Thursday, 1 May 2014

Glenrothes–a brief tour

It’s long past time I turned my attentions to Glenrothes.  A big fan of the holy hand grenade bottle, but never had any of it, except for an SMWS cask I enjoyed enough to buy but haven’t opened yet (30.80 A wicker basket full of dark pleasures).  Here’s a couple of independents and an OB heavy hitter.

Whisky Broker Glenrothes 25 yo, 51.1% A-

Glenrothes25yo.210x54Nose - Oaken, bright, floral and woodily herby like eau de cologne.  With time, really lovely toffee and leather comes through, some pot pourri and dusty lavender.  It does feel like it’s holding back a little though.

Body - Spicy chocolate, more woody herbs, black pepper.

Finish -  Quite a lot of bitterness coming through and a real tannic drying action.

What's not good about it: The wood is too active, too much intensity and drying bitterness at the end.  Doesn’t quite hang together.

What’s good about it:  Lovely nose, good complexity

Douglas Laing Provenance - Glenrothes 9 year old 2004, 61.2% A⊕

glenrothes-9-year-old-2004-cask-10191-provenance-douglas-laing-whiskyNose - Lovely deep sherry bomb colour.  On the nose, lovely faultless sherry notes with an unmistakable and not unpleasant hit of pickled onion monster munch.  Behind this, overripe cooking apples, peppermint, cream and sweet crumble topping.  It sounds jumbled but it comes together very nicely - I like this and I’m a little confused and mesmerised.  With water the monster munch fades back a little with classic sherry flavours dominating.

Body - Wow - massive sherry belter with loads of dusty spicy raisins and pepper, black cherry and varnished wood.  Retronasally the tannins and wood is enormous.

Finish - Long, spicy, sechuan pepper.  Very long numbing action, almost clove like.  A very active cask.   With water this smooths out quite a lot and becomes a little more reasonable but still has plenty of muscle, structure and interest.  What a fabulous whisky!

What's not good about it: I’d say this could be an acquired taste.  Also I’m not sure when you’d reach for this.  Shortly after the whisky broker Invergordon PX probably.

What’s good about it:  Two drams in one.  A really interesting, massive whisky without water, like a Stagg or a Balcones, and with water a muscular and challenging sherried Scotch.  Love it.

Thanks to Douglas Laing for the sample.

Glenrothes 1978, 43% A+

grsob.1978v1Nose - A classic, old and dignified Scotch whisky.  Sweetly waxed fruit (ripe cut pear, red cherry and prunes), dusty chocolate and balancing herbal notes of parsley and sage.  A light petrol top note (this is not a defect in my book).  Gentle and complex, and significantly less boisterous than the Provenance before!

Body - Sweet toffee, light wood, an odd back note of school dinners and canteen gravy.

Finish - Medium, balanced, balancing sweet and bitterness to the end with lingering tropical top notes at the end.

What's not good about it: Disappointing lack of luxury in the palate, at this price I want to be in love with the whole experience.  Perhaps a little dry for my tastes although self consistent.

What’s good about it: Glorious nose, pretty much the definition of classic Scotch.  A well balanced delivery throughout, very accomplished.  

Thanks to Yoav Gelbfish for the sample!

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