Raise a glass and salute the end of an era: The Glenrothes vintage-dated whiskies are being discontinued, to be replaced with a line of whiskies with standard age statements and additional NAS whiskies, such as this one.
We actually saw The Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve back in 2016, when it was first released as the first all first-fill sherry cask expression from the distillery. Now we look at a fresh bottling two years later to see how things have evolved.
My initial reaction: Unfortunately, not great. The nose of this 2018 bottle has a veritable ton of grain pushing through, unusual for a first-fill sherry cask whisky like this. It comes across as incredibly young, and just doesn’t feel “ripe” yet with its intense cereal note dominating. The palate follows suit, though a moderate citrus pop adds some drama here. It isn’t enough to wash away the youth, though, showcasing notes of unripe banana and toasted bread, punctuated with notes of green herbs. I get a slight scallion note on the finish, which isn’t my favorite way to finish a dram.