Category Archives: Glenrothes

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar dram # 20 – Weymss Malts “Aromatic Orange Tobacco,” Glenrothes 25yo, Cask # 4250


Region – Speyside – ABV – 46%

Today we’re tasting the second Glenrothes single cask in the 2015 Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar bottled by Weymss Malts.  This one is a 25yo that was matured in a sherry butt.  The previous one, “Kumquat Cluster,” was a 22yo also matured in a sherry butt.

These guys seem to like big butts.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015

No, not that kind of butt!  This kind (the one on the left, that is. The one on the right is a bourbon barrel):

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015

Being that the “Kumquat Cluster” was perhaps the first Glenrothes I’ve truly enjoyed, I wonder if this big butt whisky will procure a similar result. Let us see…

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015On the nose — Very fragrant, almost incense like.

Damp sandalwood, indiscernible cooking spices, walk-in humidor, loads and loads of CT Shade Grown cigar wrappers, whisky spilt on a leather bound book, used books, cedar oil. I could live in this glass right now.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015In the mouth — Orange oil, new suede, tinned fruits, orange juice/soy sauce mix for basting, warm honey, hints of clove.

Lightly oily mouthfeel.

Finish — Slightly spicy and fairly long with lasting citrus and used books.

In sum — These guys are going to turn me into an old-Glenrothes junkie!  Drop dead gorgeous whisky.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar dram # 11 – Weymss Malts “Kumquat Cluster” Glenrothes Sherry Butt # 3343


Region – Speyside – ABV – 46%

Scotch Whisky Advent CalendarDram # 11 brings us a Weymss Malts whisky entitled “Kumquat Cluster” which is a 21yo Glenrothes single sherry butt, cask # 3343.

Based on the color, which is fairly light, I’d have to say this is a refill butt.

There is a joke in there somewhere. I’ll leave you to that.

The Glenrothes and I normally do not get along. The spirit character usually doesn’t sit with my palate but I know they have a great following.

Though, truth be told, I do wish their OB bottlings were at a higher ABV. They’re usually at 40% or 43%, chill filtered and with caramel color added. I think if they slowly moved to 46%, they’d do a great job bringing their followers to the world of non-chill filtered and no-caramel color added whiskies.  The grass is greener on this side, people.

Still, they put out a host of whiskies, various vintages, that people go head over heals for. They must be doing something right, right?

Back to the whisky at hand though. As an independently bottled cask of The Glenrothes, this, I would hope, offers something that the OB releases do not offer. At first glance, it’s 46% NCF and no caramel color is added. That’s a start. At 21 years of age, this will be the oldest Glenrothes I’ve had to date.

Let’s see what happens.

Scotch Whisky Advent CalendarOn the nose — Citrus laden melting caramel cubes.  Some attic wood and a hint of sour milk (in a good way, trust me on this one).  Pecan pie filling, young strawberries, Alpha-Bits cereal sans the marshmallows, a hint of Ovaltine.

The attic wood tells me this is a Glenrothes but everything else just falls into place so nicely.

Scotch Whisky Advent CalendarIn the mouth — Now I see where they got the Kumquat Cluster name. It’s like drinking fresh kumquat juice, skin and all.

A touch of pepper, lots of malt, hints of fresh and dried figs, date rolls (sans almond), mint tea, some Chinese Five Spice to boot!

Finish — Long, malty, citrusy, hints of pepper.

In sum — Cracking whisky. I was really dreading this one but, wow, I was impressed. This is a whisky I’d reach for on a daily basis. Quite nice indeed.

Jewish Whisky Company’s Whisky Jewbilee 2012 event in NYC — it’s coming Thursday, October 25th!

Hosted by the Jewish Whisky Company and Single Cask Nation, the first annual charitable Whisky Jewbilee is fast approaching!!

For those unable to attend WhiskyFest NYC this year (due to it landing on Shabbat), this is your chance to taste some of Scotland, Ireland, and America’s finest whiskies.

Kosher catering by Ari White of Gemstone Catering, food under Star-K.

Click this link for more information and to buy tickets

This charitable whisky event engagement is limited to 250 attendees and is your chance to taste some fantastic whiskies (as shown below):

Distilleries and brands at the event, while not limited to, are listed below:

  • Arran
  • Balcones
  • BenRiach
  • Benromach
  • Catoctin Creek
  • Chieftain’s Range
  • Corsair
  • FEW Spirits
  • GlenDronach
  • Glenrothes
  • Gordon MacPhail
  • Highland Park
  • High West
  • Hirsch Selection
  • Hudson Real American Whiskeys
  • Kilchoman
  • Koval
  • Old Potrero
  • Single Cask Nation
  • Slieve Foy
  • Smokehead
  • Smooth Ambler
  • …plus more to be announced!!

The pouring list is still being developed, however, here is a preliminary list of whiskies:

10 years old
14 years old

Balcones True Blue Whisky
Balcones Single Malt
Balcones Brimstone Smoked Whisky

The BenRiach
10 years old
12 years old
16 years old
20 years old
Dark Rum Cask
PX Cask
**Alistair Walker is scheduled to be at the Whisky Jewbilee!

Catoctin Creek
Roundstone Rye
Mosby’s Spirit
Watershed Gin

Chieftain’s Range
Craigellachie 21 years old
Glen Keith 17 years old

Corsair Wry Moon Unaged Rye Whiskey
Corsair Triple Smoke

FEW Spirits
FEW Rye Whiskey
FEW Bourbon Whiskey
“Special cask selections”

12 years old
15 years old
18 years old
33 years old
**Alistair Walker is scheduled to be at the Whisky Jewbilee!

The Glenrothes
Select Reserve
Alba Reserve
1995 Vintage
1988 Vintage
Editors Cask
…maybe others
**Ronnie Cox is scheduled to be at the Whisky Jewbilee!

Gordon and MacPhail
Benromach 10 years old
Benromach 30 years old
Highland Park 24 years old
Old Pulteney 21 years old
Scapa 11 years old
Tormore 15 years old

Highland Park
Highland Park 12 years old
Highland Park 15 years old
Highland Park 18 years old
Highland Park 30 years old

High West
Double Rye
Rendezvous Rye
Son of Bourye
Campfire Whiskey
Silver Whiskey – Western Oat
American Prairie Reserve Bourbon
“Something special”

Hirsch and Slieve Foy
Hirsch Small Batch Reserve
Slieve Foy Irish 8 years old Single Malt

Hudson Real American Whiskeys
New York Corn Whiskey
Baby Bourbon
Four Grain Bourbon
Hudson Single Malt
Manhattan Rye Whiskey
Half Moon Orchard Gin

Jewish Whisky Company’s Single Cask Nation™
Arran 12 years old
Kilchoman 4 years old
BenRiach Heavily Peated 17 years old

Machir Bay
100% Islay (2nd Edition)

Koval Raksi Millet
Koval Midwest Wheat
Koval Rye Chicago
Lion’s Pride Rye
Lion’s Pride Dark Rye
Lion’s Pride Dark Millet
Lion’s Pride 47th Ward
Koval Rose Hip liqueur
Koval Chrysanthemum Honey liqueur
Koval Ginger liqueur
Koval Coffee liqueur
Koval Jasmin liqueur

Old Potrero
Old Potrero 18th Cetury Rye
Old Potrero Straight Rye


Smooth Ambler
Smooth Ambler Yearling
Smooth Ambler Bourbon
Smooth Ambler Rye
This is a charitable event with a portion of the evening’s proceeds being donated to charity.

Chieftain’s Range (4th release for the US) – Glenrothes 12yo single cask # 16415, first fill sherry

Speyside region – 46%ABV – $53 – $67 (pretty wide spread here – I’ve provided a link to the store that offers it for $53)

What is “Chieftain’s“?  Chieftain’s is a well respected and award winning independent bottler owned by Ian MacLeod Distillers (the same people that own Glengoyne) and have the good fortune of being able to choose their whiskies from one of the largest (if not THE largest) whisky warehouses in Scotland: The Ian MacLeod warehouse which houses many tens of thousands of casks of whisky at any given time.  That’s a nice position to be in for an independent bottler!

This single cask of The Glenrothes interestingly enough, was bottled at 46% ABV rather than cask strength.  When it comes to independent bottlers, and as ABV’s are concerned, Chieftain’s seems to do things a bit different.  As a rule of thumb, most indy bottlers will bottle single casks at 40%, 43%, 45%, 46%, 50% or cask strength and they will stick to that ABV for nearly every release.

Rules, however are meant to be broken.  Chieftain’s seems to bounce around a bit and will bottle somewhere between Cask Strength and 46% depending on the release, yet they are always non-chill filtered (thankfully) and have no added coloring.

As mentioned, this whisky was bottled at 46%; a full 3% higher than nearly all OB bottlings of The Glenrothes (and again, non-chill filtered and no added coloring).  Let’s see what happens.

On the nose  Seems very true to the Glenrothes house style – Soft sherry, saw dust and slivovitz (plum brandy) fill the nostrils.

It’s like an off-the-shelf, owner’s bottling, Glenrothes with a bit of a kick (the extra 3% ABV points, perhaps?).

Notes that I usually associate with a nice Sassacaia wine – cedar wood, cherries, earthy chocolate.

Fresh birch tree bark (golden birch).

On the mouth Decent attack with a touch of burn and mild viscosity.

While this isn’t a peated whisky, I’m struck with some coal soot from the start then a slight metallic quality (household knives and forks).

After that I’m presented with spiced apple sauce and spice drops.

Bitter chocolate (80% cocoa bars).

Cedar bark and fresh gardening mulch.

Finish Bitters and a touch of mint.  Decent length.

In sum Comparable in experience to The Glenrothes standard 90’s vintages out now – the Glenrothes quality really shines through and if that’s your bag – you’re in for a treat here!  While I think of sherried whiskies as digestifs, I’m more apt to suggest this as an aperitif.

Special thanks goes out to Impex Beverages for the sample!

The Scotch Tasting Bums seemed to like this one.

Glenrothes 1998 vintage

Speyside region – 43%ABV – $50

Whisky hand grenades.  More often than not, if The Glenrothes is brought up in a whisky conversation (whisky comes up in conversation a few times per day, every single day of my life.  I love it!), the shape of the bottle comes up.  Thankfully, for the sake of the whisky, the topic does then change over to the actual whisky itself.

In many conversations, however, the topic switches once again from how the whisky tastes to how the whisky is bottled (this topic is not exclusive to The Glenrothes in anyway).  More to the point, the lower ABV of 43% and the fact that the whisky is chill-filtered.  Many whisky geeks I talk to are at a point where they will simply stay away from a whisky unless it’s bottled at, at least, 46% ABV (when bottled at 46% ABV, chill-filtering is not “required”).  Put another way, bottled at 46%, the whisky will not cloud up if an ice cube is dropped in or if cold water is added to the whisky.

The good folks at Whisky For Everyone (who, by the way, are also members of the Whisky Round Table) have a great article on chill filtration.  It’s short and a must read (if you ask me).

So, being bottled at 43% ABV and being chill-filtered, what do we get?

On the nose  Hey, I like this!  Very rich and thick nose and even a bit nutty.

Hints of Amontillado sherry and all of the fun things that come with it – dried fruits, lemon and honey all encapsulated in a buttery flakey crust.

Baked apples and some of what I consider to be classically Glenrothes, damp wood.

On the mouth Both watery and thick/rich at the same time (I know that doesn’t make too much sense but there is a mix of feels).

The front and sides of my mouth seem to not be affected by the fluid but the top and back of my tongue tingle with cherry, pineapple and a touch of citrus.

More apples, chalk and wood dust.

Complex?  Not very.  Tasty?  Yes.  Easy drinking?  Scarily so…

Finish –  Over all drying and laced with vanilla.

In sum A solid whisky that I’d be happy to pour on (m)any occasion(s).  Round and rich, sweet yet dry.  It’s not mind-blowing but it’s well balanced and seemingly bottled at a nice ABV (43%).  I’d love to taste this at a higher ABV but not sure we need to mess with this one.  I wonder, however, if a non-chill filtered version of this (a version that retained all of the fatty acids and esters) might have made for a more complex whisky… the world may never know.

Special thanks goes out to Danielle K for the sample!