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 (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.