Glenrothes 20yo, 1997-2017, TWA TWE Exclusive
ABV: 51.3%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: The Whisky Agency (TWA) - Bottled for
The Whisky Exchange (TWE) Exclusive

Cask type: Sherry Butt (360 btl.)

 

Colour: Mahogany.
Nose: Oh yes, there's no doubt this is from a sherry cask! Bold, rich and intense sherry backbone with dried fruits, maraschino cherries, prunes, dates, and raisins. Sweet with brown sugar, liquorice, and marzipan, pleasantly mixed with dark chocolate, coffee and tender notes of leather in the back. A big nose!
Palate: The palate delivers what the nose promises. Rich, sweet and creamy, even sticky notes of sherry, dark ripe fruits, cherries, raisins, and prunes. This is complemented by a nicely warming spiciness of cinnamon, cardamom, oak and subtle black pepper. Stays sweet with Demerara sugar and rum flavours. Subtle chocolate coated coffee beans and a hint of balsamic vinegar towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is pleasantly long and warming. Now more spicy notes arrive with leather, tobacco leaves and cigar box, followed by dry oak, burnt caramel, and coffee beans. Happily, the delicate sweetness returns with a wee creamy touch of dark fruit jam on the tail.
With water: There's almost no change on the nose when a splash of water is added. Despite the heavy sherry load more fruitiness is coming through: fruits soaked in dark rum. On the palate, however, more spices arrive with prickling oak, black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. The sweetness is a bit tamed, while rum soaked fruits and notes of chocolate-coated coffee beans are still present. The finish is long, warm and dry with oak, coffee, tobacco leaves and leather, with a slightly bitter end.
Comments: Very lush and bold sherry cask matured Glenrothes! Quite an intense, complex sherried dram, packed full of creamy sweetness and rum soaked fruits. A rich and deep character with a lovely nose and a powerful palate. Multi-layered and nicely balanced with loads of dark fruits, warm spices and a delicate mix of chocolate and tobacco flavours. A grown-up whisky which I prefer to drink neat but which can tolerate a few drops of water, too.

 

I thank The Whisky Exchange (TWE) for the photograph!


Glenrothes 12yo, 2004-2016, Old Particular
ABV: 48.4%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Douglas Laing
Cask type: Sherry Butt (DL #11170, 490 btl.)

Colour: Deep amber.
Nose: Fresh and fruity on the nose with Seville oranges, tangerines and subtle sherry notes. This is followed by Turkish Delight, aniseed, cinnamon and tender vanilla, with hints of tobacco leaves and chocolate in the background.
Palate: Sweet, fruity and slightly oily on the palate with luscious oranges, tangerines and honey. Sherry shines through a bit with notes of dark fruits and sultanas. This is accompanied by a bold and warming spiciness of cinnamon, caramelised ginger, oak and a touch of black pepper. Hints of cereals towards the finish. Nicely complex.
Finish: The finish shows good length with a creamy sweetness of honey, vanilla and slightly bitter notes of Sevilla oranges. Subtle warming winterly spice on the tail.
With water: Water even enhances the lovely fruitiness on the nose, mixed with cinnamon and spiced oak. Sweet and fruity on the palate with oranges, candied fruits, cinnamon and prickling oak. The finish is still long, honey sweet with significantly drying oak on the tail.
Comments: A deliciously sweet, rich, and elegant Speyside malt. A teasing mix of sweet and fruity flavours, beautifully rounded with winterly spice. Complex, well-balanced and very appetising! A sophisticated after-dinner dram - sit, sip, relax and simply enjoy!

I thank Douglas Laing for the sample and the photograph!


Glenrothes, 1998-2015, Spiced Rum Baba
ABV: 46%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°°°
Bottling: Wemyss Malts
Cask type: Single Sherry Butt (388 btl.)

 

Colour: Amber.
Nose: Lovely fruity notes of peaches emerge, nicely mixed with redcurrants, poached apples and Seville oranges. Vanilla, hints of dark chocolate and a pleasant touch of cloves linger with fine cinnamon and subtle tobacco leaves in the back. Quite appealing!
Palate: Deliciously sweet and fruity with luscious peaches and oranges, complemented by cherries, blackcurrants and tender toasted oak. Sherry and a pleasant mix of spices emerge with pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise and cloves. Lovely warming with an exotic rum touch towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long and creamy with orange lemonade, honey and a slightly bitter edge of orange peel, spiced oak and dry dark chocolate on the tail.
With water: Water even enhances the luscious fruitness of peaches. Very creamy with a slightly tamed spiciness on the nose. A lovely mix of peaches, creamy honey and lingering spices on the palate. Nicely quaffable. The finish is a little bit shorter with a significantly tamed spiciness and less dry notes on the tail. Creamy and slightly warming.
Comments: Peach, peach and peach! Inspired by the wonderful dessert, the Rum Baba, this single malt deserves a very delicate flavour profile. Luscious fruitiness of mainly peaches is well balanced with sherry-derived flavours and a lovely spiciness. Rich, exuberant and fruity. A predestined after dinner malt and liquid dessert. Exceedingly drinkable!

 

I thank Wemyss Malts for the photograph!


Glenrothes 15yo, 2000-2016, G&M Exclusive
ABV: 40%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail (Exclusively Bottled for Germany)
Cask type: First-fill Bourbon Barrel (#2785, 242 btl.)

 

Colour: Gold.
Nose: Fresh and fruity on the nose with lingering citrus, apricots and lime juice, complemented by vanilla and ripe bananas. Rich and intense with lemon sorbet and red apple skins, followed by a hint of oak spice in the back. Very appealing!
Palate: Fruity, creamy, and deliciously sweet on the palate with an immediately mild but warming spiciness of oak, white pepper, and ginger. Velvety texture. Subtle bitter notes of pink grapefruit linger with tender roasted oak towards the smooth finish.
Finish: The finish is medium long, soft and creamy with sticky sweet fruit jam and slightly drying oak on the tail. Very satisfying.
With water: Water tames a bit of the lovely fruitiness on the nose while bringing more oak spice to the fore. Quite peppery on the palate. Water takes away the fruit and brings in the spice. The finish is medium long, creamy and tender sweet with barley sugar and significantly more dying oak on the tail.
Comments: A pleasant, summery, mild and well-balanced dram. Lovely fruity and refreshing, like a sorbet between courses. A mellow character with a sophisticated flavour profile. Best to enjoy neat as water brings out too much oak spice.

 

I thank Kirsch Whisky Import for the sample and the photograph!


Glenrothes 17yo, 1997-2015, The Un-Chillfiltered Collection
ABV: 46%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Signatory Vintage
Cask type: Refill Sherry Butt (#15970)

 

Colour: Amber.
Nose: Rich and deep with ripe dried fruits - sultanas, dates and plums, pleasantly accompanied by rich sherry flavours, honey and a whiff of oak in the back. Very appealing!
Palate: Long development of sweet and soft concentrated dried fruits. Sherry soaked raisins, dates, figs and Demerara sugar deliciously intermingle with a warming spiciness of cinnamon, ginger, gentle white pepper and subtle oak. Creamy notes of caramel and acacia honey linger towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long, creamy, sweet and spicy. Sticky honey and soft nutty flavours mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg on the tail. Soothing and slightly drying.
With water: The creamy sweetness and lovely flavours of dried fruits continue to emerge on the nose with a few drops of water. Despite the sherry flavours, plums and raisins, fine notes of marzipan arrive on the palate, perfectly mixed with slightly warming spices. The finish is long, warm, sweet and creamy with a delicate nuttiness on the tail.
Comments: This is an elegant, rich and flavourful malt. A teasing mix of fruity aromas and sherry flavours. It is on the sweet side, but beautifully rounded with mellow spices. A sophisticated after-dinner malt.

 

I thank Kirsch Whisky Import for sample and photograph (displays an earlier bottling)!


The Glenrothes, Select Reserve
ABV: 43%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: -- (Vatting of Casks Distilled in Different Years)

 

Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: The nose starts off with lots of yellow fruit - apple, pear and plum. Rich and zesty. Vanilla, toffee and subtle coconut arrive, followed by gentle honey and delicate orange marmalade. Pleasant spices with ginger, tender cinnamon and oak in the back.
Palate: Sweet and smooth on the palate with fine vanilla and lots of delicate ripe yellow fruit - tangerine, pear, plum and zesty orange. This sweet fruitiness deliciously mingles with soft spices of cinnamon, ginger and oak. Rich and round with acacia honey and a slightly touch of bitter orange peel towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is medium long and nicely sweet with barley sugar, yellow fruit, oranges and a spicy aftertaste of cinnamon, oak with a whiff of white pepper.
With water: Fresher on the nose with a splash of water. Delicate fruit with lots of vanilla. Creamy on the palate. Water enhances the amount of vanilla taming the fruitiness. Honey and soft spices linger towards the finish. The finish is sweet and medium long with creamy vanilla and tender spice.
Comments: This is a soft, sweet and creamy malt with a nice fruity flavour profile, complemented by a massive load of vanilla, especially with a dash of water. Not really complex but an easy drinking, delicate all-day Speyside dram. No more, no less.

 

I thank Stefan Hennig, Brand Ambassador for The Glenrothes in Germany, for sample and photograph!


The Glenrothes, Vintage 2001, Distillery Bottling 2013
ABV: 43%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °
Bottling: Distillery (approved 16.06.2012)
Cask type: American and European Oak Casks

 

Colour: Bright gold.
Nose: Fresh and fruity on the nose with white peach and a touch of orange. Vanilla's coming through with a hint of black cherries and a whiff of lemon. Subtle sandalwood and toffee underneath. Very delicate and complex.
Palate: Fruity and sweet with delicate oranges and gentle apples. Slightly bitter orange peel emerges, complemented by a warm mix of spices - oak, cracked black pepper, nutmeg and tannins. Very mouth-coating with gentle vanilla and fine cinnamon towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is medium long and warm with creamy vanilla and lingering soft dry spiciness. Very satisfying.
With water: Water enhances the fruitiness significantly, but also increases the spiciness on the nose. On the palate, however, the fruitiness is almost lost and hot spice take over - oak, chili and nutmeg. The finish is dry and hot, peppery and medium long.
Comments: Soft but stimulating vintage; complex and very appealing. A rich and hugely satisfying dram with a delicate fruitiness and the typically Glenrothes finish of soft spices. But don't use any water! Another perfect addition to the Glenrothes vintages, best to be enjoyed after dinner.

 

I thank Stefan Hennig, Brand Ambassador for The Glenrothes in Germany, for sample and photograph!


Glenrothes 25yo, 1990-2015, Benchmark, Murray McDavid
ABV: 46%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°°°°
Bottling: Murray McDavid
Cask type: Bourbon Barrel, Finish in Jurancon Wine Cask (#14341, 269 btl.)

 

Colour: Amber.
Nose: A sweet and creamy nose with notes of vanilla, red berry fruits, oranges, wine aromas and toffee. A hint of citrus emerges with soft anise and a touch of cinnamon.
Palate: Sweet start on the palate. Full bodied with red fruit jam, cherry cake and sweet barley sugar. Pleasant walnut notes arrive, complemented by toffee and a massive amount of delicate spices - white pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. Gentle bitter flavours of pink grapefruit linger towards the finish. Delicious!
Finish: A long and warm finish with sticky dark fruit jam, barley sugar and lingering cinnamon, nutmeg, and oak, drying out the sweetness of the grape.
With water: Water tames the delicate fruity and sweet aromas on the nose with more spices coming through. The fruitiness still comes along, complemented by significantly more bitter citrus fruit, nutty flavours and less spices. The finish is medium long and slightly sweet with subtle oak spice.
Comments: A fruity, sweet and in no case old bottling of Glenrothes. The wine cask finish works pretty well with the distillery's character. Refreshing. The nose is quite beautiful, the palate’s very fruit-driven, and the oak isn't overpowering at all. Very well balanced with depth and richness. Well done! I prefer this dram neat.

 

I thank the German importer Whiskymax for sample and photograph!


The Glenrothes, Vintage 1998, Distillery Bottling 2014
ABV: 43%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: American and European Oak Casks

 

Colour: Gold.
Nose: Fresh and fruity on the nose with lingering tangerines, lemongrass and citrus, complemented by vanilla, golden syrup and lots of delicate spice from the European oak. Rich and complex with hints of lemon sorbet and tropical fruit fading in and out. Very appealing!
Palate: Creamy, and deliciously sweet on the palate with an immediately mild explosion of warm spice - white pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and oak. Rich and mature with a touch of citrus notes, vanilla and pleasant lemon sorbet. Sticky acacia honey lingers towards the smooth finish.
Finish: Long and soft with warm spices coming through. Rich and smooth with nicely aromas of sticky plum jam on the tail. Very satisfying.
With water: Water doesn't really split up the complex aromas on the nose. There's less sweet and fruity flavours on the palate with more warm and prickling spices coming through. The finish is medium long with delicate plum jam and a slightly dry end.
Comments: A deliciously sweet, rich, and creamy whisky. Very complex, with a perfect balance of vanilla, fruit and spices. This one goes particularly very well with desserts or puddings. Another great addition to the Glenrothes vintages, best to be enjoyed with good friends. No add of water needed.

 

I thank Stefan Hennig, Brand Ambassador for The Glenrothes in Germany, for sample and photograph!


The Glenrothes, Vintage 1995, Distillery Bottling 2014
ABV: 43%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Sherry Casks (both American and Spanish Oak) and Refill Casks


Colour: Pale amber.
Nose: The nose starts off with delicate sherry flavours, followed by a pleasant sweetness of malted barley, vanilla, raisins and ice cream. It's like German Apfelstrudel with icing sugar. There's lingering toffee and butterscotch with a gentle hint of citrus and subtle cinnamon in the back. Very appealing!
Palate: Sweet, thick and delicious. Baked apples, custard, creamy malt and caramel perfectly mingle with lingering allspice, oak, cinnamon and subtle nutmeg to a pre-Christmas happiness on the palate. Stewed fruit with sticky maple syrup are lingering towards the finish.
Finish: Long and slightly warm finish with vanilla and sticky toffee. Roasted almonds and a touch of oak spice on the tail. Extremely delicate!
With water: Water tames a bit the delicate flavours both on the nose and the palate. The finish is medium long with fine toffee notes and a hint of oak.
Comments: A deliciously sweet, rich, and creamy whisky with a smooth toffee, butterscotch, custard style and a good amount of winterly spice. A great addition to the Glenrothes vintages. Wonderful, extremely quaffable and good value for money. No add of water needed.


I thank Stefan Hennig, Brand Ambassador for The Glenrothes in Germany, for sample and photograph!



The Glenrothes, Sherry Cask Reserve, Distillery Bottling
ABV: 40%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Sherry Casks


Colour: Amber.
Nose: Rich and intense on the nose. First, delicate sherry flavours with fruit cake and raisins shine through, along with custard, ginger bread and a hint of pears in the back. With time, a delicious spiciness emerges with oak and subtle ginger. Bold and very pleasant on the nose.
Palate: Intense and spicy start on the palate with ginger, oak, and white pepper. No signs of sherry. While the spiciness is slightly fading away, lingering sweetness with dark honey and crème brûlée emerges, complemented by a gentle hint of vanilla.
Finish: A long finish with lingering spiciness - oak, ginger and white pepper in particular. Gets a bit dry on the tail with fine orange peel and a whiff of smoke.
With water: There's not much change on this gorgeous nose. Water tames the spiciness on the palate but does not really increase the sweetness of this malt. The finish still is long, spicy and lingering warming.
Comments: A gorgeous nose, I can sit and nose this beauty for hours. On the palate, however, I do miss a bit of the sweetness and fruitiness promised by the nose. The spicy influence of the European oak is quite obvious predominating the sherry character of this malt. Nevertheless, a creamy, well made and characterful single malt.


I thank Stefan Hennig, Brand Ambassador for The Glenrothes in Germany, for sample and photograph!


Glenrothes 24yo, 1990-2015, Small Batch Release, Cadenhead
ABV: 55.7%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Cadenhead
Cask type: Sherry butts (966 btl.)


Colour: Mahogany.
Nose: Dense and heavily sherried. Liquorice, dates, raisins, prunes in Armagnac, followed by dark chocolate and a slight whiff of sulphur. Rich and deep.
Palate: Oh yes, you get the full aroma spectrum promised by the nose. Big, thick sherry, rum soaked cherries, dates and prunes with a hint of marzipan. Bitter notes of dark chocolate and Sevilla orange peel are well integrated and balanced with the fruity sweetness and completed by nutty flavours.
Finish: Long, warm and sweet. X-mas cake with lingering walnuts. Full and rich with a hint of tobacco.
With water: Vibrant, more creamy with increased oaky spiciness and dark bitter chocolate. Very pleasant on the tongue.
Comments: A great mature complex dram. Full of sherry and dark flavours, well balanced and well structured. Another big shot from the folks of Cadenhead. Very well done!