Cigar Aficionado

First Taste of The Glenrothes Vintage 1995

The latest release in the vintage program of The Glenrothes—1995—marks a new milestone for the Speyside Scotch distillery. The single-malt whisky is made from the first casks laid down by the company specifically for the purpose of making a vintage whisky expression.

First-fill Sherry casks were mingled with some refill Bourbon and Sherry vessels to create the 1995 vintage, which has been described by brand ambassador Ronnie Cox as a malt for "after-dinner, when conversation is flowing." It debuts in November in the United States.

The long-standing Glenrothes vintage program has previously been fed by casks that were cherry-picked from containers filled during a certain year, but not earmarked for special bottling. If not for their being chosen as exemplary by the malt master, they might have been used in a blend, such as The Famous Grouse or Cutty Sark, which are made by the distillery owner Berry Brothers & Rudd.

This release was the first to be specially laid down, but it is not the first bottling of this kind. The 1998 release, which debuted last year, holds that distinction. Glenrothes does not release their vintages according to age, but rather by when the malt master feels they are ready, hence the discrepancy by which the younger whisky was released first.

The latest release is very much in keeping with the soft pear profile of past vintages, but other sweeter fruits and berries, as well as spices, bust to get out. It is this complexity that gives this essentially mild-bodied whisky such weight.

This whisky will be available nationwide for $82.00.
The Glenrothes Vintage 1995 (43 percent alcohol or 86 proof, $82)

APPEARANCE: The uncolored Glenrothes is always very light yellow, of course, but tight legs trail down the glass quite slowly.

NOSE: Port wine is the first impression, followed by honey and butterscotch with a slight citrus.

MOUTH: It hits the palate with a licorice impression that quickly turns to the signature pear and ripe red fruits. As it settles a softening of butterscotch and honey with floral overtones takes over. Not done yet, it moves on to a tang of lemon zest and Stilton cheese.

FINISH: All but the citrus and cheese hang off the long lush, almost oily, finish, and minutes later there is an expected hush of cedar wood.

"Thank you Christopher, we've corrected the error. " —September 16, 2011 15:43 PM
"I think you need to check on your typographical error, as the statement should read "after-dinner, when conversation is flowing." instead of "after-dinner, when conservation is flowing.". " —September 16, 2011 15:37 PM