The Glenrothes 1998 Vintage - Spicy Honey; Quite Spirited
This is the newest of the Glenrothes vintages. It is a 12yr old whisky, laid down in 1998 and bottled in 2010. It is the first of the vintages that the distillery bottled that was expressly laid down at its origin to be bottled as Glenrothes on maturity, and therefore there is a greater availability of stock than any of the previous bottlings.
This is also Gordon Motion’s first bottling as Malt Master of The Glenrothes, and he describes it as: “It’s said that pictures speak a thousand words and this is like Carmen Miranda’s hat in a bottle. Tropical fruits lead with pineapple and mango developing into sweet bananas, coconut and classic Glenrothes vanilla pods.”
So, it is understandable that this bottle has a bit of "proving" to do.
The official character of the bottle states: "lemon citrus, rich vanilla, cinnamon hints."
Nose: Fresh cut grass, lots of nose tingle, very acidic. Not really liking this one. Ouch! Ok, pineapple, in that it is sweet, but tangy sweet. Ginger spice. Immature, malty, very spirity. This is an "active" whisky, and in need of a good time-out. Coming back I'm getting some banana malt.
Body: Light, but not watery.
Palate: Sweet and tangy, with spice on the tongue. Spicy honey?
Finish: Not especially smooth. Medium in length, releasing a nice amount of spice and ripe fruit.
I am disappointed. I had high hopes for this whisky, and special ordered two bottles (one to drink, one to lay up). I am hoping this bottle calms down a bit once it has been opened. Some bottles can improve with a little aeration, and I am hoping this is one of them.
I will be trying this one off and on at different times and circumstances, to see if it can improve somehow. I am just not a big fan of spirited, young whiskies. The depth is missing, only hitting the high notes (if that makes any sense). Where is the toffee? Where is the butterscotch? What happened to the creamy vanilla that The Glenrothes is so known for? Its not here, and that's for sure. I had purposefully avoided the '94, as I was led to believe that bottle had this flavor profile. Now I'm wondering if they got the labels switched, and the '94 is the good one?
This whisky is lightyears away from the '92 or especially the '91. There's an edge to this whisky that is...harsh? Yes. Harsh. It needs about five more years in the cask, I think.
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