Glenrothes 1978/2008 Gordon & MacPhail
Glenrothes really has two faces. There is the standard range that comes in the distinctive round, dumpy bottles. Not exactly outstanding whisky, most of the affordable official Glenrothes whiskies are a bit bland. And then there are also plenty of independent bottlings. And they have an excellent reputation. Especially the heavily sherried, cask strength Glenrothes can be great. Young ons and old ones alike. And I’ve even had several excellent ex-bourbon matured Glenrothes.
So whereas official Glenrothes don’t exactly make my heart skip, indy Glenrothes is generally very exciting. This one from Gordon & MacPhail is no exception.
Glenrothes 1978/2008 (59,9%, Gordon & MacPhail, C#19236)
Nose: Old wood, damp leaves, shoe polish and aniseed. Also some tobacco. Definitely and older, dirtier style of sherried whisky. Intense, and with such dark a color, it is hard to believe that this comes from a refill cask. Some cinnamon, along with dried fruits, prunes and raisins. This is a monster.
Taste: Black tea and mint with dark roasted coffee, mocha and bitter chocolate. Cherries and red forest fruits. It is pretty woody, bottled just in time. Also very syrupy, in a way that it reminds me of some Kavalan Solist Sherry Casks I’ve had.
Finish: Long. Slightly bitter, dry and oaky. Pretty spicy with a hint of sweetness.
A good old-fashioned sherry bomb. This is just wonderful stuff. I’m at that stage where I would not hesitate to buy an independent sherried, cask strength Glenrothes blind.
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.