Glenrothes 1997 20 Years Old (The Daily Dram)
This week I’ll be reviewing a few new-ish releases from The Daily Dram. This independent label is owned by Dutch importer Bresser & Timmer, and is not to be confused with The Nectar of the Daily Dram, which is a Belgian independent bottler.
The Daily Dram recently released a series of six bottlings, which they dubbed the “Poisenous Frog Series”. If you check the label, you’ll see why. A whisky buddy (thanks Henri!) shared three of the six new releases—a Caol Ila, a Ben Nevis and a Glenrothes. Today I’ll kick things off with the latter.
We’ve seen a few of the heavily sherried 1997 vintage Glenrothes in the last two years. While I’m looking for balance in a whisky—something often lacking in these sherry bombs—I find that the Glenrothes spirit often works remarkably well in combination with sherry maturation. Let’s hope that is the case here again.
Glenrothes 1997 20 Years Old (48.8%, The Daily Dram)
Nose: Soft and attractive, with a good chunk of dark chocolate, as well as rose petals, sweet oranges and cherry syrup. Heavily sherried—duh!—but not overpowering, which is an impressive balancing act. Subtle notes of shoe polish, leather and varnish.
Taste: The subtle spices (cinnamon, cloves) combine well the cocoa and notes of tobacco leaves. Syrupy and rich, with maraschino cherries and dried figs, as well as a hint of cappuccino.
Finish: Lingering spices and dark chocolate.
A sherry bomb done to perfection. Most impressively, this never becomes drying and it retains enough complexity to stay interesting.
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.