My whisky buddy RvB sometimes tours with his band, and when he does, he visits Cadenhead shops across Europe. Generally, that results in a bottle-share or two. This bottle is one of such shares, if I remember correctly.
And, with Monday’s Glenrothes, it’s a nice follow up to see if quality from the 1996/1997 vintage of Glenrothes is as consistent as we hope it is.
Very heavy on the cask. Somehow it smells of very old, tired but active (as in, imparting flavor, but not the ones hoped for) wood. Hints of vanilla, coffee and ferns. Some glue-y hint, all quite heavy.
Pretty sharp for the ABV, with mostly dry oak and some alcohol heat at first. It gets a bit richer after a few seconds, with a hint of vanilla, some green oakiness. Surprisingly, it’s rather fresh. Mostly oak, not the flavors of previous contents. Maybe it was a refill hogshead?
The finish gives a boat load of vanilla, with a lot of wood too. Milk chocolate, and latte machiato. Heavy, but gentle.
Strangely, the combination of flavor imparting oak, without there being much influence of the previous contents make this a drinkable, but not overly interesting dram. Generally, something that tastes of wood is not that tasty, and you would like that wood to be combined with sherry or bourbon flavors (or whatever previous content the cask held). That hasn’t happened.