Glenrothes Distillery has everything it needs to make it a great brand: a rather unique bottle shape, a Vintage approach like the wine industry (although they have been releasing more and more NAS expressions called Reserves) and a ghost story.
The brand and the operations aren't in the same hands. Since 2010 the brand is owned by the London based Berry Bros & Rudd (BBR) while the distillery itself is managed by Edrington. This rather strange situation was due to the sale of the famous Cutty Sark blend by BBR to Edrington.
The Cutty Sark brand didn't really fit the BBR branding profile anymore and Edrington was eager to add another well-known and established blend to their portfolio.
Identity Card Wemyss Malts 1988 Glenrothes Marmelade Appeal
- Wemyss Malts 1988 Glenrothes Marmelade Appeal
- Glenrothes Distillery, Rothes (Speyside)
- 26 year old single malt single cask
- 46% ABV
- Distilled in 1988 - bottled in 2015
- 629 bottles
The orange blossom nose on this butt sets a bitter orange marmalade.
Tasting notesColour: A dram from the golden eighties. It absorbed a deep golden colour from the cask. The legs are slow and fat.
Nose: A wooden box with colouring pencils and dates. A Turkish bakery with lots of sweet pastries on display. A bit of hay and herbs. A vase with wood shavings, rose petals and potpourri. Yet again I'm noticing that Sandalwood shaving cream scent from Trumper's. A sweet and exotic dram. Salted and honeyed pecan nuts with a whiff of metal.
Don't add too much water. Remember, most of the Wemyss single casks are bottled at 46% thus at ideal drinking strength. But one or two drops can release some additional flavours. In this case: chocolate, yummy chocolate! Biscuits and javanais cake (a typical belgian dessert with almond based cake and coffee cream) with orange flower water. Sweet and sour sauce with canned pineapple. I 'd almost say a splatter of HP sauce.
Taste: A sweet and creamy coffee dessert with orange flavours. Chocolate dipped in coffee. Orange marmalade (hence its name...).
Water brings back that lovely HP sauce note. Sweet and savoury. Creamy chocolate mousse with pieces of pineapple.
Finish: Coffee beans and oranges. A malty and spicy beer finish. Soft and creamy but lasting a long time.
Regular Glenrothes doesn't blow me away often. This aged single cask restores my confidence in them. The warm orange notes make this a perfect tasty dram for a solitary meditation on an autumn night. Time to open up that 18yo Malts of Scotland first-fill sherry butt that has been sitting in my cabinet for far too long... Although I doubt it could come close to this gem from Wemyss Malts.
Price: €170 at Master of Malt
Source and pictures: Domino.be/Glenrothes
Disclosure: Thanks to Emma Hooper from Wemyss Malts for sending me a sample. Opinions stated above are of course my own.