The distillery was built in 1878 by James Stuart & Co, who then also worked the nearby Macallan distillery. The first whisky ran off the stills on the 28 December 1879, the same day as the Tay Bridge disaster. The distillery itself had a shaky start and a chequered history. Over-proof whisky is notoriously highly flammable and the distillery has paid the price. Extension work began in 1896 on a second malt kiln, and an increase in stills from two to four but, before the work was finished, a fire in December 1897 caused serious damage. The distillery saw further damage with a serious explosion in 1903. Then, in 1922, a fire in Warehouse Number One caused the loss of 200,000 imperial gallons (910,000 L) of whisky. Another fire in 1962 afforded the opportunity for expansion and a further re-build in 1982 extended the still hall to five wash stills and five spirit stills.
The Glenrothes is different from many other single malts in that since 1993 the bottlings are not determined by age but by vintage. The Glenrothes is also sold as “Select Reserve”, a recently introduced non-vintage line. Special bottlings include “Single Cask” bottles, which are taken from one single cask of whisky from a particular year. In the late 1980s, a few years before Glenrothes Distillery decided to bottle The Glenrothes as vintages, some casks of whisky prior to 1974 were left to mature together. These casks were bottled as a 30-year-old Glenrothes. Only 1134 bottles were produced.
The house style is a warming, mouth-coating creamy spirit, with the classic Speyside “pear drop” character. Thanks to its ageing and production, Glenrothes whisky is known for its spicy, rich character. Critic Michael Jackson describes the house style as being “Perfumy, sweet, spicy-fruity. After Dinner”.
Glenrothes Whisky Reviews:
- Glenrothes 16 Years Old 1997 30.77 This is nuts! ~ 57.7% (SMWS) - Glenrothes 16 Years Old 1997 – 30.77 This is nuts! Single malt scotch whisky 57.7% ABV, £55.80 for 70cl from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Score: 78/100 What they say: We were greeted by a sweet and nutty aroma; toffee doughnuts, sticky toffee pudding, fruit and nut fudge and toasted tea cakes. Someone compared the […]
- Glenrothes 1996 (bottled 2015) – Toasted Anise ~ 46% (Wemyss Malts) - Review: Glenrothes 1996 (bottled 2015) – Toasted Anise Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origing: Glenrothes Distillery Bottling: Wemyss Malts – ‘Toasted Anise’ ABV: 46% Cost: £79.64 from Master of Malt Score: 88/100 What they say: This is an indie bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Glenrothes distillery presented by Wemyss Malts. It […]
- Glenrothes 1998 Vintage ~ 43% (Edrington) - Glenrothes 1998 Vintage (Official Bottling) 43% ABV, £49.95 for 70cl Score: 84/100 What they say: The Vintage 1998 is the next Core Vintage to follow the Vintage 1991 and 1994. It is the first of the vintages that we have bottled that was expressly laid down at origin to be bottled as Glenrothes on maturity and as […]
- Glenrothes 23 Years Old 1989 Cask 24382 – Cask Strength ~ 53.9% (Signatory Vintage) - Glenrothes 23 Years Old 1989 Cask 24382 – Cask Strength ~ 53.9% (Signatory Vintage) 53.9% ABV, £85 for 70cl Score: Score: 87/100 What they say: A 1989 vintage Glenrothes from independent bottlers Signatory as part of their Cask Strength Collection. Owned by Berry Brothers & Rudd, the Glenrothes brand uses a large amount of sherry barrels […]
- Glenrothes 25 Years Old 1988 Archives ~ 53% (The Fishes of Samoa) - Glenrothes 25 Years Old 1988 Speyside single malt scotch whisky 53% ABV, £63.99 from Whiskybase Score: 85/100 What they say: Distilled 06.06.1988 at Glenrothes distillery in Speyside and matured for a full 25 years in a Refill Sherry Hogshead cask No. 7318 before bottling on 06.11.2013 at 53% ABV for a 213 bottle outturn. […]
- Glenrothes 8 Year Old – The MacPhail’s Collection (Gordon & MacPhail) - Review: Glenrothes 8 Year Old – The MacPhail’s Collection Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Glenrothes Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail – The MacPhail’s Collection ABV: 43% Cost: £29.91 from Master of Malt Score: 81/100 What they say: The MacPhail’s Collection from Glenrothes Distillery 8 Years Old, Strength 43% COLOUR Pale Gold. Body Light. Finish Fairly […]
- Glenrothes Alba Reserve ~ 40% (Edrington) - Review: Glenrothes Alba Reserve single malt scotch whisky Glenrothes Distillery – Berry Bros & Rudd 40% ABV £39.95 for 70cl from Master of Malt Score: 75/100 What they say: The Glenrothes normal wood policy uses a combination of Spanish and American oak, seasoned with sherry, bourbon and malt Scotch. Not so the Alba Reserve. For […]
- Glenrothes Select Reserve ~ 43% (Edrington) - Glenrothes Select Reserve (Official Bottling) 43% ABV, £32 for 70cl Score: 84/100 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 […]
- Glenrothes-Glenlivet 24 Years Old 1989 – Small Batch ~ 56.9% (Cadenhead’s) - Review: Glenrothes-Glenlivet 24 Years Old 1989 – Small Batch Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Glenrothes Distillery Bottler: Wm Cadenhead’s Small Batch ABV: 56.9% Cost: £90.25 from Master of Malt [sold out] Score: 89/100 What they say: This single malt Scotch whisky from the Glenrothes distillery comes to us by way of WM Cadenhead’s Small Batch […]