The Glenrothes Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a rather unique whisky, even for Scotland. Working on the premise that no whisky shall be released until it is ready, the Glenrothes may release one vintage after a relatively short time, while holding another for decades. No matter how long these whiskies are kept, the Glenrothes house style can be characterized as full of ripe fruit and citrus with spice and vanilla notes evident.
Located in the Speyside region of Scotland, the Glenrothes is renowned for exceptionally tall copper stills, something that is supposed to imbue the Glenrothes Whisky with is characteristic fruity flavors. Speyside is home to more distilleries than any other whisky region in Scotland, including other iconic brands like the Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, and the Macallan. Originally, distillers were drawn to the Speyside region due to the quality of the water and its remote location, the better to avoid the tax man in more onerous times.
Single malt scotch is a style of whisky only made in Scotland (although single malt whisky can be made anywhere, to be called Scotch whisky, it must be produced in Scotland). Single malt refers to the fact that the whisky is made from one grain, specifically barley. Single malts are also the product of one distillery versus blended Scotch whiskeys like Johnnie Walker, which take a variety of single malts and blend them together with grain whisky to produce a house style.
The Glenrothes 1988 vintage is a spectacular whisky. Rich and sweet, this is as close to dessert in a glass as whiskeys come. Big, bold flavors of orange marmalade, fruit compote, hazelnuts, and confectioners’ sugar make this whisky a great way to sate a sweet tooth. The finish is long and lingering, with notes of candied orange peel, vanilla pound cake, and freshly roasted nuts lingering on the palate.
This is the perfect dram to enjoy after a nice dinner or when you want a whisky on the sweet side. There is no peat or smoke to this whisky; instead, the Glenrothes 1988 celebrates the inherent fruit notes that can be found in unpeated whiskies and takes it to an unparalleled level. The Glenrothes 1988 is a masterful dram and a thoroughly enjoyable whisky for fans of great Speyside whisky. Highly recommended.
Disclosure: I received a sample of this product from The Glenrothes for review. No other compensation from The Glenrothes was received.