Glenrothes 1988, 53% – Archives, Fishes of Samoa

Two more Archives samples to review. This is the second to last. I didn’t pick an order, I just randomly grabbed a sample from my bin. Of course, I selected the Archives first, since those were supplied by a company, and not by friends. I always try to do those first, since I got those for marketing purposes.

That, however, does not mean I am going to give a biased review. At least not biased because of the sample being a commercial one. I think everyone is biased, mostly because they have favourite distilleries or bottlers. I generally tend to be positive about Clynelish, Lagavulin, Rosebank and some others.

Anyway, a rather pale looking Glenrothes. Glenrothes is a distillery I am generally biased about too, but in a more negative way. Their official bottlings have never been able to charm me and therefore I have never spent a dime on the brand. I did, however, taste a couple of indie Glenrothes (from young to old) that were pretty awesome. They can make great whisky, but for some reason they water it down to it being rather bland, in general.

Glenrothes 1988 Archives. Image from Whiskybase

Glenrothes 1988 Archives. Image from Whiskybase

A bit held back at first, with lots of soft and gentle oak. Very malty too, especially for the brand and age. Some vanilla and some wood spices. Leaves. I get a rather green scent of it, like when you’re in a greenhouse, without the humidity. Bourbon cask?

Pretty sharp, and the greenness is here again. Oak, with a touch of bitterness too, barley, chaff, and some spices. It all fits nicely together.

Again, the plant flavours are here. Lots of malt and green malt. The finish isn’t too long but does get a bit sweeter towards the end. Like puff pastry with baked sugar on top.

After looking up this dram on Whiskybase, I found it is from a refill sherry hogshead. So, not a bourbon cask but American oak nonetheless. Because of that I think this is a very interesting Glenrothes. Not entirely up my alley, but very nice to give a try. The leafiness combined with a sweetness and sugar in the background works rather well.

I’m not as fond of this one as I was with the previous two, the Bunnahabhain and Deanston, but I wouldn’t regret having bought this bottle on a whim. Plus, for a 1988 single cask, it’s ridiculously cheap!

Glenrothes, 1988, 53%, Archives for Whiskybase, Fishes of Samoa series. € 87.50 at Whiskybase.

Sample provided by the guys at Whiskybase. Thanks mates!


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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