The Glenrothes Select Reserve

The Glenrothes Select Reserve (43%, OB, 2013)

  • Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin: Glenrothes distillery
  • Bottling: Berry Bros & Rudd
  • ABV: 43%
  • Cost: £36.46


What they say

John Ramsay, our Malt Master, has crafted a selection of The Glenrothes which typifies the distillery house character – ripe fruits, citrus, vanilla and hints of spice.

The Select Reserve is a first for us. A non-Vintage-specific selection carefully chosen by John and produced to the same high quality standards as The Glenrothes Vintage selections; only here we select and vat from casks from different years.

Produced to the same exacting quality standards as the Vintages, Select Reserve is a vatting of casks distilled in different years.

It has been crafted to typify all that is The Glenrothes in its early prime. What we call the ‘House Style’. Laden with ripe fruits, citrus, vanilla and hints of spice, the Select Reserve is the essence, the very heart of The Glenrothes range in terms of taste and flavour. From this expression all other Vintages are born.

Official tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Pale golden
  • Bouquet: American oak, vanilla and coconut, hint of plums
  • Palate: Full malty flavour, medium sweet, vanilla and orange zest
  • Finish: Long and slightly spicy

What I say

Glenrothes is a little bit of an enigma whisky for us. I see it every week on the supermarket shelf and yet I have never gotten round to picking it up and buying it. This just keeps happening week after week. Perhaps it is just the fact that our supermarket never seems to discount this whisky and so others keep coming before it as I can’t resist a bargain.

Glenrothes itself seems to be an enigma too, perhaps it is living just south of the Kingdom of Fife with its historical seat of the Scottish parliament in the historic town of Glenrothes that seems to confuse everyone round these parts so much.

The distillery Glenrothes lies in the glen of the river Rothes in the highlands, in particular the Speyside region in whisky terms and has little ion with the town in Fife! The only historical link comes from the fact that the town in Fife was built on land owned by the earl of Rothes, and so the Fife town had the prefix ‘Glen’ added to it to avoid confusion with the town of Rothes in Moray. (perfectly clear!?!)

My tasting notes:

  • Colour: Gold
  • Nose: Pancake batter or sponge cake mixture, sweet sugars and vanilla
  • Taste: Vanilla, vanilla icing, sponge cake, slight zesty orange and apple juice, pancakes (sugar, flour, milk and eggs)
  • Finish: Sweet smooth and delicate of reasonable length


So finally sampling the Glenrothes and I’m wondering why I haven’t before! This is a very enjoyable, supple, lovely dramming whisky full of delicate vanilla flavours with a little zesty fruits. Reasonably complex and medium bodied, just enough to keep it interesting but so cleverly constructed you could sit and drink it without being challenged to think about it too much either. I really enjoyed this one and will definitely be looking out for more.

Score 84/100

Shop for Glenrothes Select Reserve (opens Master of Malt)

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Categories: Glenrothes, Speyside

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