Glenrothes 1990/2002 by Wilson & Morgan
Today I review a Glenrothes 1990/2002 by Wilson & Morgan, one that I picked up during my last summer holiday in Italy. It was a gamble, because there was no way for me to taste this one before buying, but at 40 euros it turned out to be a risk that paid off handsomely. I didn’t know it at the time of buying, but this Glenrothes actually won a silver medal at the Malt Maniacs Awards back in 2003. It was also named the Bang For Your Buck-whisky of the year. I certainly understand why.
Glenrothes 1990/2002 (46%, Wilson & Morgan)
Nose: Very powerful. Dark, bitter chocolate, raisins, tobacco and a hint of sulphur. This one is right up my ally. I also smell burlap, which is a first for me. After a while a soy aroma surfaces. Does this indicate a bit of bottle aging?
Taste: Sultanas, nuts, berries and again bitter chocolate. This is a very meaty and sometimes dry dram. Very extreme also. Not too extreme, it stays on the right side of the track, but barely. There is a slight metallic flavour that’s a bit off-putting.
Finish: Long, hot and smokey. And everything else you might expect from a big sherried whisky like this one.
This Glenrothes has matured in some incredible first-fill sherry casks. It reminds me a bit of the recent casks of young Glenrothes bottled by Adelphi. Most of those were bottled at 66 or 67 percent. This one is the tamed version. But even at 46 percent it is a big, big, BIG whisky. Not subtle at all, but in a good way. If it weren’t for what I think is a bit of bottle aging gone wrong, this one would’ve scored a point or two higher. If you’re into big sherry whiskies and you happen to stumble upon one (chances are beyond slim), then don’t hesitate.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.