Glenrothes 1996 (North Star Spirits)

Review 2017-020 «Specifics» Single malt • Cask Series 001 • Vintage 1996 • Bottled in 2014 • 54.6% Alcohol • Matured for 20 years in a refill sherry hogshead • Bottled in 2016 • Non-chill filtered • Natural coloured • Sourced from Glenrothes (Speyside, Scotland) • Bottled by North Star Spirits (NSS) • Blanefield • Scotland • Limited availability (320 bottles) • Still available (price ±€125) • Whiskybase #89925

STORY. A 20-year-old Glenrothes bottled by a new star on the scene from the north. Well you can guess their name then. Situated in Glasgow, North Star Spirit was been founded by Iain Croucher, formerly active at A.D. Rattray. This Glenrothes is part of their first series of releases, which also includes bottlings from Arran, Ardmore, Tormore, Bunnahabhain and others. The colour of the label apparently reflects the taste profile, in this case strawberry cheesecake (?). Well, I just love that, so I can’t wait to jump on it.

TASTING NOTES

   

APPEARANCE. Lovely and fantastic design, colour of the contents is golden with a reddish hue, and is sherry coloured.

NOSE. The start is fierce with quite a lot of rubbery notes (bicycle inner tube). This is followed by forest fruits, Schwarzwälder Kirsch Törte, sweet sherry, chocolate cake and hints of cinnamon. It remains a bit tight, probably due to the high strength. (water) It becomes more mellow now as we have successfully tamed it, and the sulphur note has disappeared. It consist of wide range of dark chocolate-y (cake, toppings, hot sauce) and dark fruity things (berry liquor, berry sauce). To be more specific, honey-glazed chocolate-raisin cake with rum-drenched berries and cherries are on display. Ok, I have to check the online cooking bible to see if that exists… I can even get a minty note, which is quite refreshing.

TASTE. It is a feast of black fruits that include blackberries, blue berries, plums and dark cherries. Then appear cherry liquor, or wait, more dark chocolate sauce on dark cherries. Apparently, we are are on dark side tonight. It needs some water though to fully open up. (water) Now more on honey glaze, wet cake with raisins, while the cherries are still there, along with hints of molasses. The finish is rather long on honey, forest fruits and cake.

VERDICT. This was a rather different Glenrothes compared to the last one I tasted (WM), but good nonetheless. The label totally fits the profile of the contents, but is was no strawberry cheesecake, but forest fruits and dark chocolate cake, which is also quite to my liking.

Recommended for followers of the dark side of Glenrothes.

Thanks to Henri for this stylish sample!

What others say

MY SCORE
Nose
86 %
Taste
85 %
Balance
85 %
Depth
84 %
Price
82 %