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Glenrothes Malt Whisky

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1 Review

Brand: Glenrothes Distillery / Type: Whisky

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      21.05.2001 17:17
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      The Glenrothes distillery is one of about 4 or 5 in the town of Rothes (Aberlour is the other big one). It lies next to the Burn of Rothes and gets its water from the hills surrounding it. The distillery was first functional in 1878 and in 1887, it merged with another to form the Highland Distilleries Ltd. It currently contributes to the Cutty Sark and Famous Grouse blends. There are a number of different bottlings from this distillery and I am reviewing the 1985. This unique malt has an exceptionally high reputation and the distillery sets aside a small amount each year for maturation in oak casks until it is judged to be at its optimum. As you can see in the picture, the bottle is unusual amongst malts and reflects the vessels used in the sampling room (a fine job if I’ve ever heard of one). This whisky is known as ‘The Natural Malt’ as it has no colourings added. I first came across Glenrothes in a whisky guidebook about 3years ago. The unusual shaped bottle with a simple label on it caught my eye and I thought, “I wouldn’t mind trying this”. The problem was that I couldn’t find a bottle anywhere I went. Recently, my girlfriend and I had a short break in Edinburgh, primarily aimed at ‘Islay chasing’. However, I ventured into on of the many small whisky retailers and to my joy, I found one bottle of the Glenrothes 1986. I quickly snaffled it up and it sat on my shelf for a special occasion. The special occasion was my PhD thesis corrections being accepted by a rather pedantic internal examiner after another 40min going through it with him: “Ah, hmm, yes. I think this is of the required standard now. I’ll just check every page again in the vain hope of finding something else to criticise. Oh, it’s OK” etc… So the Friday night arrived and after a nice meal with girlfriend (see curlhead’s review of Que Pasa Cantina, Liverpool), we came back an
      d I “broke the seal”. So enough blether, here’s the review: Nose: The whisky is a quite pale amber colour and has a quite delicate aroma of sweetness with a hint of spice. Flavour: The initial flavour is a sweet spiciness followed by a delicate hint of peat. This whisky is one of the peatiest speysides’ I have tasted; however I don’t claim to be an expert. Perhaps the predominant flavour is a sort of fruity liquorice, perhaps even a hint of cloves – the mixture of flavours is that subtle it is hard to tell. However, this is exceptionally fine malt – it is very smooth and very tasty. As a slight aside, I have seen discussions in the malt whisky forums on the appropriate glasses for drinking whisky. I had, until recently, used either standard tumblers or brandy glasses. I am now the proud owner of a set of four whisky ‘nosing’ glasses. These are similar in shape to wine glasses and are approximately 4inches high, including a 1inch stalk. The bowl of the glass is about 2inches in diameter and the rim about 3cm. This is to enable the taster to swirl the whisky around in the glass, allowing the aromas to accumulate in the narrow neck for “nosing” purposes. I have seen a few variations on these glasses, however they all have this same format. Personally, I do like them – I think the fact that they are specifically for whisky makes me feel like I have to use them anyway!! One further aside - dooyoo asks a question like "is the whisky conceivable with food?". This is not something I have often considered and I haven't seen much discussion on this in the group. I would certainly say that Glenrothes would be an ideal after dinner malt, but couldn't really imagine taking it with a meal. Any views on this, anyone? So to conclude the tale, we sampled the Glenrothes on this excuse for a special occasion and both of us were very
      impressed – we are both predominantly Islay fans, but this was a pleasant alternative. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, ranging from the novice to the expert. At forty quid a bottle, however, it is more expensive

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