Some whiskies excite me simply by the preconception..
How many times have you sat down to look through the vast list of whiskies released and thought ” i need that bottle ” well for me it happens far more often than it should, however some of them just get snapped up instantly and well you know the rest..
This offering from Douglas Laing which comes in the XOP series just screamed at me, Glenrothes at 30 years from a single sherry butt.. Doh..
I recently wrote how age statements mean so little and the overlooking of younger whisky is far too common, but in this instance the age means only one thing to me, intense flavours and aromas.. Ok so age does not guarantee these things..
What if the cask was inactive ?
What if its a finish.
What if its … BLAH BLAH BLAH
Firstly let me explain my thoughts, some bottlings need no explanation, a 30 year old glenrothes in a single sherry butt is one of them.. Add the fact this is bottled under the XOP ( Xtra Old Particular ) then add to that this is the Black series and you instantly know its quality.
That is all good and easy for me to say but how do YOU know these things will be for you ? Well if you know a company is reliable, it has your trust then you are half way there! then you have a few helping hints, colour is always helpful.. Well no its not actually, assuming its natural then it could still be tainted, it could be over oaked, it could have gone into a wet but inactive cask, this means the cask still contained some of the previous liquid and in the case of sherry it will only need a few litres to colour up the new make, this does not guarantee flavour or aroma but it will give you colour..
Then as mentioned earlier it might be an inactive cask so 30 years may be enough to extract something from the wood but there are certainly no guarantees, and if you do buy a 30 year old whisky that has the maturity of say a 5-6 year old then you are going to be pretty pissed.. The easiest thing is to do some research if you are hitting these bottles, or like me you use instinct, find bottlers that you trust..
I have had several aged Glenrothes from Sherry casks that have all been rather special, these have ranged from a superb 19 year old that just rocked my world to an incredible 38 year old that just ticked everything.. Could this 30 year old be in that league,only one way to find out.. Part with some money and hope..
Glenrothes 30 Year Old 1989 – Cask 14056 – XOP
Age.. 30 years
Distilled.. May 1989
Bottled.. April 2020
Outturn.. 478 Bottles
Bottler.. Douglas Laing
Range.. Xtra Old Particular – The Black Series
Nose.. A gentle but never ending wave of dried fruits, candied orange and dark chocolate and coffee takes a hold of your senses and refuses to let go. Madagascan vanilla, cinnamon buns and marzipan all make you tingle whilst tobacco leaf and manuka honey gives this extra dimensions.
Palate.. This is so good.. Dates, plum pudding, sticky toffee pudding, rich apple pie with lashings of cinnamon, demerara sugar and just a little burnt around the edges.. Freshly made coffee from the cafetiere and sweetened with honey along with a slice of black forest gateau on the side..
Finish.. Still waiting for it to end..
Thoughts.. A hefty price tag commands high expectations and at just a tad under £500 this didn’t leave much room for disappointment ! But from the very moment you receive this you know quality is in your hands, the packaging is superb and the liquid, o the liquid is superb..
This whisky not only sits you down it whisks you away to distant lands, the journey is long and intense..