A 1998 vintage The Glenrothes, bottled in 2013 by the brand’s owners Berry Brothers & Rudd. The Glenrothes motto is “maturity not age” and therefore they put vintages on their whiskies rather than age statements.
Nose: Superb, rich and fruity. A great balance of spice and fruity sweetness. Toffee, honey, some cherries and brown sugar. After a minute or so this becomes a much richer nose, with sultanas, raisins and dates. Sweet tropical fruit and some blackcurrant. A perfumy nose at first, but then gives way to much more classic notes of vanilla, honey, oatmeal and grainy honeycomb.
Taste: Rich and spicy with almost orange pekoe coffee beans and raisins, with a hint of lemon and some musk. Spicy then fades, and leaves a firm, yet oily mouth feel.
Finish: Longish, malty and peaty with a hint of some blackcurrant.
Overall: A lovely dram. This is a bright and fruity dram, and I can imagine it being fantastic for a hot summers day. I can’t think of any whisky with quite the same balance of classic whisky and tropical fruit as this 1998 Glenrothes. It was unfortunately discontinued a couple of years ago, but there are very few bottles around at the moment so if you can find one, snap it up.
Nose: Very fruity, but with a peppery note – cherries and prunes on the Maltex side alongside some dried apricots. Not a lot of complexity to the peat, but not a bad nose either. Some presence perhaps, but not a lot.
Taste: The peat isn’t doing much for me on the palate, but this is a sweet whisky with lots of chocolate and orange pekoe, with some more cherries and tangerines that last a little longer.
Finish: Short and sweet with just some very light rubber, and a touch of tobacco.
Note: This was a recent bottle (spring 2013), re-capped. It seems like this whisky was previously opened and corked, which is definitely not the best way to treat a Glenrothes. After tasting the recent Glenrothes, I would probably open another bottle of 1998 Glenrothes if I came across one.
Nose: Sweet and dried fruit with smoke and lemon zest. Peat seems a little more apparent on the nose than it is on the palate, but there’s still very little in the way of complexity to the peat.
Taste: Sweet and fruity, with some peat together with bits of wood and ash. Some cherries and mulberries, but this doesn’t last very long.
Finish: Short and sweet with a lingering ash – the best side of ashes ever.
Overall: This is a decent dram, but I wouldn’t wear it as a jacket. It’s just too gentle in its character for my taste – I’d take it on a warm summer afternoon and maybe a glass of lemonade in the garden.
Nose: Soft, fruity and meaty doughyness with plenty of oranges. Light and fresh; a little also hints of Christmas pudding, with a very pleasant and lively nose.
Palate: Fresh orange and orange oil with a little coffee and some toffee. A little pepper and spice.
Finish: Soft and meaty but not overwrought.
Overall: This is such a fresh and lively whisky, and this was one of the best so far. I love the punchy, fruity notes, which are not overpowering, and there was a decent amount of complexity underlying everything.
Glenrothes: A very lovely, simple and unconventional peaty whisky – it’s not a monster, and it wouldn’t be a bad whisky to serve at room temperature. It certainly wouldn’t be an island, but I would drink it with some dessert or perhaps a glass of port with some chocolate or ice cream. It’s a little on the simplistic side for me, but I can see quite a lot of people loving it.
Nose: A little dark and earthy, with some peat. It’s a little thin in the nose.
Taste: Very sweet, but a little too sweet for me. Some chocolate and orange peel. Bitter wood and ash.
Finish: Light and sweet, and not too peaty.
Overall: Not a bad whisky, but I’d prefer it more focused.
Nose: Much denser than the younger non-vintage. More firm on the nose, with sweeter notes, with more cinnamon and more leather.
Taste: A little spicier on the palate, still not overt peat although there is a little ash then a little pepper.
Finish: A little peatier, a little less sweet.
Overall: As the nose implies, this is a much more complex whisky than the younger one, but I’d prefer it less sweet and sweetly presented. It has a lot of character, but I’m not a huge fan of lots of sweet peat.