Showing posts with label Glenrothes 18. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Glenrothes 18. Show all posts

Glenrothes 18 Years

A 700ml bottle pack shot of The Glenrothes 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

”Bitter-Sweet Symphony”

Whisky Review # 969

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Speyside
Brand: Glenrothes - Soleo Collection
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: (Partly 1st-Fill) Sherry-Seasoned European Oak casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 90-120 (November 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Border-Line acceptable
Buying Advice: 😐 Okay at most but too Bitter and Unfinished for my liking


Golden (Natural Colour)


There are initial wafts of Varnish, Rubber & perhaps a little Sulphur so I advise you to give this Malt some time in the glass before Nosing. The Nose is quite Fruity with Sweet, Sour, Dried and Fresh varieties. It's a little Dirty and Earthy and the Alcohol is noticeable.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Cake with Cream and Strawberries, Butter, Vanilla, Syrup, Dried Fruit like Apricots, Raisins, Plums, Dates and Figs, Sour Cherries, Green Notes, Orange, Lemon, Dunnage Warehouse, Musty Oak, Nougat, Dairy, Cinnamon, Ginger, Caffe Latte and Licorice.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Butterscotch, Caramel, Honey-Melon, Blueberry Muffins, Grass & Straw, Dusty Road, Pear, Apple, Banana, Grapefruit, Pine, Pineapple, Varnish, Rubber, Sulphur, Tobacco, Leather, Pepper, Cardamom, Cloves and Charcoal.


Sweet at first but with developing Sour and "Dirty" Bitter notes. I feel the casks are to blame. At least the Palate is consistent with the Nose except for the Bitterness. Not as Fruity as on the Nose. Wood and Spices come to the forefront.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apricots & Plums, Apple, Orange, Pear, Lemon, Banana, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Menthol & Strawberry-flavoured Yogurt.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Salty Caramel, Toffee, Honey, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Cranberry Juice, Straw, Nougat, Tobacco, Leather, Dusty Track, Green Vegan notes, Cappuccino, Charcoal, Cloves, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Sulphur, Varnish and Alcohol.


Middle-Long and a little Thin. Sweet and Sour at first with increasing Bitter notes towards the Dry end. I must assume that Re-Fill casks are in the majority here. I find Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Caramel, Breakfast Cereals, Sour Cherries, Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon, Banana, Pear, Apple, Nougat, Straw, Forest Floor, Dusty Oak, Tin Cans, Rocks, Black Tea, Dark Chocolate, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cardamom and Menthol. The Strawberries return after a while.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that seems to relax this Malt. It gets a little on the Thin side but it takes out some of the "dirty" notes. A little Water goes a long way here but don't overdo it as this Malt drowns easily.

Rating: 82.5 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 7 (*******)

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note does not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. It would have been much easier if I would have chosen a simple 1-10 rating since the beginning but after having reviewed 950 whiskies it would not be wise to change the system now. I will however from now on add stars on the 1-10 scale so you will have a better idea of what I thought of the whisky reviewed. And I'm planning to only use the 1-10 scale as of January 1, 2023. Please feel free to comment!

Drinking Experience Neat
: Okay

The Glenrothes distillery is located in Rothes (Morayshire) & was founded by James Stuart & Company in 1878. Between 1963 and 1989 the number of Stills increased from 4 to 10. The reason was that Blenders highly appreciated the Glenrothes Spirit and used it in great quantities for Blends like the Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark. The distillery is owned by the Edrington Group since 1999. The current production amounts to around 4.2 million litres. Because of the high Blender's demand, the first Single Malt was only launched in 1994. They are currently trying to conquer the USA market. Their bottles are quite interesting and different. They actually look like hand grenades! The core range includes the 10, 12, 18 and 25 years.

I have tasted various older and more recent Glenrothes Malt over the years. You can find them in the Archive. They all seem to have a few characteristics in common. They are Dusty and Musty and show above average Bitterness. As the Spirit shows enough Fruity notes, I can only conclude that indifferent Cask Management is the villain here. Not too long ago the vast majority of the output of this distillery went straight to the Blenders, a business that is much more quantity-driven. Glenrothes is trying to change this image & present themselves also as a Single Malt Distillery. That's something completely different as Monty Python would say and although they are certainly on their way, they are not completely there yet IMHO.

Cheers 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                   November 10, 2022