Apparently Glenrothes is one of the biggest distilleries in the Speyside whisky region. Big as it is, it is also one of the less known brands, as most of its produce used to go into blends (‘Cutty Sark’, and the best selling ‘Famous Grouse’). Only in recent years they have started selling more single Malt under their own brand. The Glenrothes core line consists mostly of “vintage” bottling, described by the year of distillation (I.e the 1991, 1994 etc) and the ‘Select Reserve’ which is essentially a NAS bottling which is their entry level malt.
You can say anything about the Glenrothes, but you can’t ignore their beautiful bottle and presentation in cardboard paper. Their bottle really stands out among other bottles, not a good enough reason to buy it , but a damn good reason to try a dram or too.
I’ve tasted the Glenrothes only once before (the first time, at a Purim event in a temple – I almost never vist the temple, even on holidays, but I went with the family to read the Ester Scroll , and was offered a wee dram of the ‘Select Reserve’).It was nice enough, but not anything overwhelming. I also tasted it in a wee plastic glass, not the best medium to nose and taste your whisky for the first time.
This time I was lucky enough to get a decent sample to taste in the comfort of my home and sniffing glass (a proper GlenCairn), and to better get to know the GR profile.
The Glenrothes 1994 vintage 43% ABV
Color: Golden Olive.
Nose: Neat: Quite a refreshing nose, lemon, orange rind (did anyone say, Zesty?). there are Some pears, maybe a green apple shaving. I’d best describe it as an English summer in an orchard. Lovely. With a few drops of water it gets more “bready”.
Palate: Not a very impressive body.Very similar to the nose. The wood touches are more evident than in the nose, but in a mellow way, the wood is not overshadowing the zesty fruits.
finish The finish is not very long, ending on pear Schnapps (bitter Schnapps). There is a certain “bitterness” to it that I don’t quite like.
I was not overwhelmed buy the 1994 release, It’s nice enough but not something to write about home. The nose is quite refreshing, but the finish is somewhat lacking, and that bitter ending note didn’t make it for me. I could see me drinking it a hot summer’s day dram, with it’s zesty light nature, especially in hot Israel. Taking pricing into consideration , I think there are many other Speysiders which give a better ‘Bang for the buck’ ratio than this one.
More opinions on the web
- Ruben From WhiskyNotes.be also reviews it, but think’s just OK. no more.
- John Hansell of WDJK likes it a bit more and gives it a 87 mark.