In between the rolling Mannoch Hills, the Rothes river, and barrels upon barrels of vintage whisky, four ordinary Americans made a little bit of dram history this month by sniffing, slurping, swirling, blending, extracting, and finally laying to rest The Glenrothes 2012 vintage. Jason Miller and Heather Wuelpern from Arizona, Bill Kiel from Wisconsin, and David Bocchino from Maryland, ousted 10,000 other Americans with their winning interpretations of a vintage moment. The winning quartet was chosen as part of The Glenrothes' second annual Vintage Maker contest. What did they have to do? They were simply asked to share their thoughts or anecdotes on what makes for a vintage moment.
For the four lucky Americans, first on the list of things to do as part of their pilgrimage to Speyside was making the 2012 The Glenrothes vintage. The final cask was only filled with whisky from 2012, as the Glenrothes vintage system implies. A balance of first-fill American and Spanish (Sherry-prepared) wood was used, as well as refill casks from The Glenrothes' 'gene pool'. Bill Kiel, one of the Vintage Makers, commented, "the group decided that the 2012 vintage should have a 'conversational' style about it. However, until the casks are deemed mature, we cannot be totally certain of the flavor profile or the quantity that will be selected. What we can be sure of is that the maturity will be there, no matter what the age. Each of the 2012 Vintage Maker casks will develop in a slightly different way, but within the forecast parameters".