Three Original Glenrothes With Mixed Results

by Oliver Klimek on January 1, 2014

Three original bottlings of Glenrothes were tasted blind for the Malt Maniacs Awards 2013. Here are my impressions:

glenrothes_elders_reserveGlenrothes Elders’ Reserve – 43%

Colour: Light gold
Nose: Fresh apples, vanilla, hints of ginger. Quite a light nose.
Palate: Breakfast cereals, hints of stewed apples, vanilla, candied ginger, hints of pepper and chili.
Finish: Short, vaguely fruity and slightly spicy.
Overall: Nose and palate are congruent in a way that they both are meaningless. I tried hard, but the subtleties in this whisky are so well hidden that I failed to find them.

Rating: 65/100 – Price Tag $$$$$ – Value for your Money $$$$$

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glenrothes_2001Glenrothes Vintage 2001 – 43%

Colour: Medium gold
Nose: Rubber wellies, apples, vanilla, hints of ginger. Quite a light nose again.
Palate: Well, you notice it is whisky.
Finish: Medium long, fruity and slightly spicy.
Overall: Despite the rubber notes I quite like the nose and also the finish is quite pleasant. But on the palate this dram is just bland and boring.

Rating: 70/100 – Price Tag $$$$$ – Value for your Money $$$$$

Buy Glenrothes 2001 at The Whisky Exchange

glenrothes_ministers_reserveGlenrothes Minister’s Reserve – 43%

Colour: Bright amber
Nose: Apples, bananas, vanilla, liquorice, hints of polished wood, nutmeg and ginger.
Palate: Raisins, apples, hints of tinned tropical fruit salad, lemon zest, vanilla, butterscotch, nutmeg and hints pf pepper.
Finish: Long, fruity and slightly spicy.
Overall: A big step up from the other two epressions. Nicely balanced with good flavours, but everything is a bit generic and lacking true character that you would expect from a €140 whisky.

Rating: 84/100 – Price Tag $$$$$ – Value for your Money $$$$$

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Steffen Bräuner January 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Hehe, when you rate a sulphured whisky 70/100 with your “positive part” being the sulphur, I KNOW it’s one to stay away from 🙂

How do you rate the and comparre these to Founder’s Reserve ? I have this as a very low and neve thought any Glenrothes could get any worse.

I have stayed away from Glenrothes in more than a decade and these reviews has convinced me to add another decade. Main problem is that when I find a good decent 40-50£ Glenrothes it’s priced around 150-200£



Oliver Klimek January 1, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Isn’t Founder’s Reserve from Glen Garioch? Or do you mean the Select Reserve? It’s difficult not to lose track with all the different “reserves” on the market..

But I quite agree with your feelings. Apart from the 1978 vintage, no recent official Glenrothes has impressed me.


Steffen Bräuner January 3, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Yes, I mean the Select Reserve 🙂

Founder’s Reserve is drinkable



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