From Ardmore in the eastern highlands we move a bit north and a bit west to Glenrothes in the Speyside. Like Monday’s Ardmore this Glenrothes too was bottled by Signatory in its Un-Chillfiltered Collection series and was also matured in a bourbon cask—albeit, unlike that Ardmore, this was not an ex-Islay cask. And like the Ardmore this is a recent release—both were bottled in 2021. Bourbon cask Glenrothes is not very common—most of the official releases from the distillery, past and present, have involved sherry casks in the vattings. As a result, Glenrothes is one of those distilleries—Highland Park is another—whose official profile is associated with sherry maturation, and it is to the independents we must go to get a sense of what their spirit is like when matured entirely in bourbon casks. I think I’ve mentioned before that I rather like bourbon cask Glenrothes and also that I have samples of a few ex-bourbon Glenrothes bottles on my shelves. And I think I may also have been promising reviews of those samples for almost as long as the blog has been active. Well, if I like this one maybe I’ll actually get around to digging those out and reviewing them as well.
Glenrothes 11, 2010 (46%; Signatory; hogshead #887; from a bottle split)
Nose: A malty arrival with apples and pears in the mix. The malt picks up some mild yeasty/bready notes but on the whole it’s the apples and pears that take centerstage. More acid here too with time. With a few drops of water the malt/yeast complex expands and there’s some lime juice as well.
Palate: Comes in here with a little more acid and some wet stones under the fruit. A bigger bite than the abv would suggest and a nice oily texture. As it sits there’s some lemon in there as well. A little more bite with water but not a major change.
Finish: Long. Tart apple and wet stones and then a bit of spicy oak at the end. As on the palate with water.
Comments: This is good, solid bourbon cask malt whisky. Not the best bourbon cask Glenrothes I’ve had but the kind of thing that is perfect for evenings when you want to drink a good whisky but not spend a lot of time nosing or pondering it. Which, let’s face it, is most evenings.
Rating: 85 points.