A.D. Rattray is known for bottling single casks at cask strength. In this case it’s a young Glenrothes on sherry that yielded no less than 607 bottles at a whopping 64.3%. Surely the spirit went into the cask at a much higher ABV than the industry standard, no? I wonder if the cask was able to tame this Glenrothes somewhat.
On the nose it offers a malty heart surrounded by some typical sherry influences such as dark honey, raisins, wild berries and mostly tobacco. Behind this you’ll find some famer’s butter, dried berries and the bark of a young tree. If you are truly patient, you’ll also get some lovely notes of apple juice and vanilla, light brown sugar and white chocolate. This is quite lovely.
It is bright, sweet, feisty and mouth coating on the palate. The ABV makes it a sturdy dram, but water is not needed. Sweet at first, it is soon followed by both a bitter and sour note. Think grapefruit and gooseberries. A bit of chili pepper. A note of fresh coconut appears, together with some wood shavings.
The finish is long, warm and soft, allowing the fruit and honey to come around again.
A young but rich Glenrothes with just enough sherry influences to make it very attractive without losing its own character. Recommended.