Glenrothes 1998 Tasting Notes
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m an Islay guy. I prefer my whisky to peaty and smoky and briny etc. I appreciate the other regions for their subtleties and nuances, but when I reach for a dram on my own time, I want something that will slap my taste buds around. It is for this reason that am continually amazed by the level of enjoyment I derive from these tasting assignments.
In this case the task at hand is the latest core release from Glenrothes, the 1998. This Speyside distiller bottles by vintage rather than age. This allows for subjective releases out of sequence. It was determined by Glenrothes new Malt Master, Gordon Motion that this vintage had reached a level of maturity and distinct character which needed to be shared. That is part of the beauty of vintage bottling. The 1995 has yet to reach maturity and therefore remains in the casks for a future release.
As we take our first look at the 1998, in the bottle the color appears rich and golden with a bit of a rose-tone. Some of that rich color can be credited to the squat, round bottle. In the glass, the color is much lighter!
Do you remember Toucan Sam? “Follow your nose! It always knows the flavor of fruit!” He would have loved this whisky. First and foremost, citrus. Orange, orange peel, not bright and fresh but mature and concentrated, followed by figs and dates and all of it drizzled in golden syrup.
On the palate, all of the notes from the nose are present in a soft sweet manner, along with cinnamon and cream. A gentle ghost of a floral note haunted me as well, but eluded definition. The finish was surprisingly long and not as sweet as one might expect, the spice and orange peel hanging on until the end.
If Speysides are your dram of choice, this is probably already in your whisky cabinet. If you are like me and prefer something a little more “in your face”, step outside your comfort zone and take a walk on the mild side. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised.