Because I am so on top of things I was going to say that this is the oldest Glenrothes I’ve ever had. But then, because I am even more on top of things, I checked and found that I’ve already reviewed another Glenrothes 25, 1988. So this is not the oldest Glenrothes I’ve ever had (that’s coming soon though). However, I will soon be an authority on 25 yo Glenrothes from 1988, or at least more of an authority than that other whisky blogger you follow who’s only had one Glenrothes 25, 1988, the poor sap, I don’t know how he lives with himself. So far this has been five sentences with zero useful content (four if you generously count this sentence as useful, and you really should since I did go back and count). And frankly, the odds are not good of there being dramatic improvement.. So I should probably just get to the review already—I mean don’t you want to find out about this Glenrothes 25, 1988 from a relatively obscure Italian bottler with a non-Italian name?
Glenrothes 25, 1988 (50%; Wilson & Morgan; single sherry butt #4251; from a purchased sample)
Nose: A little blank at first but then mellow notes of sherry begin to appear (mild honey, some apricot) along with some caramel and a leafy quality. That leafy thing turns somewhat metallic after a bit and there’s some citrus too now (orange) and increased sweetness. With more time the fruit gets richer (still apricot but more jammy now) but the metallic note is still present. With water there’s more lemon to go with the apricot and the metallic note gets pushed back a bit.
Palate: Leads with the leafy thing but then it gets sweet fast (a mix of honey and orange). Some pepper and cinnamon too. More metallic on the second sip. The sweetness gets more cloying with each sip (more like simple syrup now). With more time it gets more astringent. Let’s see if water fixes it. No, water’s not as good for the palate as for the nose: a little brighter citrus here too but the metallic note is still front and center.
Finish: Medium-long. Gets spicier as it goes with a little bit of milk chocolate at the end. Water gets rid of the milk chocolate and introduces a menthol coolness.
Comments: Despite the age there’s no real complexity here and nothing really to recommend it over the official releases, some of which are younger and cheaper. And I much preferred the Archives 25 yo as well—as with that one, there’s not a whole lot of sherry influence here. What there is too much of is that metallic note. A cask that should probably have been blended away.
Rating: 79 points.