I plea guilty. Although I try to avoid blind purchases at all times, sometimes I am tempted and I buy a bottle without tasting it beforehand. I decided to buy this 39 year-old Glenrothes 1969 by Duncan Taylor after reading Bert Bruyneel’s whisky diary. He’s also the one who gave me a dram yesterday – my own bottle is still closed.
Lonach is a series of bottlings by Duncan Taylor meant for “under proof casks” i.e. casks of which the alcohol volume dropped below (or just above) the limit of 40%. The usual remedy is to mix two casks in order to obtain a final volume of more than 40%.
Glenrothes 39yo 1969
(42,7%, Duncan Taylor Lonach 2008)
Nose: very fruity, tropical even. Ripe apricots, tangerines, oranges. A fruit basket in a great mix with creamy vanilla. Not weak at all. Subtle hints of wax, almonds and white pepper. Wonderful notes of guimauves (marshmallow candy).
Mouth: this is where you notice the lower alcohol volume. A subdued start, although it picks up very well. Again very fruity (orange marmalade). Honey. Vanilla. Perfect oak influence now, with spices (nutmeg, pepper) and a bit of tannins.
Finish: not too long, but fruity and spicy in a near-perfect balance.
As Bert told me the other day, there’s a huge difference between a cask strength whisky of 43% and a higher strength whisky that has been diluted to 43%. He’s absolutely right. This is wonderful old whisky, aromatic, complex and perfectly gentle. One of my best Glenrothes ever. Still to be found in some places. Around € 140. Thanks Bert!