If I say Kensington, a lot of people have different thoughts. If you’re in the UK, it is a posh part of West London. If you say it to someone in the US, they may think it’s one of many companies, or a small town in Maine.
In Canada, it means different things again. We have a Kensington in PEI, which is impressive because that’s a small Island and I always thought they maxed out at 1 city. Kensington Market in Toronto is one of the few places you can walk the streets and let your hair down in the whole city.
And finally, Kensington Wine Market is known in Calgary as a very, very large alcohol store that recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. Why does that matter to you? Well they released a few special whiskies for this anniversary.
Glenrothes 19 1997 25th Anniversary Kensington Wine Market Whisky Broker is one of these whiskies. It was selected by the owner, Andrew Ferguson. Andrew typically doesn’t enjoy Glenrothes, so this is quite a rarity for him.
So it’s a 19 year old whisky that spent all of it’s time in an ex-sherry cask and doesn’t follow the typical Glenrothes profile. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: $199.99 CAD at Kensington Wine Market
Cask # 7153
Cask Type: Sherry Cask
Total amount of bottles: 84
Colour: 5YR 3/8
Nose: Coffee, cherry, sugar cookie, ginger
Initial nose of earth and bitter notes. This isn’t going to have a giant list of notes, however each note needs to coaxed out. A little water brings out some ginger here.
The sherry influence is the main element, with lots of sweets.
Taste: Chocolate, ginger, lime, root vegetable, raisin
More opened up on the taste. Continues to go on the earth element, with sweet aspects around the edges. Nice acidity to balance it out.
You know, because it’s lime, and that means good acidity these days. At least based on the cocktail, food, and in general all recipes I’ve read recently.
Finish: Sea air, heat, lime zest, oak/tannin, strawberry, cinnamon
The finish seems almost disjoint. Without water it’s a lot of brine from nowhere, and then heat. Water opens it up more, amping up the sherry influence.
So give this time, and it’ll pay you back. I mean, no literally. That would require it to have pockets to store the money, and it doesn’t have those, like women’s clothing.
Conclusion: This is definitely a unique dram, and beyond that, a unique Glenrothes. If you’ve not been happy with them before, this makes sense.
The nose is probably the weakest part. When you hear about a cask strength, older sherry whisky you always wonder if it’s a sherry bomb. And this isn’t, which may turn you away. The taste and finish are the main elements to look for. This comes off more as an earth heavy, lightly sweetened whisky.
Having it blind, the brine would make me think this was an Island or Islay. Worth the time to have as a dram. Maybe not as complex as I would hope for a 19 year old, however nice to sip on, and a good change of pace.
Scotch review #731, Speyside review #204, Whisky Network review #1214