Earlier this year, The Glenrothes distillery made a massive shift in its whisky lineup. Out go the brand’s iconic vintage dates. In come traditional age statements. The hand grenade bottle shape, at least, is sticking around.
The new core of the Glenrothes line is called the Soleo Collection, which color-codes its bottles in tune with the shift in color of grapes as they age over the growing season, starting with yellow and ending with a ruddy purple. Grapes are key to the collection because all the whiskies in the lineup are aged entirely in former sherry wine casks. Expressions range from 10 to 25 years old, with at least one NAS whisky in the middle of all of it. Today we look at the 12 year old expression (with the bright orange label), which should be widely accessible and affordable.
Glenrothes fans won’t find much to complain about here — nor much to surprise them. Quite nutty, the nose features classic notes of orange peel and some spice, but the overall impression is quite mild — likely the result of using some well-worn sherry casks in the aging of the spirit. The palate is again quite nutty with a citrus edge, and it’s surprisingly full bodied, almost creamy on the tongue. There’s a touch of pumpkin spice that lifts things up, with almond nougat notes emerging on a slightly gummy finish.
It’s all perfectly serviceable, if overwhelmingly traditional and fully expected.