Tatler+ The Glenrothes
A rare release from The Glenrothes provides the opportunity to own a piece of its history and gain exclusive access to the place and people instrumental to its reputation and longevity
Whisky estates across Scotland offer access to the distilleries where the nation’s best-loved single malts are made. But until today, The Glenrothes has never opened its doors to the public. And even now, the opportunity to visit the esteemed estate and explore its hallowed halls will only be available to a select few, namely those who buy its latest—and oldest—release, The Glenrothes 50 Year Old, which is limited to just 50 bottles worldwide. With this special purchase, buyers will own a part of The Glenrothes’ heritage and will be welcomed inside The Glenrothes Highland Estate and Distillery.
The Glenrothes was established in 1879 in Speyside and its first whisky was released the following year. Founder James Stuart respected the traditions of distillation, but also looked to innovate while making the most of what the locality had to offer. Water from five sources on the estate is used throughout production, including in the slow distillation process which sets The Glenrothes malts apart. Specially selected sherry-seasoned oak casks from Jerez in Southern Spain also contribute to the broad range of flavours found in The Glenrothes whiskies.
“We do things a bit differently,” says Laura Rampling, Master Whisky Maker at The Glenrothes. “Our unusually slow distillation in tall stills provides a lighter, fruitier and more delicately flavoured spirit, but it is the balance of this light profile with the rich and rounded flavours from our sherry casks that give us our signature taste.”
Rampling goes on to say that in addition to maintaining the high quality and delicate, fruity character for which The Glenrothes is renowned, the label is consistently innovating and releasing special whiskies, including the 50 Year Old.
“We wanted to do something that celebrated the loyalty and the craft of our distillery team in Rothes,” says Rampling. “The 50 Year Old is a salute to our team, many of whom have over 40 years’ service. They truly understand the art of whisky making The Glenrothes way, which 50 people will now have the privilege of sharing in this milestone release.”
The Glenrothes 50 Year Old was distilled in 1968 and is a complex and refined single malt, boasting aromas of woody spice, grounding notes of linseed oil and muscovite sugar, and hints of fragrant jasmine. Intensely sweet and spicy flavours of cardamom, fennel seeds, vanilla pods and cedar precede a delicate, refined finish where wood and spice linger.
“This whisky is a dramatic blend of aromas with layers of complexity only a whisky of this age can deliver,” says Rampling of the dark, fragrant nectar, which has been bottled in handmade and individually numbered crystal decanters, each housed in a lacquered black presentation case.
“This is our oldest ever release as a distillery and will always, therefore, be a milestone in our history. It encapsulates the rounded and rich character of The Glenrothes at an elevated level,” she adds.
The Charity Auction Of The Year
Bottle number 38 of 50 of The Glenrothes 50 Year Old will go under the hammer at Bonhams in Hong Kong on 20 November 2020, with an estimated going price of HK$230,000-HK$300,000, and proceeds going to a charity organisation based in the APAC region. The lucky winner will not only take home this milestone single malt, but will receive membership of FIFTY, alongside the other owners of the 50 Year Old. Membership will grant secure, exclusive access to the invite-only estate and distillery where some of the secrets of The Glenrothes will be shared as members meet the experienced, dedicated and passionate team, and visit the distillery, cooperage, private farms and Rothes House, all normally closed to visitors.
Going forward, members of FIFTY, who will each hold an individually hand-engraved interactive card that corresponds with the edition number on their 50 Year Old decanter, will have access to additional experiences, previews of new product releases and priority allocation. Ownership of the 50 Year Old is just the beginning of a beautiful bond with The Glenrothes.