The Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve is the first release from this distillery to be matured entirely in first-fill sherry casks – predominantly European oak. Unlike most of the others, it doesn’t have a vintage indication, nor an age statement.
Glenrothes, and the rest of the Edrington distilleries like The Macallan and Highland Park, have more or less a monopoly on new European oak casks, produced to their standards in Jerez from oak that is being cut in Galicia in the North of Spain.
Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve (40%, OB 2014)
Nose: raisins and plenty of all-spice / gingerbread notes. Oranges with cloves. Cinnamon. Some nutty notes too (hazelnut, almond). Honey in the background.
Mouth: woody in the sense that it revolves around ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and other spices. Toasted oak, roasted nuts and a big sugary side, mainly caramelized sugar. Lacks a bit of a sparkle maybe.
Finish: not too long with very similar flavours.
To me this should have been called European Oak Reserve. It does show the spicy side of these casks, but not the true glory of first-fill sherry in my opinion – it’s pretty flat. A missed opportunity. Around € 50.