28 June 2011

Glenrothes 1995 Vintage "Reassuringly Rothes"

One of the charms of The Glenrothes is its unrushed and uncompromised ‘when it’s ready, it’s ready’ philosophy of producing whisky.

It’s also rather reassuring and refreshing to see a distillery that’s not trying to constantly churn out a multitude of different fad expressions, in an attempt to keep up with the dramming Jones's.

Another impressive thing that stands out, is how much of the distilleries reputation has grown organically purely through word of mouth.

Apart from a couple of fairly recent exceptions, Glenrothes release their whiskies as vintages. Infact their latest release the 1995 is their first purpose laid down vintage, as all previous bottlings in the series were taken from standard warehouse stock, not that there's anything standard about the whisky.

Recently I was very fortunate in being able to sample their new 1995 offering, and post tasting I can wholeheartedly declare it as being 'reassuringly Rothes'.

The nose kicks off with a tenaciously teasing trio of tantalising after dinner treats; a wondrous wedgette of white chocolate cheesecake, baked pears drizzled in hot butterscotch sauce and a tropical fruit salad drenched in Ambrosia Devon custard.

A subtle sweet sherry soaked selection of golden raisins and red cherries make for the next set of sensations, along with half a handful of freshly ground pink peppercorns and something that resembles a recently blown out cigarette match, which in this particular instance actually works weirdly well.

The aromas of some very lightly toasted oak, winter spices and vanilla then weave their way around all the aforementioned delights, helping to deliver a wealth of balance and backbone that becomes even more dominant the longer this particular dram is left in the glass.

The palate is an unmistakeable rich full on rollicking Rothes, with fluctuating prongs of refinement helping to deliver a bountiful balanced journey on and around the tastebuds.

A glugging wave of dark and almost peppery butterscotch sauce kicks off the palatable proceedings, along with half of a pink grapefruit that's been dribbled with honey and topped off with a few lime zest shavings. Followed by the subtlest hint of a reappearance from those sweet sherry soaked fruits.

An infusion of rich oak, wood spice and a very subtle hint of black olive make for the next set of digestible delights, along with the aftertaste you get from an authentically made Indian orange lassi.

A chilled slice of homemade vanilla egg custard tart then vivaciously volunteers its scrumalicious services to the proceedings, along with a fine grating of a nutmeg that tastes as if it’s been sitting in the back of a kitchen cupboard for a couple more months than it should.

The intensity of all the aforementioned delights eventually and delicately escalate into one big dramming crescendo, leaving you with a satisfying lingering citrus zing of a finish, that neither overstays its welcome or leaves you feeling short changed.