Time to Relax at Glenrothes
I was lucky enough to be invited recently to a trip to visit Glenrothes distillery in sunny speyside and I was joined on my travels by Nik (@nikspeller) from Foodepedia Mat (@mat_buckets) from the Buckets and Spades blog along with Marcin (@marcinmiller) and Ronnie Cox (@ronniecoxredsox) on Behalf of Berry Bros and Rudd.
A fabulous couple of days which began with me spending a couple of hours reading my book on the train from Edinburgh to Dyce to meet the rest of the guys at Aberdeen Airport where we transferred to a hire care for the trip through some stunning scenary to our accomodation for the night at Rothes House.
This beautiful house, once the village manse, is a fabulous location to stay at with a real home feel to it, and so it should as it is still owned, and occupied at times, by the Berry Bros and Rudd family.
A spot of lunch here, a cracking homemade fish and potato pie with veg followed by a delicious cheeseboard was accompanied by some getting to know each other chat and general conversation, nice and relaxed already.
A gentle stroll through the woodland path, joined by Erik who would be our guide, as we strolled down to the distillery listening to Erik and Ronnie talk about some of the history of the distillery and the water source etc.
Erik then guided us round the the distillery with knowledgable conversation and a happy outlook as we asked one or three questions which were expertly answered.
The Glenrothes Distillery
Another Fabulous Porteus Mill
Quite an Imposing Still Room
Huge Heat from these
Here comes the good stuff
Ready to go to sleep for a few years
We then popped into the warehouse where 3 casks were popped open and we were tasked with guessing which was the oldest/youngest. The three casks (ex bourbon, ex european oak sherry and ex american oak sherry) all had a fabulous nose with a familiar note through all three, although i was instantly taken by the ex-bourbon nose. (I won't spoil it for anyone else but i did manage to get them all in the right order).
Guess the age of this one
We then popped into Ronnies Inner Sanctum for a tasting through much of the Glenrothes range (see below for notes on some of the range that i tried at the distillery, others were ones i'd had before and have notes already on the site). Although i did spend a bit of time eyeing up the 1975 on the shelf (my birth year) too.
Nik and One or Two Glasses
The Same age as me
I really do have a thing for Bourbon matured whisky and the Alba reserve really stood out for me amongst much of the others with a real tinned pear in syrup note that i loved.
A gentle stroll back to Rothes House was followed by a cuppa then a beer at the Highlander Inn before we settled back in for our evening meal, Venison pate and melba toast, then roast lamb with all the trimmings (the cauliflower cheese was particularly brilliant) and then sticky toffee pudding with a dram of Glenrothes 1988 to cut through the stickly sweetness of the pudding was a particular favourite.
A couple of drams afterwards and it was time to turn in as Nik, Mat and myself had a big task in the morning as we were to be responsible for cooking up a breakfast of champions. Nik took most of the cooking duties as Mat and I organised the table, the cuttlery and crockery and condiments. a highly respectable 3.75/5 quaichs was awarded for our efforts.
After clearing up after ourselves we loaded our bags into the car and travelled a bit down the way for some sporting activities.
Before doing some off-road drink driving we were treated to a generous pour of Kings Ginger Liqueur topped up with some Glenrothes Special Reserve to cut the sweetness a little, this is the perfect hip flask filler, either on it's own or cut with a little whisky,
Marcin and I survey the surroundings
This is damn awesome fun
A shot in an 8 wheel Argo off road vehicle (shown above) was followed by some blindfolded Land Rover driving which was especially fun for me being that i'm only licensed to drive an automatic, although with Nik's instructions and navigation i actually produced a very respectible time.
We then moved on to some shooting with first some clays then some pistol target shooting. It turns out i'm actually not too bad at both of these activities as i hit 25% of the clays and 80% of the pistol targets something i'm pretty proud of.
Marcin showing us how its done (yup thats a destroyed Clay up there)
We then popped to the Archiestown hotel for lunch, my choices being the Cullen Skink, the Beef and Venison meatballs and the lemon and whisky cheesecake before we journeyed back through the stunning scenary to Dyce where i boarded the train back to Edinburgh.
Thanks again to Glenrothes and Berry Bros and Rudd for the trip and to Nik (@nikspeller), Mat (@mat_buckets), Marcin (@marcinmiller) and Ronnie (@ronniecoxredsox) for your company over these two days, it was an experience that will live with me for some time to come.
Glenrothes 1978 Vintage
This is an outstanding dram from The Glenrothes in the 1978 Vintage.
Review based on a double double (100ml mini) kindly passed to me by my friend Yoav (@yoavgel) from Whisky Gospel.
This is outstanding, not my birth year so i'm only a little bit jealous of those who are 1978ers, but this is fabulous and one of the best whiskies i've had in a long time, subtle ex bourbon characteristics work in this really well for me.
if you're a 1978'er or love great whisky get this from The Whisky Exchange
Massive notes of fresh fruit with honeydew melon and ripe conference pears being the predominate flavours with a real malty biscuity digestive note with hints of chocolate covered coconut in the background
Sweet tinned pears in syrup with coconut milk and Doreen malt loaf with edges of digestive biscuits
Tinned pears on a buttery biscuit base
Glenrothes Alba Reserve
A fabulous dram from The Glenrothes this Alba Reserve is all ex bourbon matured giving it huge pear notes of pear drops and tinned pears in syrup.
This is right up my street at the moment, i'm loving ex bourbon casked whiskies and i just can't see passed them at the moment so this works so well for me.
Why not grab a bottle and try yourself from Berry Bros and Rudd
Lots of lovely old fashioned pear drop sweets with vanilla and gentle boiled sweets, very much like an old fashioned sweet shop, then tinned pears in syrup and gentle biscuity notes
Sweet gentle fruit salad sweets and more boiled sweets
Gentle boiled sweets
Glenrothes Robur Reserve
Another interesting dram from The Glenrothes this is the Robur Reservenormally only available in Travel Retail.
Lots of fig and sweet sherry notes in here with nuts and hints of spices, it's an interesting dram and one that i really quite enjoyed, worth picking up if you're travelling
If you dont travel often you can also get it from places like The Whisky Exchange
Gentle oak wood notes mix with gentle dried fruits and hints of fig rolls and hints of blackberry and grape skin
Fig rolls and sweet notes of gentle dried fruits with hints of tingly ginger
Sweet, fig, fruity
Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve
A cracking sherried dram from The Glenrothes is this recently released Sherry Cask Reserve.
Thick and treacley with huge sherry notes this is everything a sherry monster would like but with a bit of elegance and some subtle fruity notes.
You can pick it up directly from Berry Bros & Rudd
Initially a sweet Demerara sugary treacle scone note comes first with a dried fruits including apricots and figs along with some gentle silicon mould notes and some fresh fruits and malt biscuits hiding in the background
Thick and treacle with a buttery undercooked dough note coming in with it before huge hits of dried fruits and malt loaf take over
Malt loaf and treacle sauce