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Glenrothes: A Distillery Profile

The Glenrothes Distillery is a single malt distillery located in the heart of Speyside in the town of Rothes.


Glenrothes was founded in 1878 by James Stuart & Co. with the aim of producing high-quality single malt Scotch. The distillery is known for its commitment to traditional craftsmanship and attention to detail in the whisky-making process that has continues across the differing ownerships.

Over the years, the ownership of Glenrothes has changed hands several times. Having initially been established by James Stuart (who was working at nearby Macallan at the time) it has since moved through different ownerships, including Berry Bros. & Rudd before being sold to Edrington in 2017.

The distillery follows traditional methods of whisky production, including the use of copper pot stills. The water used in the production process is sourced from the natural springs in the nearby Tarlogie Hills.

Glenrothes is known for emphasising the importance of wood and cask management. The distillery places a significant weight on the quality and character of the oak casks used for maturation, which can greatly influence the final flavour profile of the whisky. It is one of the few Scotch whisky distilleries that has an on-site cooperage to produce and maintain it’s barrels.

The whiskies from here are often described as elegant and well-balanced and are characterised by the presence of fruity and floral notes. The influence of the sherry-seasoned oak casks is often evident in the flavour profile of the whisky as well.

Glenrothes is notable for its vintage releases, so instead of focusing on age statements, the distillery releases whiskies based on the year of distillation. Each vintage is unique, and the whiskies are selected for their individual characteristics.


Famous bottlings:

The Glenrothes 50 Year Old, Bottle #50

This was the final bottle of the distilleries oldest ever bottling. It sold at auction in early 2021 for a remarkable £39,000. Previous to this release, it was a 25 year old that was the oldest release. These bottles were very special indeed. The collar of the bottle was hand-engraved copper forged with 22 carat Scottish gold mined from Scotland’s one and only gold mine underneath The Trossachs National Park.

The Glenrothes 42 Year Old

A bottling of just 1,134 decanters. The liquid was drawn from four refill casks that had been laid down in 1980. It is noted as having a tropical fruit filled nose and wonderful freshness. It perfectly encapsulates how well the Glenrothes can age over time.

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