Vintage or just a classic? The Glenrothes know what great whisky is with the 1995 vintage.

Last year I was lucky enough to join the chaps from The Glenrothes for an evening in Speyside at the distillery house.  It was a fantastic trip in which I came away with a bottle of the 1985 vintage and was just blown away with its depth of flavour and ease of drinking.  

Glass sculpture at its best! Sarmiento Invasion Paranoia

So, last weekend I was both happy and sad when myself and glass blowing friend Jeff Sarmiento finished it while enjoying a curry (The Glenrothes 1985 whisky worked very well paired with a chicken Patia and rice).  With the departure to the bottle to the recyling bin you can imagine I was naturally excited to recieve a sample of the 1995 vintage whisky, and was not dissapointed in the slightest! 

Heres my tasting notes.

The Glenrothes 1995 Vintage Scotch Whisky

ABV: 43%vol

Distillled: 26/10/1995

Bottled: 06/09/2010 

30% first-fill American sherry oak and 70% first-fill Spanish Sherry oak casks

Nose: The front of the nose has spiced apple and cinnamon, also invokes a thought of the 2006 Mollydooker Shiraz. If your not familiar with the Mollydooker label it features a cartoon boxer and it’s a little like he’s giving you a gentle upper cut to the brain.

Mollydooker 2006 ShirazAfter getting over the initial blow to the olfactory peach/butter builds to Oreo cookies, white chocolate marble cheesecake, raisins, mulberry wine, homemade plasticine, apricot jam, Waitrose lime and coconut ice cream, pine sap and finishes on cherry vanilla pipe tobacco. (A great start!)


Palate: Slight fizzy spice sweeps left to right on the tongue. On the first sip I was left befuddled as the complexity of it’s initial mouth combined with the tingling sensation meant I pretty much missed everything, but knew that I liked the flavours there (even it I didn’t have a clue to what just happened!).

Diving back in there’s a nice balance of sweet liquorice, cranberry, vanilla toasted almonds and roast beetroot. Lime zest develops to orange juice with the bits in and you really start to salivate. Lychee, passion fruit and black wine gums build to the feeling you should be listening to Sibelius Symphony No.2.

Finish: Has good length, balance and no surprise bitterness or undesired tang. On par with The Glenrothes 1985 Vintage whisky for sure.

This is the sort of dram that makes you feel you’ve accomplished your days work and puts you on the right footing for the day to follow!  To my mind this is a Classic rather than a vintage. 


I'd recommend sitting down in a good chair, a decent dram of the 1995, taking a big deep breath and hitting play to listen to the video below.