I‘m sure, we all know what vertical means – malts from same producer/distillery, just different age or vintage. Short in this case means I have only three to compare.
I was always a fan of Glenfarclas 25yo. I also liked their 17 year old version, that I had about 4 years ago for the last time. So it is great time to recheck what I have here: I will start with Glenfarclas 15, and then Glenfarclas 17 and I will finish with Glenfarclas 21, which is preferred by some over my favorite 25yo. Glenfarclas 15 is strongest from the bunch – 46% (others – 43%). Great balance, fruity style with bitter notes. I am happy with the balance, but disappointed a bit with shy character, I have expected more sherried notes. Just a good malt.
Glenfarclas 17 is quiet similar, slightly more closed. More pleasant, more sherried. More bitter also (coffee and grass). Slightly more interesting. But let’s keep in mind it’s much rarer than 15 year old version (and much more expensive). I would stay with 15yo.
Now it’s 21yo turn. The same good continuation of distillery style. Longer maturation speaking here nicely – dry wood notes, nuts, coffee. Bit more complex than younger ones.
It was hard this time – all are more similar than I remember. Then the price is not the last argument while choosing one of them. For enjoyment I would still choose 21yo, but most worthy here is good old young 15 year old for it’s price/quality ratio. I’m not sure is it my changing (hopefully perfecting my palate) or market really changed the style of these bottlings a bit?