Category Archives: Scottish Whisky

Glenrothes 1998

The Glenrothes Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled in 1998, Bottled in 2010

43% ABV

What the Distillery Says
The Vintage 1998 is the next Core Vintage to follow the Vintage 1991 and 1994. It is the first of the vintages that we have bottled that was expressly laid down at origin to be bottled as Glenrothes on maturity and as such has a greater availability of stock than any of the previous bottlings.

This is also Gordon Motion’s first bottling as Malt Master and he describes it as: “It’s said that pictures speak a thousand words and this is like Carmen Miranda’s hat in a bottle. Tropical fruits lead with pineapple and mango developing into sweet bananas, coconut and classic Glenrothes vanilla pods.”

Appearance: Medium golden, clear and bright
Bouquet: Rich, spicy vanilla, golden syrup and lemongrass
Palate: Soft, mature, sweet vanilla with a hint of cinnamon
Finish: Smooth, long, rich vanilla

What Richard Says
Nose: The nose mixes sherry, citrus pith, malted cereals, and ginger syrup.
Palate: Vanilla and cinnamon forward with notes of vanilla pudding, cinnamon rolls, Bananas Foster, and yellow cake batter.
Finish: Dry, almost arid.
Comments: What a great dessert scotch. Not with dessert but rather for dessert. There are so many layers of sweetness here. Unfortunately, that makes this vintage a bit of a one trick pony. Not bad at all but it lacks depth.
Rating: Stands Out

Glenrothes Select Reserve

The Glenrothes Select Reserve Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
40% ABV

What the Distillery Says
John Ramsay, our Malt Master, has crafted a selection of The Glenrothes which typifies the distillery house character – ripe fruits, citrus, vanilla and hints of spice.

The Select Reserve is a first for us. A non-Vintage-specific selection carefully chosen by John and produced to the same high quality standards as The Glenrothes Vintage selections; only here we select and vat from casks from different years.

Appearance: Pale golden
Bouquet: American oak, vanilla and coconut, hint of plums/p>
Palate: Full malty flavour, medium sweet, vanilla and orange zest
Finish: Long and slightly spicy

Produced to the same exacting quality standards as the Vintages, Select Reserve is a vatting of casks distilled in different years.

It has been crafted to typify all that is The Glenrothes in its early prime. What we call the ‘House Style’. Laden with ripe fruits, citrus, vanilla and hints of spice, the Select Reserve is the essence, the very heart of The Glenrothes range in terms of taste and flavour. From this expression all other Vintages are born.

What Richard Says
Nose: Light vanilla and malty oak.
Palate: A lovely, silky sweetness of orange blossom honey and dried fruit.
Finish: Lingering with doses of black pepper and more malty oak.
Comments: This introduction to Glenrothes in their “house style” focuses around cereal grains and vanilla/fruit sweetness. Not a game changer by any means but it’s pleasant, easy to drink and won’t break the bank. If you want to mix up your malt rotation then give it a try.
Rating: Stands Out

Glengoyne 21 Year

Glengoyne Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky Matured 21 Years
43% ABV
$130 to $170

What the Distillery Says
Sultanas and hazelnuts; dried fruits and rich spice

Christmas cake, honey, and rich fruit – with a long cinnamon finish. Matured exclusively in hand-selected sherry casks for 21 years. Perfect after dinner or, frankly, anytime.

What Richard Says
Nose: Baked raisins, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a big meaty dose of sherry.
Palate: Oozing with fruity honey and apple cider centering around a big chunk of oak. Revisiting comes back to a chocolate orange and well worn cedar.
Finish: Hot cinnamon kicks you in the mouth and then settles into a lingering black pepper and oak.
Comments: Sherry bomb? Check! If you don’t have a predilection toward sherry malts then this isn’t going to be some kind of “damn, this is what I’ve been missing” malt moment. It is going to be a damn fine dram and for sherry malt drinkers this is a definite must try.
Rating: Must Try

Glengoyne 18 Year

Glengoyne Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky Matured 18 Years
43% ABV

What the Distillery Says
Fresh, malty and spicy

Spicy vanilla fruit, ripe apples and a rich, luxurious mouthfeel. This is the result of eighteen long years and a generous proportion of first-fill sherry casks.

What Richard Says
Nose: Heavy sherry forward with lots of under ripe apples, cocoa, citrus rind, and vanilla.
Palate: Creamy butterscotch, baking spices, mounds of sherry, and more citrus.
Finish: The spices and wood linger.
Comments: This is a great example of a classic sherry forward well aged single malt. Are you tired of paying nearly $200 for that bottle of Macallan 18? Then you should definitely give the Glengoyne 18 a try.
Rating: Must Try

Glengoyne 15 Year

Glengoyne Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky Matured 15 Years
43% ABV

What the Distillery Says
The depth and sweetness of dried fruit
Complex depths and bright tropical notes – with a spicy oak finish. Hints of candied lemon and pineapple reveal the influence of first-fill bourbon casks, balanced by the rich intensity of our signature sherry wood.

What Richard Says
Nose: Rich, meaty, and sherry forward.
Palate: Stewed dark fruits and raisins with a deep nutty framework.
Finish: A nice balance of peppery heat and solid oak with a lingering sherry backbone. When all else fades a sprinkling of cocoa powder remains.
Comments: Of many “double wood” single malts blending sherry and bourbon wood that I’ve tried, this Glengoyne stands out with more robust strength and backbone than similar whiskies. The nose and palate are very enjoyable but the lingering finish keeps me coming back.
Rating: Stands Out