
Alcohol by Volume: 45.8%
(from a bottle split)


Fruit juices lead the way in the nose, with apple, kiwi, and white peach right up front. New notes arrive slowly. A dusting of vanilla powder. Twizzlers. Newspaper print. Musty oak. Vanilla frosting starts taking over 45 minutes in, with the fresh fruit retreating but not vanishing.

The palate arrives quietly. Soft florals, tangy citrus, a slight creaminess, and a whiff of old oak. It opens up after 30 minutes as key lime pie and Thai chiles appear. With more time in the glass, the whisky gets tarter and sweeter.

Key lime pie and agave nectar stick the longest in the sweet finish, with hints of wood smoke and bitterness far behind.


Far from actually being Speyside's Finest, this whisky is a pleasant, easy drinker. Unlike many older whiskies, it's best consumed early. Don't let it sit in the glass too long, or else the oak will take over, especially in the nose. Like Tuesday's "Probably", this bottle's price was very reasonable considering the whisky's age, but as far as quality goes, it registers as more of a "session" whisky than Nikka's NAS attempt.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - it was less than $200, two years ago
Rating - 85