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I didn't like Speyside single malts. I deemed them soft, sweet and meek. At least that's what I thought before the Glenrothes 1985 completely changed me. I guess I always knew the day would come. That day found me sitting in Bourbon and Branch, enjoying Glenrothes 1985 as the front end of a Scotch Flight. I thought it was just going to be a pleasant warmup for the headliner, the Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist, but the Glenrothes had me at raisins and citrus. Glenrothes 1985 is the gilded invitation I needed to the Speyside single malt party.
Eye: Light Amber
Nose: Lots of fruit and floral with a spiced, woodsmoke undertone
Mouth: Raisins and orange, caramel, a little mulled spice and rose hips and pleasant, smooth layer of woodsmoke.
Finish: Mild, lingering finish that invites another sip
Balance: Very well balanced between the fruit, sweet, spice and smoke (no peaty smoke - all cask).
From that day on I've turned a new, almost lascivious eye toward single malts that begin with Glen-, after an evening with the Glenrothes 1985, and the silkier single malts have already begun finding their way into my liquor cabinet.