Glenrothes 1975

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Distillery/Brand: Glenrothes
Region: Speyside
ABV: 43%
Colour: Deep Gold

Nose: 24
Taste: 22
Finish: 22
Balance: 22

Review
I was gifted this one by a friend of mine for my last birthday but didn’t open it so it was a welcome dram at a tasting I attended recently.

The absolutely gorgeous nose is chock full of nuts and red berries signaling some strong sherry. Let it breathe and a salty cherry licorice emerges from the wood works. Lovely.

The medium bodied delivery has the usual chocolate fudge cake and dark fruits on oak. But, once again, I’m faced with a malt with a wonderful nose that falls a touch short of spectacular on the palate. Is it the age? Is it the ABV? It could be both, I don’t know.

The medium finish is dry with a hint of wood.

Maybe my expectations got the better of me. Never again.

Rating: 90

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Glenrothes 1978

Glenrothes1978

Distillery/Brand: Glenrothes
Region: Speyside
ABV: 43%
Colour: Gold

Nose: 21
Taste: 20
Finish: 21
Balance: 20

Review
I suspect this 1978 vintage was discovered by accident in the Glenrothes warehouse. And rather than pour it all away the marketing team told the whisky maker to some how fix it and make it drinkable. Of course, I base this on absolutely no tangible evidence other than the fact that this whisky is quite terrible.

The nose is a mix of citrus with some woody cinnamon and clove. It has the tell-tale cheesy signs of something not quite right. I can’t put my finger on it but I assure you even Glenrothes know this is not their finest hour.

The overpowering oak on the palate is an immediate let down which means the little bit of caramel and chocolate have no positive effect what so ever.

The long oily finish is chalky as well as spicy. Save your money, folks.

Rating: 82

Glenrothes 25

Glenrothes25

Distillery/Brand: Glenrothes
Region: Speyside
ABV: 43%
Colour: Deep Gold

Nose: 23
Taste: 22
Finish: 22
Balance: 22

Review
This 25 Year Old was part of the Glenrothes tasting I attended recently and after the 1988 vintage was my No 2 pick for the evening. Though some of my colleagues preferred this over the ’88 – well, to each his own.

It has quite a distinct sherry influenced nose. There is a strong presence of dark caramel and chocolate in a stew of cooked oranges. Spicy clove sprinkled with sea salt and almonds come next. All on a thin layer of oak shavings.

The palate is a combination of honey, toffee and chocolate with the slightest of cardamom. Could have been a bit more chewy, in my opinion.

The long chocolate finish makes for a rather enjoyable dram.

Rating: 89

Glenrothes 1988

Glenrothes1988

Distillery/Brand: Glenrothes
Region: Speyside
ABV: 43%
Colour: Copper

Nose: 23
Taste: 23
Finish: 23
Balance: 23

Review
I was at a Glenrothes tasting recently and was presented with six different expressions for the evening. While the other five failed to tickle my fancy there was this gem from 1988 (bottled in 2008) that stood out head and shoulders above the rest.

A lovely nose with a strong bourbon burst. Lots of caramel and leather sprinkled with crushed almonds and cinnamon. Very well rounded indeed.

The palate is full-bodied and creamy with a honey and chocolate syrup consistency garnished with black pepper corns. You can keep swishing this one around for a while and not get bored.

The cinnamon finish is long and satisfying. A lovely dram that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Rating: 92

Glenrothes 1991

Glenrothes1991

Distillery/Brand: Glenrothes
Region: Speyside
ABV: 43%
Colour: Pale Straw

Nose: 22
Taste: 21
Finish: 21
Balance: 21

Review
This is another pleasant but one dimensional dram from Glenrothes. This particular 1991 vintage was bottled in 2008.

The nose is soft and well rounded with the familiar vanilla and citrus overtones. However, this one is a touch salty with a hint of berries. Quite nice actually.

The wood varnish and oaky palate lets me down, though. And the honey and vanilla don’t really help.

The finish is long and oaky with with cloves and a bourbon-y banana after taste.

So much mediocrity.

Rating: 85

Glenrothes 1994

Glenrothes1994

Distillery/Brand: Glenrothes
Region: Speyside
ABV: 43%
Colour: Pale Straw

Nose: 21
Taste: 21
Finish: 21
Balance: 21

Review
This 1994 vintage Glenrothes (bottled in 2009) is an average offering from this Speyside distillery.

It has the typical Speyside nose of nuts (specifically almonds), lots of citrusy vanilla, warm brown chocolate with a layering of woody oak. It’s nice but offers no complexity.

The palate continues to be one dimensional and, frankly, I did not expect it to be anything else. There is the familiar honey and chocolate peppered with cinnamon with a woody undercurrent. But that’s it.

The long finish is woody and a touch dry.

A ho hum dram.

Rating: 84