This bottle of Glenrothes — “Glen Rothes” per this label — was independently bottled by Signatory as part of its Un-Chillfiltered Collection in 2021, after 11 years in a hogshead. It’s a single barrel selection “specially selected for Spec’s Texas,” with 252 bottles released at cask strength.
It’s essentially a classic representation of Speyside — though a bit tough to fully appreciate at bottle strength, over 65% abv. Heavy notes of cereal and heather on the nose threaten to segue to restrained elements of baking spice before taking a step back, revealing a darker element of tar and scorched barley. The palate feels pulled in those same directions — the freshness of the grain unraveling in the face of notes of charred wood, creosote, and over-toasted cloves. Touches of rosemary emerge very late in the game.
I added water to this, then added some more, then more again. It still felt hot, the finish overly peppered and a little rubbery. There are elements of intrigue here, but I never felt the experience gelled properly, ultimately leaving that heavy char character clinging to the back of my throat.
B / $85