According to the label’s website, The Glenrothes 12 is a representation of the 143-year-old Speyside scotch whisky distiller’s house style. The single malt scotch itself is matured in sherry seasoned oak casks before being bottled in the maker’s distinct, Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch-type bottles.
The whisky pours medium copper in color and has a fruity nose that stresses melon but also includes cantaloupe, Nilla Wafers, and a hint of sherry and cinnamon. It’s light, mellow, and juicy from the first sip with pronounced flavors of cantaloupe that meet melon and Nilla Wafer at the center. Toward the back we’re joined by cinnamon, but not the hot, dry, and spicy cinnamon you might encounter from oak-aged spirits, but rather a sweeter, lighter note that had me thinking of cinnamon hard candy. Fittingly, this candied cinnamon is followed by rock candy as the experience sweetens further along its way to a finish that’s mellow and candy-sweet until it isn’t.
The last measure sees the emergence of subtle sherry and dry oak spice that doesn’t flip the experience as we’ve known it, but does set it up for a more complex, dry, and enjoyable conclusion.
The Glenrothes 12 is a wonderfully mellow whisky, until it decides that it no longer has to be. It promises a smooth ride with plenty of fruit and gentle vanilla, but pulls in spice and sherry when it matters most. From start to finish, it’s a smooth glide that sticks the landing.
— 40% ABV