# 195 SherlockSunday: Glenfarclas 1978 Edition No. 4 (Arthur Conan Doyle)
December 12, 2021
It’s one of those coincidences. My father drew my attention to a backstory about Glenfarclas in the current Whiskey Ambassador . In the so-called Famous Scots series by Glenfarclas, one personality could not be missing: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
A brief background story
Glenfarclas is a single malt whiskey distillery in Ballindalloch, Moray and was founded in 1836 by Robert Hay. In 1844 the distillery got the license to distill whiskey.
In 1865, Glenfarclas was sold by John Grant. Glenfarclas is made up of Glen of the Green Grassland . It is assumed that there are currently around 68,000 barrels in the warehouse. There should be every year from 1953 until today.
But how does Sir Arthur Conan Doyle come into play?
“Famous Scots” series
Actually an original idea. A Scottish whiskey distillery creates a whiskey edition about famous Scottish personalities. And that’s exactly what Glenfarclas created in 1996, dedicating a bottling each year to a well-known Scottish personality. The first edition was dedicated to Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie). The Scottish (unsuccessful) clan leader of the Jacobite Rebellion and loser of the Battle of Culloden (1746). To this day, another personality has been added every year. In 2020 there was the 25th bottling, the Flora MacDonaldwas dedicated and a bow was drawn up to the first edition. Flora MacDonald helped Bonnie Prince Charlie to escape Scotland after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. A great connection!
And now Conan Doyle finally comes into play. And it’s going to be expensive! Because of course the famous Scottish writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle should not be missing from the list of famous Scottish personalities. And Conan Doyle was the 4th personality in the list.
According to my research, the Glenfarclas 1978 Cask Strength Edition No. 4 Arthur Conan Doyle distilled in 1978 and bottled in 1998. There were (only) 1200 bottles and according to my research it was published for the German (!) Market. A little interesting … I’ve seen prices of £ 625 or € 509 (average price). So not exactly a bargain.
The design and appearance
The Arthur Conan Doyle version comes in a stylish wooden box, which of course has a portrait of Conan Doyle. Naturally and expectantly, Sherlock Holmes should not be missing. The silhouette shows a (strange) Sherlock Holmes with a deerstalker and a pipe, but with a rounded face. To the left of the Sherlock Holmes silhouette there is another silhouette. And here I find it a little strange. Even while writing this SherlockSunday, I’m not sure who this is supposed to be. Should this be our John H. Watson? Or a character from another Doyle story? Feel free to write in the comments!
Interestingly, the information is in German (“Limited edition: 1,200). The information in the wooden packaging is also in German. The bottle itself has an almost identical design with additional information such as the unique bottle number or the Glenfarclas logo.
The edition from the “Famous Scots” series is aimed at collectors. Of course, from the perspective of this blog about Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle, I wonder why Conan Doyle was selected as the 4th edition. Why the 1978 year of distillation? Is there a background there (which I may not recognize …)?
Nonetheless, I like the idea of the “Famous Scots” series and of course the filling with Conan Doyle’s portrait. A nice little story from my point of view.