The ’70s are generally regarding as the true apex of whisky making. Malts from this age have a certain something that is intangibly fantastic. The flavour profiles, while not consistent from distillery to distillery, are very specific to this era. These whiskies scoop awards, command hefty sums and stun the palates of those fortunate enough to partake.
Glenrothes, on the other hand, is not a distillery that I hold dear. Not bad, by any means (‘bad’ being an adjective I reserve for very few drams), but ‘underwhelming’ would perhaps be the most choice work to describe. It’s that terrible Catch-22 type situation, where the best of the distillery’s malts are old and rare, but of course the distillery needs to turn bottles at a younger vintage in order to maintain cash flow. And obviously…to attract a younger or more cash-conscious demographic. Let’s be realistic; not everyone can afford three figure bottles.
In this lovely old limited release 1972: Dusty and old jams n’ jellies. Spicy oak notes, empty cigar boxes and honey nougat (the stuff of Toblerone). Fruits are primarily of the dehydrated and dessicated sort…mainly dried apricot. After it sat a bit, I got the faintest coal notes.
The palate is mixed dried fruit, but primarily prune and apricot. Cloves and wet wood. Takes us into granny smith apple territory towards the end. Mature and lovely. Great depth and flavors that bend and transform over time on the palate.
One of the best ‘Rothes I’ve tried. …So far.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt