Quietly plugging along is the Shieldmaiden-series from the independent label The Duchess. The third release has been for sale for a little while now, a Glenrothes 1996 20 Years Old from a bourbon hogshead.
The first one was an admirable, mature Ardbeg, nicknamed Malin. Then came the Ylva, an Auchentoshan from 1990. This third chapter is named after Lagertha, another Viking shieldmaiden and, according to legend, the onetime wife of the famous Viking Ragnar Lodbrok.
Glenrothes 1996 20 Years Old (52,8%, The Duchess, C#10/1996)
Nose: Fresh lemon yoghurt and… well, really plenty of lemon indeed! Clean, fresh, and inviting with subtle notes of vanilla, wet grass, and stewed apples. Not very complex, but a profile that suits me and is well-balanced to boot. Taste: Nice, creamy mouthfeel. There’s apple sauce, cinnamon and some cane sugar, followed by bitter oak. Finally some black pepper and cloves, as well as a touch of menthol. Finish: A lingering spiciness, with a fruity encore (pears, apples). Medium in length.
An attractive and balanced nose, with a palate that’s a tad too spicy for me. Overall a good dram. Still available for just under 100 euro.