Glenrothes 1990 (Cadenhead)

Review 2017-025 «Specifics» Single malt • Authentic Collection • Vintage 1990 • Bottled in 2008 • 56.9% Alcohol • Matured for 18 years in a sherry butt • Non-chill filtered • Natural coloured • Sourced Glenrothes distillery (Speyside, Scotland) • Bottled by Cadenhead’s Whisky & Rum Merchants (CA) • Campbelltown • Scotland • Limited availability (610 bottles) • Not available anymore (price was ±€99) • Whiskybase #5290

STORY. A very dark, heavy sherry release from Glenrothes bottled by the excellent people of Cadenhead. I had no good picture available, but you have to believe me, it is dark. Not only in colour, because we had a slight problem with this one. Something with tires, let’s say. Founded in 1842, Cadenhead is the oldest independent bottler of Scotland, and since 1970 owned by the J. & A. Mitchell, who also own the Springbank and Glengyle distilleries. The authentic collection forms the heart of their releases, and consist of single cask bottlings at cask strength. This release involves an 18-year-old heavily sherried Glenrothes from 1990.



APPEARANCE. Class and indeed authentic design, colour of the contents is dark brown and is sherry coloured.

NOSE. Based on the colour, we expected a strong influence of the cask, and we sure have it. Sweet and sulphury with lots of dried fruits, old wood, old varnish, and struck matches. This appears all very Pedro Ximinez-like. It remains a bit tight though. (water) Still tight, but it begins to open up. However, it has become very rubbery, with plastic party balloons, and then lots of the more classic PX sherry notes.

TASTE. This is all very PX with lots of raisins and other dried fruits. Then some old varnished wood and some leather (obviously also old). The wood is very dominant on the palate. Quickly the plastic notes appear, is it playmobil or LEGO (didn’t you lick those occasionally as a child?). (water) Bitterish, the palate is dominated by lots of wood (which is not really my style) and those plastic notes again, along with car tires. Very rubbery with lots of sulphur notes.

VERDICT. Oh dear, we have the sulphur problem. I have encountered it before, I think it was with Highland Park 12.  For me it just kills the experience, but I could be very sensitive to these notes. I do not throw away a sample often, but this one, well sorry, I just have to. I think it’s a personal thing, as others have really enjoyed this particular cask. Obviously, I could not give this a reliable score.

Thanks to Henri for the sample anyway!

Recommended for people who are now sensitive to rubbery notes in a whisky.

What others say

  • @Whiskybase: Mean score of 88.67 (17 votes)
  • Serge “Typical dry, heavily sherried middle-aged malt” Score: 84/100