In 2018, The Glenrothes released the Glenrothes Vintage 2004, a whisky that is aged in Sherry-seasoned American Oak casks. This expression is limited to just 3,150 bottles in the U.S. market, making it a limited release.
Today, I’ll be taking this whisky for a test-drive and seeing how this whisky stacks up to the distillery’s marketing language.
A bit of backstory on the Glenrothes, from the distillery website:
The Glenrothes is an award winning Speyside Single Malt of exceptional quality. Hidden from the main street in the town of Rothes, the distillery lies at the foot of the Mannoch Hills beside the Rothes burn. The water that we use in the process of making Glenrothes comes from two natural springs, the Ardcanny and the Brauchhill, just a couple of miles upstream.
Not mentioned is that this is a distillery that’s had something of a complicated relationship with fire. The distillery was hit by fires in 1897, again in 1922, and a third time in 1962. Fortunately, instead of giving up , the last fire prompted the company to expand its facilities (and hopefully upgrade its fire suppression systems).
- Whisky reviewed: The Glenrothes Vintage 2004 Single Malt Scotch
- Producer: The Glenrothes
- ABV: 43% (86 proof)
- Aged in: Sherry-seasoned American Oak casks
- Age: 13 years
The Glenrothes Vintage 2004 comes bottled in the traditional short and stout Glenrothes bottle. The liquid in the bottle is fairly dark, the deep color of bottled honey. In the glass, the whisky is a lighter apricot color.
The nose is very Glenrothes but with an unmistakable sherry influence. Take a whiff and you’ll pick up juicy, fruit-forward aromas of stone fruits, banana, leather, and baking spices. There’s very little heat on the nose, which is a plus.
The Glenrothes Vintage 2004 enters round, smooth, and somewhat understated, with fruity notes of apples, pears, vanilla, and a touch of ethanol. Moments later, as the liquid moves around the tongue, the flavors expand and bloom into brighter notes of dry oak, baking spices, and a very light chocolate note.
The finish is moderate in length and quite satisfying. First because it is smooth and doesn’t pack much heat, secondly because it features an enjoyable combination of spice and lingering malty sweetness (though there’s also a very faint bitter yeastiness way in the background that doesn’t fit).
The Glenrothes Vintage 2004 competes well in the $65 price category. It’s puts forward a clear flavor story and delivers enough complexity to put it a shelf above its more entry-level sibling, the Glenrothes Vintage Reserve. It does have some elements I don’t find endearing (a twang of bitterness on the finish), but nonetheless is deserving of good marks because of its clarity and overall enjoyability.
Final Score: 88
Disclaimer: though by no means our first bottle of Glenrothes scotch, the bottle for this review was supplied by The Glenrothes. Our opinions (good and bad), remain unaltered and entirely our own.