In a bit of a twist I’m starting this review backwards. Instead of leading with the usual background on how the spirit in question is made, I’m starting with the tasting notes. That’s just how impressive Glenrothes 1985 is.
Glenrothes 1985 starts with a nose that bombards you with aromas of sherry-like sweetness, coupled with just the right amount of smoke.
Once you put this magnificent spirit to your lips and it begins to hit your taste buds you realize that previous aroma was just a tease of what truly hides within your glass.
With a taste that starts out with characters of caramel, each second that the spirit sits in your mouth the more flavors reveal themselves. Once you get past those first notes of caramel your palate is hit with perfectly balanced notes of espresso, orange marmalade and dried figs and vanilla. As you finish that last sip your experience ends with a sweet sherry like finish that shares the spotlight with hints of orange zest, allspice and black pepper.
So what’s the secret to the imbibing experience that Glenrothes 1985 offers?
Is it the combination of using water that’s harvested from the Ardcanny and Brauchhill Natural Springs only a few miles from the Glenrothes distillery?
Is it the process by which Glenrothes ferments its spirits? Using 25,000 liter fermentation vessels, they allow fermentation to run up to fifty-five hours, a substantially longer than normal time in the whisky industry.
Or maybe it’s that Glenrothes houses their own cooperage facility so they have full control over each barrel used in the aging process.
Whatever it is that Glenrothes does to make their offerings such an intense and lively tasting experience, I hope they continue these traditions for the next hundred years.
Final Score: 9/10