Glenrothes 2003 Single Cask

Thanks to /u/Saba007 for this one

Glenrothes. I enjoy them. Quite a bit. As long as they are a) independently bottled and b) cask strength. Oh, and c) ex-Bourbon casks. I’m a sucker for them.

Enter Saba007. He likes Glenrothes as well. But he likes Sherry casks. So he goes out and gets an OB, single cask, cask strength Glenrothes that was aged in Sherry.

Thus we come to an impasse. Rather a growing moment, as healthy people call it. I’m challenged to try something outside of what I’d normally search out. Glenrothes 2003 Single Cask to people who use names to designate the difference between objects correctly.

So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?

Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: Speyside

Vintage: 2003

Bottled: 2017

Cask Type: Sherry

Cask Number: 5578

Bottled For Kansas Exclusive

Abv: 56.8%

Colour: 10YR 2/4

Nose: Grape juice, effervescent, lemon-lime, milk chocolate, cardamon

Think a fizzy drink. A champagne cocktail maybe. A cooler from a glass. Lots of fruit to this.

Water calms it down, adds in chocolate and spice. The sherry influence. I’m both intrigued and afraid of this. Kinda like my first time cutting down a tree. Granted this time I’m allowed to be doing what I’m doing, so less of a rush there.

Taste: Raspberry, brine, anise, grapefruit juice (lots), caramel

More sherry forward than the nose. Lots of acidity. Very tart dram. I can see why they pulled it when they did. Wow, this is hot.

It’s like… do we pull it now, before the sherry takes over, or let it mellow a bit? I don’t know.

Finish: Brown sugar, lemon-lime soda, cloves, ginger-heat

Even more young, raw notes. If the taste had a balancing act, the finish is the answer to “leave it in a less active cask” as the answer as to what to do with the whisky.

Conclusion: Very hot. There’s going to be brash, sherry loving whisky nerds who will just lose their shit on the nose and taste on this one. And then there’s me, who adds the word and to the start of sentences because grammar wasn’t his best subject.

Joking aside, this is a conundrum. On the one hand, it’s a tart filled brash whisky. On the other, it’s still too young and shows too much. Add to that I tend to enjoy young whiskies and I can’t recommend this.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m happy Glenrothes is releasing single casks at cask strength. I hope to have some that are as good as the ones they sell to independent bottlers. A good step in the right direction needs more time. Even re-casking this in a weaker ex-bourbon cask may have done some good for it.


Scotch review #1104, Speyside review #315, Whisky review #1709

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