In its distinctive hand-grenade bottle (with cardboard shell), a bottle of Glenrothes comes across like a liquid hand grenade.
The Glenrothes Select Reserve is the entry-level variation on this whisky, an 80-proof concoction from Speyside with no age statement, a single malt vatted from Glenrothes whiskys of a variety of ages. (Since it’s all malted barley and all from Glenrothes, it’s still a single malt, not a blended/vatted malt.)
The color is medium gold, tinged with green. The nose is redolent of menthol and herbs, rosemary and thyme, while the body hits you with a hefty dose of orange citrus. I get a taste of briny seaweed in the finish, which isn’t particularly long but offers a surprising amount of heat for an 80-proof Scotch.
Somewhat out of balance, the flavor profile of Select Reserve is a bit all over the map, a kind of very early expression that cries for more time in the barrel to develop more sweetness and vanilla character.
B /$36 / theglenrothes.com
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