SMWS 30.98 Bring on the dancers

Glenrothes 25 Years Old 1992 30.98 Bring on the dancers (46%, SMWS, Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 168 Bottles, 2017)

  • ABV: 46%
  • Age: 25 Years Old
  • Bottling: SMWS, Cask 30.98
  • Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
  • Cost: £115
  • Origin: Glenrothes Distillery
  • Vintage: 1992

SMWS 30.98

What they say

The nose evokes a Moulin Rouge dressing room or the set of Cabaret – perfumed dancing girls, silk scarves, a wooden fruit bowl, tobacco, apple strudel and paint. The palate is a delicate, dainty thing – subtle perfumed sweetness, pineapple and new wood – sweet and juicy as a Pink Lady apple, but more drying on the finish. With water, the nose really finds its voice and sings a sweet madrigal of tropical fruits, Cranachan, Caribbean punch and picnic baskets in apple orchards. The palate is now fresher and juicier – peach and apricot flans, caramel apple granny cake and hints of barley and putty.

What I say

Well it certainly feels like an age since I last reviewed an SMWS bottling! After attempting to cover all their distilleries bottled they have released bottlings from a fair number of new codes. Any way during a rummage around my (now dusty) samples box I discovered a pair of 25yo SMWS drams well past their drink-by-date as |I should have reviewed these ages ago! The first hails from Glenrothes distillery, distilled in 1992 and matured for 25 years in a refill ex-bourbon barrel.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Light gold (5/20), rare, medium-sized tears and medium legs.
  • Nose: Bursting with tropical fruit, pineapple, mango, then apples and vanilla, toffee apple, creme brulee, woody and slightly nutty oak wood, still sweet like honey-roast almonds.
  • Taste: Sweet, fragrant and gently spiced on the palate, medium weight and follows the nose with honey-drizzled pineapple fritters, caramel apple granny, oak wood and just a hint of earthy and woody mint.
  • Finish: Medium-long, honey, apples, oak wood.


A fairly true to form Glenrothes, I just noticed I pulled (finally) one of the same tasting notes as on the bottle in caramel apple granny! Diminishes only in the fact that the nose is the best part of this dram, drinking is nothing challenging and all very pleasing. A great example of an aged whisky from SMWS at a sensible price compared to OB’s but offering just as much.

Score 86/100

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Categories: Glenrothes, Speyside

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