Nose – Classic sherry notes with sweet spices, dates, prunes! With a lovely toffee, chocolate orange
Palate – Full flavoured, well rounded and robust! Loads of sherry dry fruits with and a touch of blue cheese or rancio
Finish – Sherry, spice and cloves, toast, salty caramel and chocolate
What a whisky! No doubt this dram delivered! If you happen to be in a sherry mood, this one is a marvel…
However with only 530 bottles in existence, available only through La Maison du Whisky, you may find it challenging to track down. Not to mention the pricy price tag at SGD 725.
However I was rather delighted to have a chance to try a quick sample…
Here is what the folks at La Maison du Whisky have to say:
Nose – Fine, ample. At first, beautiful notes of bitter orange are coated with dark chocolate. This wonderfully classic starter is also composed of red and black fruits (blackberry, strawberry) and noble spices (cardamon, ginger, cinnamon). At aeration, it evolves on precious wood (beeswax), vanilla and leather. Dried fruits (dates, figs) then add complexity to the aromatic palette.
Palate – Lively, racy. In attack of mouth, the orange releases their juice at the same time sweet and acidulated. Very tense, it reveals notes of salted butter caramel, exotic fruits (guava, persimmon) and creme brûlée. Unveiling gianduja, the mid-palate is also close to malted barley. In the back of the mouth, strawberries and blackberries make a particularly tasty and fleshy taste return.
Final – Long, balanced. Change of scenery. Heady flowers (iris, purple lilac, peony) make their appearance and perfume the atmosphere of one who also shines by the delicacy of his touch. In retro-olfaction, chocolate and salted butter caramel accompany notes of toasted bread and aromatic plants (chervil, laurel). Original the empty glass lets admire a wood that is reduced to dust giving way to cocoa beans and very ripe bananas.
—- From LMdW website with an imperfect google translation from French.
The Glenrothes is one of those distilleries that you know what you are likely to get – strong sherry influence, robust and full.
It is what one of our samplers called a “Ronseal” after a well-known UK ad for varnish that came out over 21 years ago… The brand was known for its simple ad line “Does Exactly What it Says on the Tin” which soon became synonymous with anything that is what it says it is.
And what did we think?
The Glenrothes 21 year Minister’s Reserve 43%
Nose – Spice, sherry, fruity, sweet cinnamon, cloves, chocolate, plus fruit cake and icing, old raisons, tinned fruit, nutty, some berries, more vanilla cake, dash of mocha chocolate
Palate – Desert in a glass! Dangerously easy to drink, soft and smooth with some Christmas spice, a very classic sherry on all accounts, enjoyable and full
Finish – Fab long finish with tobacco
Nice and classic, and so sweet it was almost like sipping rum. In short, it was exactly what you expect from a quality sherry matured whisky.
While I preferred the Highland Park solo without a cigar, The Glenrothes was a perfect cigar partner!
Distillation is unusually slow and takes place in unusually tall stills which deliver a sweet, clear, fruity spirit. Maturation is in American oak and Spanish oak casks, a combination designed to deliver a perfect balance of flavours associated with our award-winning Speyside single malt; ripe fruits, juicy citrus, creamy vanilla and complex spices.
Would we agree? Yup!
And what would this set you back? These days, it would be about £155.46 online at Master of Malt. We opened our bottle in September 2018.
The whisky that ruled our Whisky Ladies “Contributors Choice” evening was The Glenrothes … A speyside distillery known for its rich, complex vintages. For some of our whisky ladies this was an introduction, for others a welcome opportunity to revisit a favoured dram.