Whisky ReReview – Glenrothes Vintage Reserve

Glenrothes Vintage Reserve

40% ABV

£36.95 from Master of Malt


This expression was originally launched in Taiwan back in November 2014. It is now coming out in the UK. A lovely little whisky, I reviewed back then in November, here are my notes:


Instantly complex. Sherried dark fruits, raisin, ripe plums, rum soaked sultanas. Rich vanilla. Cherry stones. Apples. Old leather bound books. Polished oak. Cedar wood. Wood glue. Tobacco. With some time in the glass we get more confectionary notes, powdered sugar, banana foam sweets, marshmallow, and a whiff of a floral bouquet. With all this complexity of age, there is still an air of youth in the nose, a touch of lively spirit behind the scenes. More time in the glass and we have some fruity sherbert, refreshers sweeties. This is a sultry, changing nose, which has a lot to offer. 


A sweet and savoury (with a little salt) arrival, some dark fruit development around the sherried raisin found on the nose. Some apple and banana into the development which has confectionary, caramel, honey, toffee, chocolate. It is quite the chocolate bar with lush caramel further into the development. The mouth feel is surprising oily and coating, and immensely chewy. There is a youth on the palate which differs from the initial experience on the nose. This is a very tasty whisky. 


The finish is medium to long, concentrating on the warming chewy caramel and chocolate. With some dusting cocoa, and a touch of light spearmint at the very end. 

Adding water.

A small drop added. The nose is now well and truly concentrated on the floral, with some chocolate notes, the original layered complexity is quite simplified, but there is still a retention of some of the aged aromas, polish, tobacco etc. The palate is slightly simplified now, and a more consistent arrival/development is experienced, lots of caramel, honey and chocolate, with a touch of the previously experienced fruits, but with additional sweet orange citrus. The finish is similar, with some honeycomb and orange notes now alongside the caramel. This is a sweet tooth’s dram. As to the argument of with or without water, well, I would continue without water, as there is a noticeable drop in the mouth feel and overall luxury of the experience. 


An excellent desert whisky. This one has a lot of fattening flavours and a very interesting, explorable nose. The palate is not quite as complex as the nose suggests, but it is most luscious and very quaffable. One to enjoy after a roast meal and waste away the evening with in good company. Excellent stuff.  
In addition, it would be absolutely amazing to try this at 46% with no chill filtering, it’s already damn good stuff, and I feel that would make this a truly exceptional whisky. 

Much thanks to Glenrothes for providing the review sample.

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