Sunday, 11 November 2012

Whisky Discovery #231

The Glenrothes 1995 (43% abv, OB, D 26/10/95, Bottled 2011)
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Circa £45.00 70cl
Speyside Single Malt
Our penultimate dram in our introduction to The Glenrothes
The Vintage 1995 was the first ever vintage specifically laid in cask with the intention of, when mature, bottling as The Glenrothes single malt. None of this has been used for blending elsewhere.

With about 30% from first fill American Sherry oak delivering butterscotch, Spice and dried fruits from first fill Spanish Sherry oak and the rest from refill casks giving the characteristic Glenrothes balance and complexity of flavour. Arguably it is preferable post-dinner when conversation is in full flow.

It fulfils every anticipation of The Glenrothes: A “come-hither” nose filled with exotic spices is followed by a citrus and fruity richness coated in honeyed butterscotch. These flavours, and more, are all delivered on the palate culminating with a long, rich and satisfying, fruity spiciness.

So What Did We Think?

Kat Said: Typically, the nose provides you with the same fruitiness & spices as all of the ones I have sampled so far. I found the nose on this vintage to be more closely matched with the Select Reserve, it shares the same sweet caramelised sugars, as previously picked out as pineapple jam and mango fruit leather. What is different is here is the sherry; this came through beautifully on the nose. 

I have found in the last 12 months of my whisky journey that I prefer sherry casks and finishes, so this was very welcoming. The oak aromas don’t present itself until a drop of water is added, when I did, I instantly got dried seasoned oak. 

Compared with the others, I found this to be more robust, so if the others were steel, this is cast iron. Again the sweetness and fruits are here. The fruit has moved away from the cooked fruits to a fresh plums, this sweet and freshness reminds me the bumper crop of Victoria plumbs we had last year from the garden. You couldn't get any fresher, picked from the tree and straight into my mouth. 

Interestingly this whisky changes character for me when some water is added. Apart from becoming smoother and sweeter, the vanilla notes are more vibrant and it's creamy, reminding me of crème caramel.  

As a side note, I made the best plum jam from Victoria plums, and have given me a good idea for a new plum jam recipe; Plum jam with some Glenrothes whisky (writing note to self). My mutts enjoyed them as well, they kept eating the fallen ones on the ground. Don’t worry no dogs were harmed, as the clever pooches learned to spit the stones out after they have eaten the fleshy bits. 

For the finish, it is the longest so far with hints of pepper that mellows into a maple syrup. With water, the pepper is subdues leaving just the mellow maple syrup. 

Dave Said: This was lighter and more fruitier that the 1998 Vintage and was our favourite of the four nosed so far. With bags of vanilla and butterscotch on the nose. It also had a lovely fragrant floral note. With water the nose became much more woody with cut oak or hardwoods

The taste was rich yet smooth. Sweet and fruity with ripe plums and butterscotch, leading to the 'house style' spiciness. A drop of water reduces that peppery kick and becomes much sweeter and creamier with vanilla custard

This expression had the longest finish of the four tasted so far on our Sunday afternoon's sampling of The Glenrothes and followed the house style peppery kick at the end. This had become my favourite of the afternoon so far.

The Glenrothes included a handy 'character profile' card which puts the Select Reserve in the middle  of the card, everything above this label  has increasing citrus notes, to the left more vanilla, to the right more spice and everything below would be fruitier. The 1995 Vintage sits in the bottom left hand corner of this 'character profile'. i.e. Vanilla and Fruits.

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

Many thanks to Berry Bros & Rudd for the tasting samples

1 comment: said...

Looks like i might have to seek out a bottle of this too - great tasting notes. Nice to know it's also the starting point for their vintage range. I tried the 1991, and loved it - super fruity, berries all over the place, but haven't had much chance to try the other vintages.