40 % LAST BOTTLE AND EMPTY The Highland Distillers Co, Ltd Gordon & Macphail. Elgin
GLEN ROTHES - GLENLIVET
20 years old
46 % LAST BOTTLE AND EMPTY Sherry Wood Matured Distilled December 1967 Bottled February 1988 Proprietors: The Highland Distilleries Co, Ltd Wm, Cadenhead, 18 Golden Square, Aberdeen
8 years old
43% THE ULTIMATE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY SELECTION Distilled 16.1.86 Bottled 10.94 Cask No. 91 Van Wees, Amersfoort
12 years old
43 % LAST BOTTLE AND EMPTY 1985 Distilled 1985 Bottled 1997 Berry Bros. & Rudd, 3 St James's Street, London
17 years old
40% CENTENARY RESERVE 1895- 1995 Distilled 1978 Bottled 1995 Proprietors: The Highland Distilleries Co, Ltd 100 years of quality and exellence Gordon & Macphail, Elgin
12 years old
43 % Last Bottle and empty 1987 Distilled 1987 Bottled 1999 Berry Bros. & Rudd, 3 st James's Street, London
11 years old
43 % 1989 Distilled 1989 Bottled 2000 Berry Bros. & Rudd, 3 St James's Street, London
28 years old
INFO RESTRICTED RELEASE 1971 Distilled 1971 Bottled 1999 Genummerde flessen Berry Bros. & Rudd, 3 St James's Street, London
27 years old
43 % 1973 Distilled 1973 Bottled 2000 Berry Bros. & Rudd, 3 St. James's Street, London
21 years old
INFO RESTRICTED RELEASE LAST BOTTLE AND EMPTY 1978 Distilled 1978 Bottled 1999 Genummerde flessen Berry Bros. & Rudd, 3 St. James's Street, London
35 years old
40.90 % PEERLESS A Unique Whisky of Distinction ´'Fons et Origo' Cask Strenght Distilled 05.1967 Cask No. 8389 Bottled 06.2002 231 bottles Genummerde flessen Duncan Taylor & Co.
18 years old
INFO 1981 Distilled 1981 Bottled 1999 Berry Bros. & Rudd, 3 St. James's Street, London
12 years old
43 % 1992 Distilled 1992 Bottled 2004 Berry Bros. & Rudd, 3 St. James' Street, London
15 years old
43 % 1989 THE ULTIMATE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY SELECTION Distilled 21/8/89 Bottled 8/11/04 Matured in a Bourbon Barrel Cask no. 31141 Numbered Bottles The Ultimate Whisky Company, N.L.
13 years old
43 % 1990 THE ULTIMATE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY SELECTION Distilled 11/5/90 Bottled 28/11/03 Matured in a Sherry Butt Butt no. 10984 Numbered Bottles The Ultimate Whisky Company, N.L.
Aged 41 years
43.0 % 1 9 6 8 PEERLESS SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY Cask Strenght Singl;e Speyside Malt DUNCAN TAYLOR Unique Whiskies of Distinction Fons et Origo D T C Distilled 19.06.68 Cask no. 9974 Bottled 22.02.10 139 Numbered Bottles Duncan Taylor and Co, Ltd, Huntly,
1 9 9 4 17 years old
46 % THE ULTIMATE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY Speyside Single Malt Distilled: 28/01/94 Matured in a Refill Sherry Butt Cask no: 1102 Bottled: 09/03/11 846 Numbered Bottles Natural Colour Non Chillfiltered Selected by The Ultimate Whisky
GLENROTHESINFO 1 9 8 6 20 years old
40 % PREMIERS CHOICE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY SIR WINSTON CHURCHIL 1874- 1965 Distilled in the year 1986 Bottled in the year 2006 Numbered Bottles Imported by Independent Wine & Spirit (Thailand) Co,Ltd, Bangkok GLENROTHES 30 years old
43 % THE MACPHAILS SINGLE DISTILLERIES COLLECTION From Glenrothes Distillery Specially selected, produced and bottled By Gordon & Macphail, Elgin
Single malt Scotch Whisky
Distillation date: 06/07/2001
Cask Type: 1st Fill Bourbon Barrel
Cask Number: 4319
Bottling Month: July 2016
Number of Bottles: 320
Working with the specialists at
Gordon & Macphail,
Euan Pate of Romanes and Paterson
the cask from Glenrothes Distillery
for this unique bottling.
Exclusively bottled for
ROMANES & PATERSON Est 1808
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin
Matured for 19 years
The Ultimate Single malt Scotch Whisky
Speyside Single Malt
Matured in a Refill Sherry Butt
Cask no: 15973
Bottle no: 694
Selected by The Ultimate Whisky
1 9 9 5
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Matured Exclusively in American
Distilled and Bottled in
Berry Bros & Rudd Ltd,
3 St Jame’s Street, London.
Berry Bros. & Rudd first supplied the
British Royal Family during George lll’s
has continued to do so to the present day.
The Vintage Single Malt
The Glenrothes is bottled at its peak of maturity and flavor, rather than at a predetermined age.
Distillatio is unusually slow and takes place in tall stills, which delivers a sweet clear fruity spirit.
Maturation is in American oak and Spanish oak casks which produce our award – winning
Speyside single malt.
Allof our malt is Vintage whisky, representing a sigle year or collection of years. Our single
Vintages, limited and rare, each captures a unique essence and flavor, never to be repeated.
Our Rserves give you the opportunity of enjoying a numer of selected Vintages from
different years – married together in perfect harmony.
Ronnie Cox, The Glenrothes Brand Abassador
Berry Bros. & Rudd
Founded in 1698 at No. 3 St. Jame’s Street in London. Berry Bros. & Rudd is probably the
world’s oldest wine and spirit merchant.
As proprietors of The Glenrothes, it is Berry Bros. & Rudd’s valuas of quality and integrity
which determine the philosophy behind the well – bred Speyside single malt. Vintage
whisky like vintage wine, matured at its own pace.
Our long history has provided us with the understanding and the patience to ensure that
we only offer expressions of The Glenrothes to our discerning customers at the moment
when our experts deem them to be perfectly mature and ready to be savoured.
Simon Berry, Chairman Berry Bros. & Rudd.
Our long history has provided us with the understanding and the patience to ensure that
we only offer expressions of The Glenrothes to our discerning customers at the moment
when our experts deem them to be perfectly mature and ready to be savoured.
James Stuart,eigenaar vanMacallan, besloot uit te breiden, maar kon dit niet geheel zelf opbrengen.
Hij nam als partners twee medewerkers van deCaledonian Bank,de beheerder van het filiaal te Rothers,Robert Dicken de juridische adviseur van het filiaal te Elgin, van dezelfde bank,John Cruickshank. De uitbreiding was heel succesvol en de partners dachten aan de bouw van een nieuwe distilleerderij.Maar in1878brak de ergste economische crisis sinds honderd jaar uit.
De City ofGlasgow Bankging bankroet en deCaledonian Bankkwam in heel grote moeilijkheden .
Dit was rampzalig voor de twee partners vanJames Stuart, zowelDickalsCruickshankwaren niet alleen aandeelhouders van de bank, maar hadden hun eigen rekeningcourant krediet gebruikt voor de financiering van hun deelname in het whiskyavontuur.
Ze beëindigden hun samenwerking metJames Stuart en vormden een nieuwe maatschappij samen metWilliam Grant & Co, te Elgin. Door de gewijzigde omstandigheden werdGlenrothesop een veel kleinere schaal gebouwd. De eerste spirit kwam op28 December 1879uit de ketels.Dat was ook de dag dat tengevolge van een geweldige storm de brug over de Tay instortte.
De manager wasJ.B. Henderson.De tijden bleven slecht, enGlenrothesproduceerde ongeveer80.000 gallonswhisky per jaar, terwijl het132.000gallonskon produceren.
Er moest steeds meer geld worden geleend: eerst van de bank 2000 pond, gevolgd door weer 800 pond, toen van twee lokale zakenmensen elk 1000 pondd, gevolgd door 2000 pond, geleend van Vice - Admiraal Crombie Gordon en ook nog 600 pond van een dominee in Archiestown.
En alsof het nog niet erg genoeg was beslootJames Stuart, hun vroegere partner, zelf toch een tweede distilleerderij te bouwen in 1883:Glen Spey.Er volgde een strijd om het gebruik van water, wat een jaar in beslag nam.
In1887fuseerden deIslay Distillery Company, eigenaar vanBunnahabhain, metGlenrothes, en met actieve steun vanW.A. Robertson, vanRobertson & Baxter, die zich tot afname van veel van de whisky verplichtte, werdHighland Distillersgevormd.
Na deze fusie ging het veel beter metGlenrothesen in 1898werd de produktiecapaciteit verdubbeld.De eerste directeur vanHighland DistillerswerdW.A. Robertson. Robertson & Baxter (1857)zijn whiskyblenders en wijnhandelaren te Glasgow.
In1892wordtGlenglassaughgekocht en in1898werdTamdhuovergenomen.
Op15 Mei 1922ging 200.000 Gallon whisky in vlammen op.
In1980werd het ketelhuis uitgebreid,gevolgd door een uitbreidingin 1989, wat het aantal ketels op tien bracht, met een capaciteit van 5 miljoen liter spirit per jaar.Highland Parkwerd overgenomen in1937.
In1948werden aandelen gekocht inRobertson & Baxter, blenders van onder andereCutty SarkvanBerry Bros & Rudd.(1690).Robertson & Baxterzijn zelf weer de eigenaars vanLang Brothers, op hunbeurt de eigenaars vanGlengoyne.
In1970werdMatthew Gloag & Son Ltd,blenders vanThe Famous Grouseovergenomen doorThe Highland Distillers Company Pic.
InNovember 1979wasHighland Distillersdoelwit van een overname poging doorHiram Walker (Canada).Ook werd er een nieuw ketelhuis bijgebouwd en werd het aantal ketels van acht op tien verhoogd. Deze poging vond geen genade in de ogen van de Monopolies and Mergers Commission in Januari1980.In1998was er een management buy-out.
In1990betaalde The Highland Distillers Company Pic 75.9 000.000 pond aanOrphar,de controlerende firma vanRemy MartinenCointreau,wat ze van 20 % in het aandelen-kapitaal verzekerde. Toen ook verkocht Highland Distillerszijn 12,7 % belang inThe MacallanaanOrpharen verwierf voor 31.3 000.000 pondThe Glenturret distilleryvanCointreau.
Zowel het proces- als koelwater komt van land, rondom de distilleerderij gelegen. Glenrothesmaakt ook deel uit vanThe Famous Grouse.
De bijna kogelronde fles vanGlenrothesis ontworpen doorClare BerryGreen,zuster vanDavid Berry Green, van het meest prestigieuse wijnhuis van Engeland, en 300 jaar oud,Berry Bros & Rudd.Ze liet zich inspireren door de gebruikte flessen in de 'Sample Room'.
De Mash tun is 5 ton. De twintig Wash backs hebben een inhoud van elk 25000 liter.De vijf Wash stills zijn 22000 liter groot, de vijf Spirit stills elk 19000 liter en worden indirect door stoom verhit.Glenrothes is 'Home of Cutty Sark'.
Glenrothes12 years old werd voor het eerst uitgebracht in 1987.De maximale output is 4,7 miljoen liter spirit.Glenrothesis een snelrijpende whisky, en is zelfs al heel genietbaar met vier a vijf jaar.Glenrothesis heel geliefd bij blenders.
GlenrothesDistillery is famous for a fire which destroyed the No. 1 cask warehouse on15th May 1922. Two hundred thousand gallons of maturing whisky went up in smoke and poured into the Burn of Rothes as the casks exploded.
Is is said that the trout were easy to reel in that night as they were 'docile' from theGlenrothesspirit.
PEERLESS Duncan Taylor & Co, Huntly, Aberdeen. In 1933 begon Abe Rosenberg, samen met twee broers een drankengroothandel in Syosset te New York. De Star Liqueor Company verkocht de merken Duncan Taylor, Hartley Parkers en McColls in de staten New York, Connecticut en Miami. Na de tweede wereldoorlog werd Abe Rosenberg de alleen importeur van J & B blended whisky. In 1964 begon Abe Rosenberg te investeren in vaten Schotse Single Malt Whisky, en lette bij aankoop in het bijzonder op de soort- en kwaliteit van het hout van de vaten. De whiskies van Islay hadden zijn bijzondere voorkeur. In 1994, op 85 jarige leeftijd overleed Abe Rosenberg, en het beheer van zijn omvangrijke erfenis kwam in handen van een liefdadigheidsinstelling, die zijn naam droeg. Om de erfenis ten gelde te maken zochten de beheerders contact in Schotland en kwamen uiteindelijk in contact met Euan Shand. Euan Shand, zoon van een vroegere manager van Glendronach, en opgegroeid op de distilleer-derij, ging na zijn opleiding werken bij Allied Distillers te Glasgow, en was ook nog kort tijdelijk manager van Ardmore. Na een korte onderbreking administrateur - boekhouder startte hij de Bennachie Scotch Whisky Co. In 1997 kocht Euan Shand de merken Glendarroch en Whisky Galore. Euan Shand werd koper de whiskyvoorraad en Duncan Taylor & Co. Deze voorraad bestaat uit ongeveer 4000 vaten whisky, deels inmiddels heel oud en bijzonder. Macallen, Bowmore, Glen Grant en St. Magdalene, Laphroaig en Bunnahabhain uit 1966, gelagerd in Cognac en Sherryvaten.
In1896, extension work at theGlenrothes - Glenlivetdistillery began on a second malt kin and an increase in stills from two to four but before the work was finished a fire in December1897caused serious damage. The distillery saw further damage with a serious explosion in 1903 and again in 1922 when there was a fire in ware- house Number 1.
Glenrothes - GlenlivetDistillery was closed in1942, when the Ministry of Foodrequisitioned it for drying oats During the1970sthe distillery was completely refurbished and in1982anew stillHouse was built for ten stills .In 1972 Highland Distilleries Co Ltdset up the subsidiaryGlenrothes - GlenlivetLtdto manage the distillery.
In1988this company becameGlenrothes Distillery Co Ltd
In1868James Davidsonsold hisMacallan distilleryat Rothes, Moray toJamesStuart,proprietor of theMills of Rothes.
In1875James Stuartwent into partnership withRobert Dick, the agent of theCaledonian Bankin Rothes. Two other partners joined them:William Grant,also of theCaledonian BankandJohn Cruickshanka solicitor from Elgin in Moray
The four men formed the firm ofJames Stuart & Coto improve the distillery. In1878they decided to build a new distillery in Rothes, Moray, but the project wasThreatened by the collapse of the City ofGlasgow Bank.
The result was the suspension of business at theCaledonian Bankand consequentlythe partnership was dissolved in1878.James Stuartretained theMacallandistilleryand meal mill. In the same yearJohn Cruickshank,William GrantandRobert Dickformed a new firm,William Grant & Coand continued with the construction of the new distillery.
In May1879theGlenrothes - Glenlivetdistillery was opened, withRobertson &Baxterappointed as agents
The partners faced several years of financial difficulty and debt, including pressurefrom the bank onRobert DickandWilliam Grantwho were still employees.
From1883the performance ofGlenrothes - Glenlivetimproved. In1884marketingwas assisted when the firm was finally permitted, together with the other distillersof Speyside, Moray to use the formerly restricted'Glenlivet'name and so the distillery became known as theGlenrothes - Glenlivet Distillery
However in1885the decrease in the distiller's profits once more reflected the depression of the market. InJuly 1897as a result of this depressionWilliam Grant& Comerged with theIslay Distillery, proprietors ofBunnahabhainDistillery,on Islay, Argyll & Bute, to formHighland Distilleries Co Ltd.
September 2012 GLENROTHES EXTRAORDINARY CASK COLLECTION: Berry Bross & Ruddhas launched a1970 Vintageas the first from a series of single cask1970 single cask bottling at 40.6 % and non chill filtered froma ex bourbon hogshead.
October, 2014 Berry Bros. & Rudd Spiritshas announced the release ofThe Glenrothes Vintage Reserve, a range of 10 different vintages from the last three decades. The GlenrothesVintage single malts all carry an age statement and have an RRP of TW$1200 per bottle. The Glenrothes1989, 1992, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 will initially launch in Taiwan in November with worldwide release following in2015.
Ronnie Cox,The Glenrothesbrand heritage director, said: "Unlike other malts that bottle by age, we choose whiskies that represent the best of a particular year and marry them together when they are ready. "Whisky enthusiasts want to know what they are buying and, as ever, we are happy to oblige by being open and transparent about the 10 Vintages assembled together for Vintage Reserve, our most complex Reserve to date," Cox said.
Mashing is speedy, while fermentation in a mix of steel and wood is on the shorter side. A ratio of two wood to one steel balances any differences in character, while the length of the fermentation introduces a cereal note beneath the fruit. Distillation, however, is long in very tall stills with boil bulbs which help to maximise reflux and allow the full range ofGlenrothes’ complexities to be teased out.
The bulk is then aged in ex-Sherry casks (European and Spanish) which again necessitates the need for lengthy maturation. Ex-Bourbon is also used. The result is a multifaceted single malt which combines nuts and fruits with a distinctly sweet spiciness.
Built in1878at the start of the third wave of distilleries,Glenrothesalmost foundered before it was even completed. Like any number of what were still speculative ventures, the initial investors (all of whom ownedMacallanat the time) fell foul of wider economic circumstance, in their case the collapse of theGlasgow Bank. The group split, withWilliam Grant (not the same as Glenfiddich),Robert DickandJohn Cruikshankcontinuing with their Rothesplan which was only completed thanks to a timely loan from theUnited Free Presbyterian Church of Knockandowho though strict Rechabites (teetotalers) were clearly imbued with the spirit of Christian charity.
Glenrothesprospered after this less than happy start and when it amalgamated withBunnahabhainin1887broughtHighland Distillersinto existence. WithRobertson & Baxteras agents,Glenrotheswas immediately marked out as top-class blending material, its most notable destinations being Cutty Sarkand TheFamous Grouse.
As with many distilleries, the1960sboom saw an increase in capacity(here from four to six stills), and continuing optimism sawanother pair being addedin1980just as the rest of the industry was calming supply down. In1989it once again defied the market and upped the number to ten.
In1987its long relationship withCutty SarkbroughtGlenrothesinto the portfolio of London wine merchantsBerry Brothers & Rudd(which owned 50% of theCutty brand). This was given greater impetus in1993whenBerrysrepackaged the single malt and began releasing expressions as vintages rather than standard age statements. These smaller single year batches allowedBerrysto express different aspects of the whisky’s evolution during maturation (rather than differences between flavour from year to year).
In recent years the vintages have been joined by larger volume no-age-statement releases such asSelect ReserveandAlba Reserve.
In2010,Berrys soldCutty SarktoEdrington(the firm formed out ofHighland Distillers) in exchange for ownership ofThe Glenrothesbrand. The plant itself however remained part ofEdringtonand the liquid played a significant role in the firm’s blends as well as those from competitors.
In2017Edringtonbought theGlenrothesbrand back fromBerry Bros.in a bid to accelerate the single malt’s growth in international markets.Glenrothessingle malt Speyside whisky official bottling was launched in
1987and 12 years old. Seven years laterBerry Bros & Rudmade the bolt step to releasing vintages expressions. The only other distillery that followed a few years later wasBalblairdistillery. This bottling of vintage
madeThe Glenrothesstand out but in2008B. B & Rdecided to release expressions without vintage. the first one wasRobur Reserveand was followed by more bottlings.
But in2017The Edrington Groupreclaimed ownership ofThe Glenrothesafter seven years withB B & R, and in2018The Edrington Groupdeclared that vintage bottlings fromThe Glenrothesare a thing of the pastand ina new range was launched with age statements !
James Stuart & Cobuilds a new distillery inRotheswithWilliam Grant, Robert Dick andJohn Cruikshank
The distillery opens underWilliam Grant & Co,and minus the involvement ofStuartwho suffered financial setbacks
The distillery changes its name toGlenrothes-Glenlivet
A fire breaks out at the distillery, and an explosion six years later causes significant damage
Glenrothes'stills are expanded from four to six. Over the next 26 years the figure rises to 10 stills
Glenrothesbegins its relationship with London wine merchantBerry Brothers & Ruddby joining its portfolio
Berry Bros.repackages the brand and begins to release single vintages
Edrington, along withWilliam Grant & Sons,buysHighland Distillers
Edrington buys the Cutty Sark brand from Berry Bros, giving the merchant the Glenrothes brand (not the distillery) in return
The Glenrothesno-age-statementManse Brae collectionis released
TheGlenrothesbrand is repurchased byEdrington, reuniting the brand and distillery once more
CAPACITY (MLPA) i
CONDENSER TYPE i
Shell and tube
FERMENTATION TIME i
GRIST WEIGHT (T) i
HEAT SOURCE i
MASH TUN TYPE i
SPIRIT STILL CHARGE (L) i
SPIRIT STILL SHAPE i
Onion with boil ball
40,000 butt equivalent of dunnage and racked
WASH STILL CHARGE (L) i
WASH STILL SHAPE i
Onion with boil ball
WASHBACK SIZE (L) i
WASHBACK TYPE i
12 wood, 8 stainless steel
WATER SOURCE i
YEAST TYPE i
The Edrington Group
1999 - present (distillery only from 2010-17)
Berry Bros & Rudd
2010 - 2017 (brand only)
1887 - 1999
William Grant & Co
1879 - 1887
James Stuart & Co
1878 - 1879
GLENROTHES 1988 VINTAGE GETS SECOND RELEASE
Speyside distilleryGlenrotheshas unveiled the second edition of its1988vintage single malt – eight years after its initial release.
Glenrothes 1988 2nd Edition
Second look: FormerGlenrothesmalt masterJohn Ramsaydecided the whisky needed more time in cask
The first edition of the 1988 vintage came in2009, when the thenGlenrothesmalt master,John Ramsay, bottled some of the whisky, but decided that the rest needed to spend more time in cask.
Glenrothes 1988 2nd Editionwas matured in a mix of first fill American oak Sherry hogsheads and refill Sherry butts.
Bottled at 44.1% abv, it is higher in strength than the 1st Edition (which was 43% abv) and, saidGlenrothes,has ‘greater intensity and a richer character’.
Described by brand heritage director Ronnie Cox as ‘a deliciously fullGlenrothesmade for the ultimate armchair conversation’,Glenrothes 1988 2nd Editionis available fromBerry Bros & Rudd,priced at £375 for a 70cl bottle, and internationally for €359/US$500/NT$8,500.
GLENROTHES DITCHES VINTAGES FOR NEW RANGE
Speyside distillery Glenrothes is replacing its range of vintage whiskies with a series of age-stated malts that ‘talk to the modern drinker’.
Glenrothes Soleo Collection
Soleo Collection:Glenrothesbelieves age statements indicate a higher quality whisky
The newGlenrothes Soleo Collection, which will replace all existingGlenrothesexpressions, features six Sherried single malts, five of which carry an age statement.
The move is a departure from the vintages – bottlings containing whisky distilled in one single year –Glenrotheshas become renowned for since introducing them in1993.
A spokesperson forGlenrothessaid: ‘Premium drinkers are more confident when choosing a whisky with an age statement, as it acts as an important cue in navigating the range.
‘What’s more, to them, the age statement is indicative of a whisky with better taste and a higher quality.’
The new whiskies in the range include:
Glenrothes Soleo Collection 10 Year Old(£37), a 40% abv malt matured in Sherry-seasoned oak casks with notes of shortbread, vanilla and citrus peel.
Glenrothes Soleo Collection 12 Year Old(£42), also bottled at 40% abv and which has been matured in Sherry-seasoned casks, but which has notes of cinnamon and melon.
Glenrothes Soleo Collection Whisky Maker’s Cut(£55), a no-age-statement expression matured in first-fill Sherry-seasoned casks and bottled at 48.8% abv.
Glenrothes Soleo Collection 18 Year Old (£100), created using a high proportion of whisky matured in first-fill Sherry-seasoned casks and bottled at 43% abv.
Glenrothes Soleo Collection 25 Year Old(£375), which having also been matured in a high proportion of first-fill Sherry-seasoned casks and bottled at 43% abv, has notes of salted caramel, mango and coriander.
Glenrothes Soleo Collection 40 Year Old(price tbc), which will be introduced in February 2019.
The newGlenrothesrange will continue to be presented in the same signatureGlenrothesbottle, though the labels will now feature a flavour map as a guide for buyers to navigate the range.
The range is being introduced just over a year after theGlenrothesbrand was sold by London wine and spirits merchantBerry Bros. & Ruddback to distillery ownerEdrington.
And then there isGlenrothes.Now fully under the ownership ofEdrington, the attachment to vintage releases has been cast aside in favour of a (mostly) age-stated range named theSoleo Collectionthat is, like much ofEdrington’soutput, matured in ex-Sherry casks.
Glenrothes Soleo Collection
Numbers game: The new, age-statedGlenrothesrange is a departure for the malt
We’re told by the company that ‘premium drinkers are more confident when choosing a whisky with an age statement, as it acts as an important cue in navigating the range’. Beyond my befuddlement about what exactly a ‘premium drinker’ is, I can’t really argue with that.
‘What’s more, to them, the age statement is indicative of a whisky with better taste and a higher quality.’ (My italics.) Now this is interesting. ‘To them…’ The implication here is that Edrington doesn’t believe this statement to be true – and, by the way, it certainly isn’t – but it’s willing to go along with it because these ‘premium drinkers’ mistakenly believe it.
This takes us back to the rationale behindGlenrothes’espousal of vintage releases in the first place, back in 1993. I well remember �*��*���iPYm+��*�@�*�upremacy of maturity over age, of releasing whiskies when they were at the perfect pitch, rather than just because they’d reached a particular birthday.
This philosophy also gaveGlenrothesa quirk, a slight sense of idiosyncrasy in an increasingly crowded and homogenous marketplace of malts. Did it take a bit longer to explain to people? Did those people have to spend a few minutes more getting their heads around the concept? Yes. So what?
This is not to say that the new Glenrothes Soleo whiskies are bad. They’re not, they’re perfectly decent single malts from a fabulous distillery. Nor is it to say that age statements have no place in whisky; they are what they are, a serviceable but imperfect and never definitive signpost to relative quality and value.
I think, in the end, it’s the lack of courage that bugs me about the Glenrothes revamp. A 10-year-old, a 12-year-old, an 18-year-old, a 25-year-old and a 40-year-old; the riskiest move is a ‘premium’ NAS whisky which costs more than the 12. Soleo, but where’s the soul?
It’s safe, it’ll probably be successful, but it also smacks of an opportunity lost to reinvent the Glenrothes vintage USP for a new generation, just because it might be a slightly harder sell, and represent a road ‘less travelled by’.
GLENROTHES TAPS FINE WINE FOR NEW RANGE
Speyside single malt Glenrothes has launched the Glenrothes Wine Merchant’s Collection, a new limited edition collection of whiskies finished in casks sourced from some of the world’s most famous wine estates.
Glenrothes Wine Merchant's Collection
Final touch: Glenrothes 1992 has been matured in a selection of wine, Port and rum casks
Distillery owner Berry Bros & Rudd created the Glenrothes Wine Merchant’s Collection using whisky distilled at the Rothes distillery in 1992, and matured until 2014 in ex-Bourbon hogshead casks.
The whisky was then transferred into casks that previously contained wines from Château de Beaucastel (Châteauneuf-du-Pape), Lustau (Jerez) and Ridge (Calfornia) vineyards, Port houses Warre’s and Graham’s, and into ex-rum casks from the St Lucia Distillery.
Only several hundred bottles of each expression – and as few as 138 for the rum-finished vintage – are available to purchase from Berry Bros & Rudd and select retailers in various markets, priced at £200 (US$300) per bottle.
Ronnie Cox, brands heritage director at Berry Bros & Rudd, said that many casks had to be ‘blended away’, leaving the brand with a few casks that ‘generously’ complemented the flavour profile of Glenrothes.
Cox said: ‘The combination of flavours of both wine and whisky and their balance is always a delightful challenge, but I hope you agree that each of these expressions proudly manifests the distinguished nobility of both.’
The new collection follows two recent relaunches from Glenrothes, including the second version of the Glenrothes 1988 vintage and the second edition of Glenrothes 1995 American Oak.
LAST DROP RELEASES GLENROTHES 1968 ‘TWINS’
Rare spirits specialist The Last Drop Distillers has released its first Speyside single malts – a pair of single cask Glenrothes whiskies distilled in 1968.
Rare pair: The two Glenrothes casks contained whisky distilled on the same day in 1968
The two ex-Bourbon casks have lain together maturing for nearly 50 years after being filled on the same day in 1968 at the distillery in Rothes, Speyside.
According to whisky writer Charles MacLean, the first Glenrothes – limited to 168 bottles at 51.3% abv – has ‘a complex, mellow aroma which is at once fruity and herbal’, while the second (141 bottles; 50.2% abv) has a highly perfumed aroma of ‘scented hand cream, attar of roses, carnations’.
Both whiskies carry a price tag of £5,400/US$6,250, including a 70cl bottle, plus a 50ml miniature, in a suede-lined, handmade red leather case. The pack also includes a certificate of authenticity and a pocket-sized tasting book.
The Glenrothes pair are the 12th release from The Last Drop, the second single malt Scotch (after Glen Garioch 1967) and the first Speyside single malt from the company.
The Last Drop Distillers, founded by drinks industry veterans James Espey and Tom Jago, was acquired by US-based Sazerac, owner of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, in 2016.
GLENROTHES 1995 AMERICAN OAK RELAUNCHED
Speyside distillery Glenrothes has announced the relaunch of its 1995 vintage single malt – six years after the year was initially released.
Glenrothes 1995 American Oak
Second time around: The American oak casks used were ‘not ready’ for the initial Glenrothes 1995 release
Glenrothes Vintage 1995 American Oak is a vatting of 100% first fill American oak casks seasoned with dry oloroso Sherry in Jerez de la Frontera – casks which were deemed ‘not ready’ at the time of the initial 1995 release in 2011.
The earlier release – the first specifically laid in cask to be bottled as a Glenrothes vintage single malt – was a combination of first fill American oak seasoned with Sherry, and refill casks.
The new Glenrothes 1995 release is described by malt master Gordon Motion as bringing to mind ‘sweet, creamy vanilla, lemon zest and melon’.
Ronnie Cox, Glenrothes brand heritage director, added: ‘Again we have another example of how casks, not quite good enough some years before, have achieved unanticipated greatness with the combination of additional time and cask selection.
‘The Vintage 1995 American Oak is another cracker for the back of my cabinet to be revisited with really good friends.’
The relaunch follows a second release of Glenrothes 1988 vintage, announced last month.
Glenrothes Vintage 1995 American Oak is bottled at 45% abv and will retail at £100 per bottle in the UK, and €116, US$123 or TWD3,946 overseas.
G&M UNVEILS NEW-LOOK PRIVATE COLLECTION
Independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail (G&M) has released two new single cask bottlings from its Private Collection series, a 33-year-old Inverleven and 44-year-old Glenrothes, in redesigned bottles and packaging.
Extremely exclusive: Only a few hundred new-look Private Collection bottles have been produced
The Inverleven single malt was filled into a refill Bourbon barrel, labelled cask #562, for Gordon & MacPhail in 1985, six years before the Lowland distillery was mothballed.
Priced at £1,000 and limited to 130 bottles, the whisky is bottled at a cask strength of 57.4% abv and is said to possess ‘intense tropical fruit aromas’ on the nose and ‘sweet flambéed banana’ on the palate.
The Glenrothes single malt was filled into a refill Sherry puncheon, labelled cask #18440, for Gordon & MacPhail in 1974.
Bottled at 49.5% abv and limited to 276 bottles, the whisky is priced at £1,250 and is said to carry ‘complex aromas of Sherry soaked fruitcake’ on the nose and ‘fruit and nut chocolate with hints of raisin’ on the palate.
The new packaging for the Private Collection range includes a heavyweight bottle with vertical ridges, presented in a veneered wooden gift box.
Future Private Collection releases ‘to be revealed in coming months’ will adopt this new style of packaging, the company said.
The redesign is the latest alteration in a year of change for G&M, after it streamlined its portfolio of products in April from 16 different ranges down to five in order to stop consumers ‘getting lost’.
ordon & MacPhail Private Collection
The Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection includes an ultra-rare whisky from Inverleven Distillery and a 44-year old single malt distilled at Glenrothes Distillery. Philip Day appraises both whiskies.
This detailed review of the Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection includes tasting notes by Gordon & MacPhail as well as Philip Day’s own personal tasting notes.
Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection
The popularity of malt whisky, worth over £1 billion to the UK economy last year, continues to flourish. Cognizant of this trend, Gordon & MacPhail, the specialists in Single malt Scotch whisky maturation is releasing two very desirable bottlings, as part of its redesigned ‘Private Collection’ range of single cask releases, from celebrated, little-known and closed distilleries, which have been personally selected by members of the Urquhart family that has owned the company for four generations.
The new look to the range features beautifully crafted ridged heavyweight bottles presented in exquisitely veneered presentation boxes.
The first releases in the new-look range comprise an ultra-rare whisky from Inverleven Distillery and a forty-four-year-old single malt distilled at Glenrothes Distillery.
Both bottlings have been chosen by Stuart Urquhart, Associate Director of Whisky Supply, who determined that the two whiskies from the Glenrothes and Inverleven distilleries, being matured in Gordon & MacPhail casks, had achieved their peak potential and were ready to be bottled.
In 1985, Ian Urquhart sent a refill bourbon barrel (Cask 562) to the Inverleven Distillery (Dumbarton) situated in the ‘Scottish Lowlands’ whisky region. This distillery had been making spirit for only forty-seven years beginning in 1938 and new-make would only flow for another six years before the Inverleven still was mothballed, in 1991. In 2002, the site was demolished, never to produce again.
Inverleven malt whisky has always been something of a rarity, given the fact that the stills required to produce it were removed in 1991, so the whisky will disappear altogether as stocks are sold off in the decades to come.
This exceptional single malt has matured for thirty-three years before being bottled by Gordon & MacPhail at cask strength (ABV 57.4%). It will retail around £1000.
Aromas: Intense tropical fruit aromas to begin – cooked pineapple, honeydew melon, coconut cream, and little burst of sharp yet sweet lime. A sweet creaminess continues with notes of vanilla ice-cream, sugared red apples, apricot jam, and white chocolate. Hints of overripe cherry and almond marzipan develop into flowering gorse.
Flavours: Creamy and mouth-coating; warming white pepper notes transform into sweet flambéed banana, Madagascan vanilla pod, and salted toffee. Subtle spicy undertones remain as toasted malt comes to the fore; a drying cocoa and charred oak edge develops.
Finish: A long and lingering charred oak finish with a subtle floral edge.
Personal tasting notes
Nose: Aromatic with initial notes of sweet tropical fruit cut by a slight citric tang. Pleasing whiffs of top quality vanilla ice-cream alongside hints of the sticky cherry jam and almondy marzipan of a cherry bakewell.
Taste: Well-rounded creaminess and sweetness on the palette, offering warming peppery notes, complimented by a spicy, if slightly charred oakiness and toasted malt with a final offering of bitter dark chocolate.
Finish: The pleasant charred oakiness with its subtle undertones of floral notes provide a lengthy lingering finish.
In short, a lovely old dram, the nose is tempting while the taste delivers a refined and rewarding experience.
The second ‘Private Collection’ release dates back to 1974 when a refill Sherry puncheon (with a capacity of 110 imperial gallons (500 litres) was filled at Glenrothes Distillery in Speyside. Currently owned by Edrington, and produces some aged malts for Berry Brothers and Rudd, the famed London wine merchants. Most of the spirit from this distillery, however, is best known for its use in blended scotch whiskies, such as ‘Cutty Sark’ and ‘The Famous Grouse’.
This exclusive single malt has matured for forty-three years before being bottled by Gordon & MacPhail at cask strength (ABV 49.5%). It will retail around £1250.
Aromas: Complex; aromas of Sherry soaked fruitcake filled with stewed sultanas mingle with sticky Medjool dates. Dark chocolate and citrus peel notes develop; a gentle woodiness with a delicate herbal edge comes to the fore.
Flavours: Elegant, smooth, and sweet; Subtle cinnamon and nutmeg flavours balance the mature oak and Sherry influences. Notes of fruit and nut chocolate and hints of raisin and toasted walnut emerge and evolve into zesty citrus. Salted toffee develops towards the end.
Finish: A modest, medium sweet finish fades; hints of charred oak and chocolate remain.
Personal tasting notes
Nose: Distinctive sherry aroma combined with hints of alcohol soaked vine fruit are evocative of a matured sherry-fed Christmas fruitcake, minus the over dominance of the spice ingredients. Notable hints of premium quality dark chocolate infused with orange oil mixed with a delicate trace of fresh herbs.
Taste: Exquisitely sweet and smooth with emerging flavours of warming nutmeg and cinnamon and a welcome nutty toffee note together with touches of citrus zest that perfectly balances the influence of the spirit’s time in the Sherry puncheon.
Finish: Lingering chocolate notes combined with subtle hints of charred oak remain as the medium length finish subsides.
Out of the two samples tested, for me this one has the slight edge, being nicely balanced and complex.
Stephen Rankin, Gordon & MacPhail’s Director of Prestige and member of the Urquhart family, said:
“For over a century my family has been maturing whisky and using our skills, experience, and passion for single malts to recognise exactly the right moment to bottle a spirit that will be loved by discerning whisky drinkers around the globe. These two exquisite malts are complemented perfectly by the beautiful new packaging.”
Among Gordon & MacPhail’s maturing stocks are casks from no fewer than twenty-six closed, mothballed or demolished Scotch distilleries – a liquid archive unrivalled anywhere else in the world.
Further ultra-rare releases from the new ‘Private Collection’ will be revealed in coming months.
For further information, please visit their website at https://www.gordonandmacphail.com/
Established in 1895, family-owned Gordon & MacPhail is renowned as a curator of some of the world’s finest and rarest single malt Scotch whiskies from over 100 distilleries. Four generations of the Urquhart family have continued to pursue the perfect partnership between spirit and cask.
Since its foundation, Gordon & MacPhail has carefully matched spirit to the highest quality oak casks which are sent to distilleries throughout Scotland, filled with new-make spirit, and matured either at the distillery of origin or in the firm’s own bonded warehouses in Elgin.
Managing a portfolio of casks is a complex business. The Urquhart family have honed their expertise over generations allowing them to fully comprehend how the different styles of spirit produced by Scotland’s individual distilleries will mature in cask.
It is this simple but endlessly complex pairing that creates an intriguing and unique portfolio of expressions – single malts that Scotch whisky lovers will not find anywhere else.
It is this in-depth knowledge and experience of cask curation that allows them to consistently deliver a range of perfectly matured whiskies.
“Our maturation management creates complex, balanced and subtle single malts, which will only carry the Gordon & MacPhail name when ready”.
The Gordon & MacPhail core malt whisky portfolio:
In 2018, the company unveiled its new portfolio:
Discovery – Utterly dependable, this flavour-led range is the perfect introduction to our portfolio of quality single malt Scotch whiskies.
Distillery Labels – A range celebrating our long-standing relationships with Scotland’s distilleries.
Connoisseurs Choice – The heart of our portfolio – always unique, these non-chill-filtered, natural coloured, small batch expressions are genuine one-offs.
Private Collection – Greatly-aged single malts from celebrated, little-known, or closed distilleries specially selected by members of the Urquhart family.
Generations – A prestigious collection of old, rare, and exclusive masterpieces.
(See website for more details)
In addition to possessing an inimitable knowledge of Scottish single malts and passion for matching spirit with oak, the Urquhart family long held an unfulfilled ambition to own its own distillery. This desire finally became a reality in 1993 with the purchase of the Benromach Distillery on the outskirts of Forres, just twelve miles from the steps of their world famous shop in Elgin. Following five years of careful and deliberate re-equipping, Benromach Distillery was officially reopened by HRH Prince Charles in 1998.
THE WAY I SEE IT...
DON’T LET THE VINTAGE MALT DIE OFF
10 January 2019 by Ronnie Cox
Berry Bros & Rudd’s brands heritage director Ronnie Cox introduced vintages to Glenrothes malts in the 1990s. With the brand now under the ownership of Edrington, which recently reintroduced age statements, Cox argues vintage whisky still has an important role to play.
Glenrothes vintage single malt whisky
Date stamp: A vintage malt, like these Glenrothes editions, contains whisky distilled in a single year
Edrington’s decision to exchange vintage Glenrothes for the Soleo Collection based on age statements has got me thinking. When we pioneered vintage malts at Berry Bros & Rudd in 1994 it was quite a radical move, and one I believe had many virtues.
At the time Berry Bros – better known then as a top-end wine merchant – had a very small, esoteric range of single cask whiskies that we’d bottle occasionally. We also owned the Cutty Sark blend, but we had no distillery and no brand of single malt. So, when looking at the increasingly popular world of single malts, we needed to differentiate ourselves and wondered: ‘What can we add, that hasn’t already been tried?’
We approached what is now Edrington, secured an arrangement to develop the Glenrothes single malt and then looked at the marketing using the wine business as a springboard.
In wines each vintage will be slightly different from the previous one, yet maintain the core values of the Château or producer. Vintages for Glenrothes reflect the character of the distillery but vary according to the natural diversity in the casks rather than the climatic conditions in the vineyard you get with wine. With malt whisky there may be other factors such as changes in strains of barley or in distillery equipment, but I maintain the main cause of vintage variation lies in the wood.
New direction: The Soleo Collection marks a departure from vintage malts for Glenrothes
In my view, because ‘brands’ have to be consistent in flavour, colour and presentation by their very nature, the original recipe may have been maintained without the benefit of our increased knowledge of what happens in the cask. With Glenrothes we wanted to make a virtue out of these natural variations of wood and spirit and apply it to future vintages. In that way we would have lots of different styles and a platform for continuous improvement as opposed to a consistency in age statements.
These styles were also inspired by the wine world. A glass of Champagne represents an ‘upper’. It’s stimulating with its floral, citrus notes and effervescence, and is definitely a pre-dinner drink, while something heavier, spicier and sweeter like vintage Port is for the end of the evening. If it works for wine, we thought why not apply it to whisky with one vintage ‘uplifting’, another ‘relaxing’, and in between what I like to call a ‘conversational’ style of malt. Luckily Glenrothes’ new make sits in the middle – it’s not heavy, oily or full of smoke, so it proved relatively easy to play around with the different casks.
The original malt master John Ramsay and his able successor, Gordon Motion, deserve much of the credit. I would go to them and say we’re looking for an ‘uplifting’ style and after a year or two they understood exactly what I wanted. To make it easier for ourselves we limited the availability of the vintage to just 2% of what the distillery produced in the selected year. The rest went to satisfy the demand of the blenders, including Cutty Sark. John, Gordon and their team would carefully select the casks to fit the desired style. Over time we learned what really good casks could do to the wonderful Glenrothes spirit. When Edrington took over the brand in May 2017 it inherited a whole lot of really first-class casks.
Whisky wisdom: Cox argues vintage malt provides a platform for continuous improvement
But, my goodness, it was a hard concept to explain at first. I think the industry thought we were completely mad selling only vintage single malts in a peculiar, dumpy bottle. A few years later we were flattered to find Balblair had also embraced the concept along with the bulbous-shaped bottle in 2007. It definitely suits a boutique malt with very limited releases, but there is no doubt it becomes trickier as it grows.
I think the reason Edrington decided to go back to age statements was largely about stock management and consistency. They probably said: ‘Where will this brand be in 20 years’ time, and what sort of volumes will we be doing?’ From a commercial perspective age statements clearly make sense and they are certainly easier to manage.
That said, I believe Glenrothes should always have vintage malts in the background. It’s a concept that works very well for a slightly maverick, independent company, and if I were to start a new distillery I would definitely push it. The ground has been broken, the hard work done and I think there’s now a real opportunity for vintage malts. It is something that has taken a long time to get through to people and it would be a shame to consign it to history. There are definitely collectors out there hoping that Glenrothes will continue with vintages – I spent 25 years trying to convince them.
At the same time, we were the first to launch and maintain a no-age-statement offering in Select Reserve in 2004. These ‘Reserves’ (Sherry, Bourbon etc) were essentially a deconstruction of the component parts of the cask types which we had in each of our vintages.
Wood influence: Cox believes the main cause of vintage variation comes from the cask
More than anything it was the understanding of wood which drove us into this world of vintages, and a feeling that we had to raise the bar against the quality of whisky coming out of Japan for example, and that’s still true for the Scotch whisky industry. If we want to maintain our pre-eminent position we’ve got to look beyond maximising the yield, and try to improve every aspect of the process from the length of fermentation in the washbacks through to the final years of maturation. Quality will always win through.
From my experience with Glenrothes, it was like having two businesses in the same distillery. One was about producing enormous quantities of spirit for blending. The other (vintages) involved taking a small amount of that same spirit and nurturing it through its formative years and adolescence, until it comes out as the best it can possibly be from that particular year.
Looking back, there are clear differences between the richer, fuller vintages from the 1970s, the slightly more elegant ones from the 1980s, and those of the 1990s that have a more modern touch to them. Nevertheless, the vintage expressions remained true to the ethos of the three basic styles: ‘uplifting’, ‘conversational’ and ‘relaxing’.
Finally, there is one other style which I like to call the Ronnie Cox Red Sox ‘Sleeper’. It is the ultimate nightcap which can be used if all else fails to sedate a boring dinner party guest who has stayed too long.
GLENROTHES SINGLE CASK IS HEATHROW EXCLUSIVE
Speyside distillery Glenrothes has released a single cask whisky exclusively for sale in London Heathrow Airport.
The 19-year-old single malt, matured in ex-Bourbon cask #8189, was launched at the start of the annual Heathrow Whisky Festival (1-30 April).
A total of 283 individually-numbered bottles are available at £185 each from all World of Whiskies stores in the airport.
Having been bottled at a cask strength of 55.4% abv, the whisky is described as having notes of ‘rich dried fruits, orange peel and a hint of vanilla’.
Jeremy Speirs, managing director forEdringtonEurope, Middle East and Africa travel retail, commented: ‘TheGlenrothesis a much-loved and award-winning whisky that we feel has only begun to scratch the surface of its potential in travel retail.’
The expression is the latest addition to Glenrothes’ Single Cask Collection, and is the distillery’s first release for Europe in 2019.
Edrington, which owns Glenrothes,bought the brand backfrom wine and spirits merchantBerry Bros & Ruddin May 2017.
Since then Glenrothes has been making changes to its standard collection, includingreplacing its range of vintage whiskiesfor age-stated malts in September 2018.