Vintage Reserve is our first saunter into the Glenrothes universe. There is very little we know of the brand/distillery and perhaps that’s a good thing. We focused our sensory gaze upon it, generally enjoyed it, and happily moved on with our fine day. But apparently, after a quick screening of information available online, there was a little bit of skepticism when this “Vintage” blend (still a single malt, calm down) was released in 2015. Glenrothes prefers vintage statements over traditional age statements on their labels (ex. Glenrothes 2001, the year it was distilled). So, after about 10 years of these vintage releases from 1989 to 2007, a vatting of the left over casks was thrown into Vintage Reserve, now part of their core range. Folks had a bee in their bonnet with a release labeled “vintage”without any age statement of any kind (unfounded, we know how old the whiskies are), and also with the “Reserve” designation in that the prime, honey casks were already used in the past Vintage releases and the leftover casks were utilized for Vintage Reserve (a bit of a point there).
I don’t care too much. Buy it or don’t buy it, it’s up to you. Personally, I will buy this again as the price was pretty decent (under $50). This particular Speyside bottling is comprised of a variety of maturation styles: ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and various refill casks here and there. This technically NAS bottle has a low 40% ABV, but given the price don’t get too many of those previously mentioned bees in your blue bonnet. On to it…
Nose- Fruity and sweet. Citrus, sherry, dried fruit. Perfumed. Warmed into vanilla. Flowery and herbal.
Taste- More sweet fruit with decent mouthfeel. Toffee. Soft. Honey.
Finish- Grassy, light honey. Long but light finish. Satisfying.
Comment- Pretty dependable stuff for the money. Decent complexity and pleasant aromas. Recommended.
SWC Rating- 86/100
Agree? Disagree? Don’t hurt my feelings, bro.