Single malt whisky - tasting notes

28 Oct 2009

Glenrothes 1998

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Glenrothes

Last week, I attended the presentation of the new Glenrothes 1998 vintage in Madrid. Spain is the first country after Taiwan, Singapore and China to get this bottling. The rest of the world will have to wait a little longer.

It is the first bottling to carry the signature of Gordon Motion, the new Malt Master, after the retirement of John Ramsay. It is also the first available vintage that was specifically laid down to become a vintage. Previous releases were selected out of the existing cask stock in the warehouses. Note that the 1995 vintage was the first to be designed as a vintage, but that year’s production is not ready to be bottled yet.

Around a third of the selected casks were seasoned with oloroso sherry by three bodegas in Jerez de la Frontera. The other casks were ex-bourbon.


Glenrothes 1998 Glenrothes 1998 (43%, OB 2009)

Nose: initially hints of dry flowers, cereals and butter caramel / toffee. Easy to see this is a sibling of the Glenrothes Select Reserve, but with a more refined character. Quite fresh with a slight nuttiness. Notes of vanilla and citrus fruits. Lemon grass. Sweet honey. Mouth: starts gently on honey, fruity marmalade and apple. Quite sweet and vanillated. Some coconut. More depth when the spices kick in (mostly cinnamon). Finish: medium length with a lovely spicy profile (nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla).

This Glenrothes 1998 has more depth than you would expect from a 10 year-old. Not overly complex but fresh and well-made! Around € 42.

Score: 84/100

Glenrothes 1998 3 Ruben Luyten 2009-10-28

    Glenrothes 1998 Vintage is already on some shelves in the UK.

  • Ruben

    I’ve seen it in one online shop, but officially it has not been released yet.

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  • Aaron

    if you’re a fan of Lagavulin, don’t get this. Someone who wanted to buy me a present forgot my favorite scotch name and the clerk recommended this. What a miss.

    Too late to regift it.

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  • DramCrusher

    Definitely not an Isla, but this dram IMHO represents the very best character of Speyside.
    Try to enjoy it for what it is. Having tasted a LOT of Glenrothes this is one of their finest expressions which is REALLY saying something. Also, once this vintage is gone there will never be another just like it. Enjoy!!!!

  • DramCrusher

    Been waiting to see this one the shelf or about two years now (tried it at a tasting back in 2010)! Better get a bottle before it goes up in price! If you’re looking for a Whiskey with a sweet, dessert like profile GET THIS VINTAGE! The best of Speyside IMHO. (and I LOVE me some Speyside!)



March 2015
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  • WhiskyNotes: I'm not counting new releases - the producer can basically ask any price you want regardless of the real value. That leaves us with a couple of 1972's
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WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.