Glenrothes Distillery was founded in 1878 by a group of investors linked with the Macallan distillery near Aberlour. Even in its infancy, the Glenrothes spirit was known as a good quality blending whisky and that has been its main purpose for most of its life, supplying malt for brands like Cutty Sark and The Famous Grouse. Indeed, the distilleries relationship with the former of the two brands would be a long one…
Cutty Sark was owned by London wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd and malt whisky from Glenrothes was a crucial component of the blend for over 70 years. Then, in 2010, Berry Bros & Rudd sold Cutty Sark to Edrington and acquired the Glenrothes Single Malt brand in return. Edrington retained ownership of the distillery itself but signed long-term supply agreements to provide stock for single malt bottlings.
Glenrothes is bottled by vintage as opposed to age statement, although one or two No Age Statement (or as Berry’s like to call it – Non Vintage Specific) expressions are available. As well as these official bottlings, versions of Glenrothes are often released by independents and some of these can be excellent.
This particular Glenrothes was bottled by the Creative Whisky Company and released by Glasgow retailer the Good Spirits Co., as part of their ongoing series of in-house bottlings. The Good Spirits Co. was founded in 2011 by Shane Goodbody, Matthew McFadyen and Mark Connolly. The three met while working at Oddbins and cleverly identified that there was a large gap in the Glasgow market for a specialist spirits store. Since it’s launch, the company has expanded to include two other premises… The Good Sprits Wine & Beer shop and a further store on Clarence Drive in the city’s west end. They specialise in sourcing interesting bottles from all over the world and run regular events in their purpose built tasting room. I’ve attended a fair few of these myself over the last few years and there is no doubt that they have greatly enhanced my own knowledge, not to mention introducing me to an incredible range of brands that I would likely never have come across otherwise. Take my word for it, a trip to the Good Spirits Co. is a must for any whisky lovers who should happen to find themselves in Glasgow.
Smell: Big Sherry notes at first with Raisins & Sultanas, Figs & Prunes, a little Cherry and Dark Chocolate. There’s also a touch of Tropical Fruit with Pineapple and Banana notes.
Taste: Good weight. Those Sherry notes again, along with Cinnamon and Nutmeg, Pineapple, Caramel and Cocoa.
Value for Money: A price of £52.50 for this Cask Strength, extremely limited release (just 150 bottles), makes it a great buy.
Score: 44 / 50.
To put it simply, it’s a fantastic, one-off whisky at a great price. What more could you ask for?
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