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WhiskyFun Legends: Glenfarclas 21 Year Old Pinerolo Import

The Glenfarclas 21 Year Old 1970s Pinerolo Import

This week on WhiskyFun Legends, we delve into one of the winners from Glenfarclas Distillery: the Glenfarclas 21 Year Old 1970s Pinerolo Import, selected by Edward Giaconne. The whisky was awarded 96 points by WhiskyFun’s Serge Valentin. 

Make sure to keep up-to-date with WhiskyFun Legends by reading the previous installments here

The Glenfarclas 21 Year Old 1970s Pinerolo Import 

Glenfarclas Distillery is a Speyside institution that has been producing sherried whiskies, matured almost exclusively in Jerez sherry casks, since its founding in 1844. 

Robert Hay was the man behind Glenfarclas’s creation, taking out a distilling in license for his Speyside farm. Upon his death in 1865, the distillery was sold to his neighbour, John Grant. The family has owned and operated Glenfarclas ever since and is now helmed by John LS Grant, the fifth-generation Grant to act as chairman. 

Glenfarclas’s proud family heritage and steadfast commitment to traditional distilling methods have resulted in a long-standing and revered distillery that produces consistently high-quality single malts. 

The Glenfarclas 21 Year Old tasted by Serge Valentin in 2007 is one such single malt. Bottled in the 1970s at a strength of 51.5% ABV, the whisky was chosen by Edward Giaconne for import into Italy by Pinerolo. 

Salo, Brescia, Italy.

Edward Giaconne was an Italian businessman and an advocate for single malt whiskies. As such, Giaconne selected single malts to be bottled and imported exclusively for sale in his bar in Salo, Brescia. The venue opened in 1958 and raised the profile of single malt scotch in Italy, paving the way for bottlers such as Samaroli and Moon Import. Other single malts bottled for Giaconne’s bar include whiskies from Clynelish, Dalmore, and Bowmore. 

Giaconne was incredibly taken with this 21 year old Glenfarclas. The whisky was imported by Pinerolo and is extremely rare in the UK market. 

Serge Valentin’s Tasting Notes on the Glenfarclas 21 Year Old 1970s Pinerolo Import 

This rare one was distilled in the early 1950’s. 

Colour: full gold. 

Nose: absolutely stunning right at first sniffs. Hugely complex, like an old Yquem from a top vintage (1967?). First we have various honeys (fir, chestnut, acacia, lavender) and all kinds of roasted nuts, then lots of verbena and chamomile teas, then something phenolic that may well be peat, and finally a wide array of smoky and tarry aromas (freshly remade tarmac, brown coal, tiger balm, old ‘natural’ motor oil, leather…), not to forget hints of parsley, chives, smoked ham and sausages. Plus myriads of ‘smaller’ aromas but we don’t need more maltoporn, do we? Extraordinary old Glenfarclas!

Mouth: an attack that’s out of Glenfarclas’ world, with a lot of, yes, peat besides the candy sugar, ripe apricots, spearmint, propolis, tinned pineapples, praline, chocolate… And God knows what else. 

Okay, we haven’t gotten all day so let’s jump to the finish, which is long, complex yet compact, peaty, waxy, honeyed, candied and resinous. A stunner, punto basta – Mr. Giaccone was really somebody. 96 points.” – Serge Valentin,, 2007 

The Price of the Glenfarclas 21 Year Old 1970s Pinerolo Import At Auction 

As mentioned above, this bottle is extremely rare in the UK market. To date, it has sold just twice at auction in the UK: once in December 2021 for £7,113 and once in August 2023 for £4,100.  A 43% ABV version of this bottling is slightly more common at auction and does not command so high a premium. An obvious caveat here is that the 85.% disparity in ABV will make all the difference. 

Buy Glenfarclas Whisky 

The Glenfarclas 1953 58 Year Old Wealth Solutions

The Grant family’s unwavering devotion to their craft and legacy has produced some iconic single malts, some of which you can find on the Mark Littler Shop

Glenfarclas considers itself an early pioneer in cask-strength whiskies, thanks to the release of the Glenfarclas 105 Proof in 1968. So, if you fancy a dram of a trailblazing single malt, buy the Glenfarclas 105 Proof miniature

We also have some stunning high-age statement Glenfarclas available, such as the Glenfarclas 1953 Wealth Solutions, selected with help from WhiskyFun’s very own Serge Valentin. 

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