As you might know by now, I have a huge crush on independently bottled Glenrothes. Although my buying habits are shifting towards bourbon matured whiskies, there’s always a deep love for sherry left in my DNA. And there’s one distillery that I can rely on when it comes to sherry finishes and maturations that fit my taste like no other: Glenrothes.
I don’t bother with their core range bottlings to be honest. In fact: I never even bought any. Sure I have tasted some core Glenrothes left and right with friends or at festivals, but they never appealed to me as there’s a wide selection of higher and/or cask strength indie bottlings available.
And within the indie ‘rothes spectrum, I tend toward a bourbon maturation with a sherry finish on top. This bottle had matured on sherry butts only though. This 2005 expression is 14 years old and bottled at 48.4% ABV by Douglas Laing. I was gifted this bottle by my wife and noticed the weight was oddly low. Neither me or my wife had noticed that this is a 50cl bottle, until I carefully inspected the label. Clever packaging, but it makes the price quite steep for a 14yo Glenrothes at non cask strength (she paid around €95). I felt quite bad for her, I’m sure many others don’t notice this when they pick one from the shelf. But let’s have a look at the taste:
Fruit cake and a summer shower on the pavement, sultanas, herbal (cannabis) and a savoury hint of broth.
Full and round, juicy too. With lots of raisins, dried fruits and spicy tobacco. A hint of ginger.
Old moisty wood, with cannabis and garlic to make it funky. Red fruits, apple syrup and peaches for a summertime feeling. It dries off into warming spices.
The taste is really great and the ABV is just right, it actually tastes like it’s bottled at cask strength (without the burn). It has exactly that what I look for in a Glenrothes: fruitcake with some funky herbal notes. Ben Nevis has that too, even without the sherry casks. I’m enjoying every drop of it, but I have to deduct a couple of points because of the price. The price converts to €133,- for a 70cl bottle, that’s just way to high compared to what you pay for a similar bottle