My experience with the Glenrothes whiskies is fairly limited but I have to say, I am a huge fan of Ronnie Cox and the video series he leads on the Glenrothes website. To check out the video series, Click here and, for each expression, click “Read More” and you’ll find video tasting notes for each whisky (don’t forget to come back!)
I recently received two samples of independent Glenrothes expressions and thought it would be a good idea to review them side by side. Both are indy bottlings, both are single cask expressions, both are at a reduced ABV; 43% & 46%
The first of these whiskies was one of the strangest malts I’ve had in a while, the other was…pretty good. Pretty damn good. One thing I can say, after tasting these two… I want MORE Glenrothes!
Glenrothes 1990 18yr Single Cask – Classic Cask – Speyside region – 43% ABV – 750ml bottle (please note that the picture of the bottle shown is not the actual Glenrothes bottle. Rather, it is a bottle from “The Classic Cask” collection)
On the nose – Odd nose here, house cleaners – very chemically, nail polish/acetone then toffee enters.
Kumquat citrus nose (but a tad restrained) and vanilla.
After a good while, great dried fruit notes (you have to wait for it a good 6-7 minutes though…). Shaved chocolate.
On the mouth – Pine Sol, Murphy’s Wood Cleaner, mint/menthol notes, then enters some very soothing caramel notes and Smarties.
A great transformation but those chemical notes are a bit off-putting (and at the same time, those odd notes kept me coming back for more. It’s like watching a train wreck… you can’t look away!).
Finish – Medium length.
In sum – I really don’t know what to make of it. If I were to stumble upon my blog and read the notes I just listed above, I would say to myself: “Self, don’t you ever, ever drink this stuff!”. HOWEVER, I truly enjoyed this whisky and was sad to see my sample go. Enjoy this whisky when you are cleaning the house – spring cleaning!
Glenrothes 1996 “The Premium Barrel” Single Cask – for info on Douglas Laing “Premium Barrel” Bottlings, click here – Speyside region – 43% ABV – 750ml bottle (please note that the picture of the bottle shown is not the actual Glenrothes bottle. Rather, it is a bottle from “The Premium Barrel” collection)
On the nose – Clean and brisk nose with a load of lemons.
Pineapple and a good bit of chamomile tea (very nice!).
Light toffee notes, very faint peat smoke.
On the mouth — Strong effervescent mouth feel, thin mouth feel like cut oil.
Butter and toast (though, not together), fennel (not seeds, fennel).
Grassy, spent matches and electrical charges. That faint peat smoke comes back.
Finish – Decent length. About as long as it should be I suppose.
In sum – I really liked the Classic Cask more than this expression. It’s “oddness” was a huge draw for me.
This one was nice, very nice, but I can picture myself going for “The Classic Cask” expression before “The Premium Barrel”.