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Undisclosed Distillery (52)

Glenrothes Select Reserve (2011, OB, 43%)

A few days after last week tasting, today we start our tour through the Glenrothes core range. This Speyside distillery – mainly known for its sherried character – stands out for its choice to bottle only vintage single malt (the casks have all been filled the same year). Recently, Glenrothes malt master John Ramsay selected some casks of different vintages to create the “Select Reserve”, a young malt from 7 to 10 years old.

N: despite the (too?) strong influence of the alcohol, it shows up as a fresh and easy malt, with a citrusy aroma (lemon) in the first nose. Just beside a pleasant maltiness is evident, so warm and comfortable. Whiffs of vanilla are noticeable – although rather light. Standard pear, so common in Speysider malts. Oak peeps hither and thither, always (too?) gently. The sherry casks’ influence is surprisingly rather impossible to find. 

P: vanilla and a ripe pear mousse are nice… and then what? Not much else in this dram, increasingly shine on the palate. Citrusy sensations and dried fruits. The sherried side is a bit more present here, but just for a while. Moreover, it’s difficult to get the alcohol impression off your back: despite being at 43%, the ABV is definetely too strong.

F: probably the best part of this malt, because the gentleness doesn’t involve any lack of personality. Medium-long, with vanilla, oak, red fruits and a peppery sensation.

We looked forward to taste this experiment by a distillery whose vintage bottlings rarely disappoint. However, this time we can’t be satisfied by this whisky. That shows one single interpretation key and moreover it’s too straightforward and sincere in its approach. The good news is the low price (35 euro more or less), that encourages us to recommend it. Our judge is 78/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Dierks Bentley (feat. The Punch Brothers)Senor

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