Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Glenrothes Vintages Tweet Tasting

Three generous vintages from The Glenrothes arrived at Whisky Discovery HQ
Tweet tastings seem to be very popular these days, and we were delighted to be invited to this Glenrothes Vintage event hosted by Berry Bros & Rudd and The Great Whisky Company just before the Easter Weekend

We've been fortunate in having tasted a number of The Glenrothes Vintages towards the end of last year, starting with their core expressions and working through a flight of five whiskies right back to 1978. That was a wonderful way to spend a cold and wet November afternoon!

When the samples arrived we quickly noted we had tasted two of these previously, but the 1988 Vintage would be a new discovery. For purposes of the tweet tasting we decided we would ignore our previous notes and tweet exactly as we found them at the time, so our notes for the 1998 and 1995 vintage may differ between each session, but that's the wonder of the senses, changing depending upon so many variables!

We were amongst some very established whisky reviewers and were excited to be part of this event as we kicked proceedings off with the youngest of the three, the twelve year old distilled in 1998, the year we all settled in the UK.

Whisky Discovery #230

The Glenrothes 1998 (43% abv, OB, D 17/12/98, Bottled 2010)
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Circa £42.00 70cl

We first tasted this last November and you can read what we thought about it then, here

The notes below were taken directly from our tweets:

Kat: On the nose it started with stone fruits, dates, and honey salted cashew nuts. After a little while cereal notes started to come through and a cake mixture type note and sweet gorse blossomOn the palate there was caramel, zingy orange zest with a hit of bitters that's nice here. Short finish but tingles left for a while.

Dave: The nose opened with sherried fruits, vanilla cream, and a touch of salt. It was quite gentle on the palate, there was a struck match element, a slight orange tinge to the creamy vanilla notes along with some white pepper and stewed plums too. After tasting for the first time the nose seemed much sweeter. The finish was quite short.

So what did the others think?

@EdinburghWhisky: A real mix of stuff here-marzipan, vanilla and tropical fruits. Reminds me of birthday parties when I was a kid
@TheWhiskyBoys: NOSE: Sweet sugar syrup, concentrated vanilla, marzipan, sun drenched passion fruits
@KirstyChant: I'm getting vanilla, pineapple and marzipan on the nose
@WorldWhiskyDay: Palate: with water more peardrops and tutti-frutti sweets. More sherry in finish with water
@DramWhiskyMark: Light butterscotch, white pepper & salted almonds. caramel held together with vanilla & tannin. Linseed & liquorice

Whisky Discovery #231

The Glenrothes 1995 (43% abv, OB, D 26/10/95, Bottled 2011)
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Circa £45.00 70cl
We first tasted this last November and you can read what we thought about it then, here.

Kat: Nose: Chocolate covered coffee beans, dried leaves, dried figs/dates, powdered ginger, green apples, white pepper and matzo crackersOn the palate spicy white pepper, and notes of black coffee, dark chocolate, and damp oak. I much preferred the 1995 to the 1998, giving more robust flavours for me.

Dave: The nose opened with soft rosy apples, honey and there was a pinch of cardamom too, more toffee notes appeared after a short while and the orange creams from the '98 too. This appeared more more malty and I really enjoyed how the nose developed with much richer notes. After tasting I returned to nose it again and found a little heather.

On the palate I got a lovely sweet liquorice note at first, there was a little white pepper too. This was smooth and very creamy. On my second sip I noticed a 'struck match' note again, but by no means detrimental, as I really enjoy this flavour.

The finish is quite dry, with coffee grounds, and there is a touch of salt too within the sweetness

So what did the others think?

@DramWhiskyMark: Artist oil paint, glaziers putty, honeysuckle,
@WorldWhiskyDay: Getting a lot of linseed oil on the nose with this. And a bit of burnt toast
@EdinburghWhisky: Nose: Stewed apples, lime zest, cooked pastry and fresh cereals
@TheWhiskyLounge: Nose (without water) big stewed fruit, perhaps plums, lovely cinnamon, slight orange peel. Mouth-watering!
@TheWhiskyBoys: TASTE Dundee marmalade jelly, finish is a bitter sweet joy, thick & creamy with a bitter choc mouth feel
@mynameisgone: Palate toffee, that peppery spicy heat again, a touch of orange in there, and a great mouthfeel

Whisky Discovery #373

The Glenrothes 1988 (43% abv, OB, D 16/12/88, Bottled 2009)
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Circa £45.00 70cl

Kat: Nose: Heather honey, hint of greenness similar to spring greens or raw kale, nubuck leather, red desert apples, and a hint of talcum powder. 

Taste: Sweet, crisp initially of green apples, heather honey comes through, dry oak/timber, slightly roasted quality, hint of all dried allspice berries, and some oily citrus note. 

Finish:  Zesty and sweet, dark bitter coco cuts through this nicely bringing back some balance, and prickly heat and taste of a Jalapeno chili at the end. Med to long finish for me. 

Dave: The nose on this is much richer than the previous two vintages, the orange note is there yet again (house style?) though more of a candied orange now. There's book leather and baked cherry too. returning to nose after the first tasting I got a green banana note that I never noticed earlier, being masked by the cherry

On the palate it is rich and smooth, with fruit cake notes, more cherry, stewed plums, a dusting of pepper. Again the finish appears quite short, drying but more nutty this time, and still getting a slight saltiness alongside the sweetness

So what did the others think?

@DramWhiskyMark: Nose-victorian varnish on hot radiator, suede, green tea, dundee cake & apricot jam. old canvas oil paint, waxy and leathery with a spill of diesel oil
@MasterOfMalt: Massive Fruit on the nose. Absolutely delicious. Apricots, Cherry Compote, Red Apple,
@TheWhiskyBoys: Nose: A sweet fresh cigar lounge, cloves, butterscotch, peaches and apricots, dessert wine
@kristy_kristy: Mmmmm... It's a super smooth mouthfeel, definitely curry bits and bobs and also banana yumminess. Very exotic
@BBRrob: Unsalted plantain chips and hardback-books handed down from a maiden aunt
@mynameisgone: Palate now that's the ticket, syrupy mouthfeel, some wood again oranges, and that sweetness toffee/butterscotch

As with usual Tweet Tastings there was a great deal of tweeting going on and to see what happened search on the #GlenrothesVintages hashtag on twitter for the full story!

Registering just the one new ‘discovery’ this time, but great to revisit two recent discoveries. A massive THANK YOU to Amanda and her team at The Great Whisky Co. @GreatWhisky who organised it all and of course Rob & Adrian from @BerryBrosRudd

As far as I could ascertain this events tweet tasters were:

@EdinburghWhisky @MasterOfMalt @TheWhiskyLounge @TheWhiskyBoys @ifotou @jasonbstanding @kristy_kristy @TwlAmanda @KirstyChant @WorldWhiskyDay @greatwhisky @DramWhiskyMark @MaltMad @BBRrob @mynameisgone @PresleyKa @RichardHerring2 @Rockyajl @TWLJoe @justboy1984 @WhiskyTasting

For more information see: and for information about Berry Bros & Rudd visit:

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