The Glenrothes Peaked Cask Reserve

Located in the Scottish Highland, and well within a region I love, Speyside, lies The Glenrothes Distillery; distillers of a uniquely shaped Whisky bottle.

The Distillery has been producing world class whisky since the 28th of December 1878, when this fine spirit flowed through the stills for the first time and breathed life into the fledgling business.

Built by James Stuart and Co, who were also involved with the nearby Macallan Distillery along with the construction of The Glen Spey distillery; The Glenrothes history has been checkered with disaster. During 1896, the Distillery commenced an expansion program to double their Stills to four and to add an additional malt kiln. However, during the second year into their expansion program, a serious fire took hold of the facility and caused substantial damage to the facility. Six years on, the Distillery was hit by a major explosion in 1903. It is believed that over-proofing may have played a part in these incidents – highlighting the dangers of this industry that we love so much. The facility was also struck by two major fires in the 20th century (1922 and 1962) which again caused substantial damage. The greatest being in 1922 which was the loss of 910,000 litres of this precious liquid gold.

Currently, the Distillery has the capacity to produce 5,200,000 litres per year and has 5 wash and 5 spirit stills.

What sets The Glenrothes Single malt whiskys apart from others, is that since 1993,Glenrothes is not bottling their whiskeys by the number of years of maturation, instead by its vintage. Glenrothes provide an incredibly useful illustration, noted below, to explain the bottling philosophy.


Glenrothes - about-single-malt

The Glenrothes range can be segmented into Single Vintage, Reserve and Special Release.

Single Vintage sees all the casks matured in a particular year, combined and then bottled to make one unique Whisky where the expressions and uniqueness of each cask is melded together.

The Reserve Range seeks to combine several vintage casks to create one unique whisky. For example, The Glenrothes Vintage Reserve is the marriage of 10 vintages which,when combined, deliver mellow oak, lemon citrus and dried fruit flavours.

Conversely, the Special Release vintages are only obtained from the one cask and then bottled in small select batches.


The Whiskey I have been fortunate to get my hands on is The Glenrothes Peated Cask Reserve.


This whisky represents two substantial milestones for the Distillery; it’s their first Peated whiskey in over 100 years and secondly its their first cask finish. The Glenrothes Peated Cask Reserve was distilled in 1992 and matured for at least 20 years in refill American Oak Hogshead following which it was further finished in specially selected Islay casks for nine months which provides its unique fruity elegance and of course its peaty influence.


(My Beautiful lady holding my peated cask)


The Glenrothes Peated Cask Reserve Claim: Bright toffee apple and hints of fresh nettles. New leather mixes beautifully with peat, nutmeg and white wine.

WHISKEYTEK Review: Toffee apple and subtle hints of white wine.


The Glenrothes Peated Cask Reserve Claim: Classic Glenrothes sweet vanilla, spices and citrus peel beautifully complemented by a gentle peak smokiness.

WHISKEYTEK Review: Rather spicy with strong citrus influence. Low to mid pettiness.


The Glenrothes Peated Cask Reserve Claim: Spicy and lingering

WHISKEYTEK Review:  Spicy, strong bittery and short in the finish.




40% Alc/vol

So the question is would I buy it again…I found that I had to place a few drops of water into the Dram to help open it up. The bitterness in the finish was more acceptable after I had placed a few drops of water into my glass. Its pleasant but I would most probably pass on buying this one again.

Whiskytek…over and out.

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