Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Whisky Discovery #228

The Glenrothes Select Reserve NAS (43% abv OB)
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Circa £30.00 70cl
Glenrothes Single Malt
The first dram of the afternoon's introduction to The Glenrothes
From six Canadian whiskies last week we're heading back to Speyside and will be reviewing five from The Glenrothes range following a head to head tasting last Sunday afternoon

We began with The Glenrothes Select Reserve, our thinking being that this was the core expression from the five we had. It’s a blend of various aged casks that was created by Malt Master, John Ramsey. 

The Glenrothes Distillery was built in 1878 beside the Burn of Rothes in the Speyside region, and the first whisky ran off the stills on the 28 December 1879, which happened to be the same day as the Tay Bridge disaster. The distillery itself had a shaky start and a chequered history, but then I think many of them have from what I've learned on this journey to date. The Glenrothes usually released in vintages as opposed to a standard core range of 10 Year, 12 Years etc. It is also used in blended scotch whiskies such as Cutty Sark and The Famous Grouse, and is currently owned by Berry Brothers and Rudd, after being bought from the Edrington Group in 2010.

What Did We Think?

Kat says: For me this is a whisky that provides a good entry to The Glenrothes range, it captures the ‘House Style’ as the distillery says. This ‘house style’ that runs through the range consist of four core flavours: fruits, vanilla, citrus, and warm spices. 

This may not seem complicated to some but if you think of these flavours in terms of food, you will find these in many classic puddings that we all know like fruit cake, Christmas pudding, stewed fruits…... you get the idea. All are flavours that have been proven to be great companions. 

As I described, unmistakeably you get the vanilla, I got hints of dried coconuts, followed by sweet stickiness of a mango fruit leather and pineapple jam, and stewed winter fruits. Rich and full bodied. With some water, it mellows out the full bodied characters to a more relaxed tone, bringing forward the citrus notes. 

I wasn't disappointed when I took my first taste, the majority of the aromas transferred through. You first get the sweetness and vanilla flavours come through, then a new flavour of oak which adds a nice robust woody note which is followed by warm spices of cinnamon and cloves. These put the sweetness in check, providing the balance that ties everything together. With some water and a bit of time in the glass, same as before it relaxed all of the flavours and became sweeter but not sickly, just a light smooth honey flavour. I found the finish to be short with a lingering hint of lemon bonbons.  

This is a whisky that I have previously enjoyed a few times in the past, and in future it will be a whisky that I will keep going back to. A reliable whisky to add to my whisky shelf. 

Dave says: I'd never tried anything from The Glenrothes before, and although had heard of the name and would recognise the distinctive bottle shape, I knew little about the brand. The Glenrothes traditionally bottle single malts from specific vintages, so this no-age-statement example apparently raised a few eyebrows when it first appeared.

My first impressions were wow, what a lively fresh nose. Lots of zesty citrus, fruity with pineapple jam, mango leather, bourbon cask vanilla. The palate is silky smooth and again very refreshing, sweet and creamy, lemon cheesecake dribbled with honey. A little vanilla and malt with toasted cereals and rich oak. I found the finish to be quite short with a little mild spice with some barley sweetness.

I was pleasantly surprised with my first Glenrothes and certainly think Select Reserve is a great value for money single malt, exhibiting the wonderful spicy house style.

Many thanks to Berry Bros & Rudd for the tasting samples, and if you would like to know more about the background of this whisky check out both The Glenrothes and the Berry Bros & Rudd websites. If you're on Twitter why not follow @TheGlenrothes and @berrybrosrudd

1 comment:

littletipple.com said...

This is, for me, a great everyday whisky - very smooth, very fresh and tasty. glad you liked it - the only thing that occasionally sticks with me is that the nose is not quite as fresh and as lovely as the vintages, there's almost a slightly musty note to it...