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I have previously only tasted two Glenrothes, the Select Reserve and the Vintage 1987. Oh, let’s not forget the Wemyss Toffee Apples, a single cask Glenrothes in disguise from 1990. But what I’ll be tasting today, from the independent bottler Malts of Scotland, is something else, most likely. After all, this is a 42 Year Old single cask from 1968. Distilled before I was even born. That does increase the level of anticipation.
The nose is fruity and even crispy with predominantly citrusy notes (think tangerines and lime). Passion fruit and mango, too. A bit of grapefruit and some tea. A hint of paraffin.
On the palate, the fruitiness is quite diminished. It’s the spices (ginger, cloves and pepper) that take center stage and leave the citrus behind the scenes. That improves with the second and third sip, but it does get very bitter with tannin from the cask. It shouldn’t surprise, but it’s too much.
The finish is warm, dry and long on citrus.
This is a good Glenrothes, to be sure, but too bitter to be really well-balanced. While worth the money it would set you back (about 200 EUR), I would rather spend it on the glorious Glen Keith 1970 from the same bottler. Unless, of course, you can afford both.