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Whisky Magazine News - Glenrothes Releases Extraordinary Casks

Tue 25 Sep 2012

Glenrothes Releases Extraordinary Casks

Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits is proud to unveil a series of single cask bottlings of The Glenrothes from the late 1960s and early 1970s. As a merchant, the role of Berry Bros. & Rudd has always been to select the finest quality wines and spirits for its customers. The Extraordinary Cask Collection is a continuation of this philosophy.

Since 1994 The Glenrothes has released less than one single cask a year. However, whisky enthusiasts around the world have expressed a demand for more, older, rarer bottlings. Such has been the popularity of Glenrothes spirit among the whisky industry's master blenders that, unlike some distillers, there are no remaining parcels of ancient stock either at the distillery or in the Berry Bros. & Rudd inventory.

However, a cache of casks of unimpeachable provenance came to the attention of Ronnie Cox, Brands Heritage Director. After a lengthy process of assessment, a small number of these casks was selected as being worthy of being bottled as The Glenrothes Extraordinary Cask Collection.

Ronnie Cox expounds; "Extraordinary is a term associated with the heritage of the wines sourced and endorsed by Berry Bros. & Rudd. It applies equally to these casks selected for their personality and excellence, allowing them to stand alone as examples of the supremacy of The Glenrothes bloodline. The first of these is a whisky distilled in 1970 which, in keeping with The Glenrothes' philosophy to bottle at peak maturity, is now ready to be committed to glass. The anticipation for this release is such that the first Extraordinary Cask is on allocation only."

The Glenrothes Single Cask 1970 #10573
The hallmarks of The Glenrothes are quality and purity, evident in the beautifully-balanced, elegant and well-mannered single malt with peerless texture, perfectly expressed by this single cask bottling. The spirit was distilled on July 6th 1970. Cask #10573, an ex-bourbon hogshead, yielded just 179 bottles at a natural strength of 40.6% alcohol by volume.

Tasting notes

Clear and bright with rich golden hues.

Distinctly earthy and autumnal, windfall apples and cider cellar. Toffee apples with icing sugar, sponge fingers with custard, puff pastry with apple.

Lightly peppery and fresh with citrus and eucalyptus. Subtle and supple, satin feel with a texture of crêpe de chine.

Long and beguiling with very, very dark chocolate.

Presenting The Glenrothes Extraordinary Cask

The shape of the instantly recognisable Glenrothes bottle has been enhanced further, using hand-blown lead crystal, for the single cask decanter but in a manner that is in keeping with the elegance of the whisky and the heritage of The Glenrothes. The essential shape has been retained but is now multi-faceted - heavy crystal at the base elevates the bottle and frames the whisky within.

Each decanter has been individually created by a master craftsman at Atlantis Crystal in Alcobaca, Portugal, using the purest form of crystal, distinguished by its great resonance, transparency, luminosity and weight.

David Beard, Creative Director at the agency Brandhouse, and his team designed the decanter, retaining the look of the iconic Glenrothes bottle shape. The bottle takes extra inspiration from the world of perfume.

A plaque made of polished brass is applied to just one front facet: engraved with the year of distillation and the bottle number to ensure the uniqueness and authenticity of each individual decanter. Brass has also been used for the hand-engraved collar on the neck of the decanter, supplied by Charles Stott, of the Edinburgh-based Scottish Silversmiths. In addition, the head of the stopper is fashioned from the wood of the very cask # 10573 in which the whisky has matured.

The Glenrothes is also recognisable by its tasting notes label - in this instance it has been positioned around the neck of the decanter to leave the body perfectly unadulterated. The label is hand-signed by the Malt Master, Gordon Motion, and numbered and dated thus ensuring each bottle is identifiable and unique.

The outer case is fine, hand-crafted leather, reminiscent of luxury travel luggage. Each bottle comes with its own oak plinth, made from solid Scottish oak, for display purposes.

As with the making of single malt Scotch whisky, the materials used in the packaging of The Glenrothes Single Cask are kept to a minimum - only crystal glass, brass, leather and oak have been used. Every element of the design exudes understated elegance; where ostentation and over-elaboration is commonplace, The Glenrothes displays proud and quiet confidence.

The Glenrothes 1970 Extraordinary Cask #10573 will initially be available from Berry Bros. & Rudd and its representatives in key markets.

Prices will start at £3,000 (€4,000 or $5,000) and upwards per bottle.

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