*A huge thank you to Master of Malt, not only for the sample, but for being a part of this in the first place!
Starting in Australia over a decade ago and spreading around the globe like a sexy five-o-clock shadow, Movember is now an international, month-long awareness and fund-raising campaign focusing on men’s health issues, specifically prostrate and other more male-centric cancers. Why “Movember”? The “Mo” stands for moustache, of course! The Movember Foundation invites men to join the cause, start the month with a clean-shaven face, begin working on a ‘stache, and raise funds by keeping the world appraised of the soup-strainer’s progress. An odd premise, maybe, but it’s been an effective one, raising over $174 million and increasing awareness about serious health issues that will affect most of us men in our lifetimes. Visit Movember to learn more and support those getting hairy for a cause.
What does this have to do with whisky, you ask? Well for one thing, serious talk about prostrates, testicles, and tumors always sends me running for a bottle, but that’s neither here nor there. Much more importantly, whisky retailer extraordinaire Master of Malt and family owned distillery extraordinaire Glenfarclas have teamed up to release this special, two-cask, 9 year old bottling in honor of 2011’s Movember, and will donating pretty much all the profits to the cause. Let me just type that again, Master of Malt and Glenfarclas are donating pretty much all of the profits. Almost too cool for words, right? Let’s just take a moment to heap some respect and gratitude on these two laudable stalwarts of the whisky world. This expression is pulled from two ex-Oloroso casks and has been bottled at cask strength, which will at least put some hair on your chest if not on your upper lip.
The Nose: Lots of youthful, jammy, sherried fruit; juicy raisins, plums…hell, raspberry filled donuts even. Ok, if raspberry filled donuts sounds too low-brow, how ’bout a nice raspberry-almond tart? Marzipan and vanilla-caramel mixed with crisp, light oak notes with Vietnamese cinnamon, soft clove and a salted nutty-ness. Interestingly enough, a little bit of water adds a slightly bourbon-y quality to this, heightening the citrus and vanilla a bit, and adds the faintest whiff of brine as well.
The Palate: Initially very sweet in a dark honey kind of way, this quickly moves into more dryish, sherried fruit, unsweetened chocolate, and then into a spicy, mildly tannic, finale. More salted nuts appear along with some lightly grippy wood notes and more earthy spice notes of clove, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla. A bit of water added takes nothing away from the mouth-watering, acidic flavor profile and serves to only make this already drinkable dram even more drinkable. Damn you, water.
Thoughts: Glenfarclas has never failed to impress me, and this youngster definitely keeps up that tradition. Youthful and bold, the fruity, salty grain characteristics predictably show up more than in the more oak-influenced older expressions but it still has more than enough tannic, oaked complexity and well-crafted balance to stand up on its own. Delicious stuff, made even more appealing by the generosity of its creators and its good cause. Definitely recommended.
Learn more about Movember here…