gavin smith

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Long regarded as one of Scotland's top blending whiskies, The Glenrothes malt has been produced in the Speyside distilling town of Rothes since 1879. During the last few years, connoisseurs have had the opportunity to discover just what a fine whisky The Glenrothes is in its own right, thanks to a series of diverse 'vintage' bottlings.

According to Ronnie Cox, Director of The Glenrothes, "Consistency was believed to be what sold a brand, and what we tried to do with the 'vintage' concept was get whiskies with the same 'signature' distillery character but different personalities from different casks.

"We take the best example of one year's distillation and select one 'personality' from that which is bold enough and distinctive enough to give Glenrothes an aura. The key is to select it at just the right time, and the idea is that each vintage is slightly different. The trick of a medium-bodied and elegant whisky like this is to get a good balance."
Glenrothes, 1985 Vintage (Scotland)
The Glenrothes is packaged is an eye-catching ‘sample’ bottle. The three vintages that are available at time of writing (1985, 1991 and 1994) are all excellent whiskies displaying a fascinating range of characteristics, but whisky-pages’ favourite is the 1985 expression. This displays honey, marmalade, spices and bitter chocolate on the complex nose, with light smoke and vanilla also developing. A delicious blend of fruits, honey and spices emerge in the mouth, with smooth heather, prunes and refined oak notes. Vanilla and brittle toffee feature in the elegant and lengthy finish. 43.0% ABV, 70cl, £79.95, specialist whisky merchants.

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