The nose began slightly sharp and spirity (hot lemon sauce, brambles, nettles, balsam and pine) but lots of goodies too – coconut, liquorice allsorts, tinned pineapple, dried fruit, vanilla. With time and a little water it became dusty and woody (newly sawn wood, workshop shavings, tea, hay, pepper) – but with teasing sweetness (honey, chocolate, orange jelly) and delicate roses. The palate flooded the mouth with flavour – dark cherries, dark chocolate, strawberry jam, blackberry, lemon and lime – all nicely agitated by tongue-tingling peppery spice. In reduction, bitter fruits see-sawed with honey, raisin and creamy custard sweetness – bringing balance and harmony. Rothes’ oldest distillery.
Drinking tip: A contemplative dram – or for a special occasion – easy on the water.
Colour: Buccaneer gold Cask: Refill butt Age: 25 years Date distilled: April 1988 Alcohol: 57.5% USA allocation: 90 bottles