Claxton’s Glenrothes 1997 – 19 Year Old

It seemed fitting to purchase a bottle of whisky from a bottler based in York, a place where I have had many a whisky discovery. Benrinnes, That Boutique-y Whisky Company and Paul John to name but a few.

I’ll start this review with an excerpt from the Claxton’s website:

In the early years of Scotland’s ancient and most world-renowned industry, many merchants bought single casks of whisky and bottled them as they were, preserving their unique character and flavour. As a family-owned, independent company bound to no single distiller, Claxton’s proudly continue this ancient tradition by hand-selecting individual casks that reach only the highest benchmark.

The marriage of wood and spirit in a cask creates a unique flavour and aroma. As each release of Claxton’s is bottled straight from a single cask, this individuality is preserved and no two bottlings are ever completely alike. This means each release offers the opportunity to discover rare whiskies with exquisite and truly individual tastes which may never be repeated in quite the same way again.

At Claxton’s, the approach of bottling whiskies in their most original form is born from generations of exploration and appreciation of ‘Uisge Beatha’ (the traditional Gaelic term for whisky, meaning water of life). Not a single precious drop has been chill-filtered or has any added colouring, preserving the original flavour of the whisky. Every release is only bottled when the balance between cask influence and spirit is perfect, no matter how long this may take. Claxton’s value quality of taste and aroma above all else…”

This particular cask is from The Glenrothes distillery which can be found in the heart of Speyside, and I am really getting in to these whiskies, which is really quite handy for me.

REGION: Speyside
DISTILLED: 28/04/1997
CASK TYPE: Sherry Butt
CASK NO: 1610-7154
NO. OF BOTTLES: 669

53.7 ABV

I first tried this whisky a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to spoil myself…to see if it was as memorable as I recalled it to be.

Well you would, would’t you?

Firstly the colour is gorgeous and deep, you know its been in a sherry cask.

I did let this dram sit a while for it to open up…

The nose just draws you in, it’s that “sherry bomb”, your senses are treated to rich stewed fruits, with caramel and a drizzle of honey. Dates, toffee and orange rind mingle with a sweet vanilla. There is a hint of caramel, a smattering of bitter dark cocoa and delicious Christmas spices accompanied by a touch of oak… I poured it in to a fresh glass at this point and there was the scent of leather and maybe a waft of tobacco in the empty one.

The palate is delicious. Sherry and rich chewy fruits and spices. That waft of tobacco I mentioned is there, with cocoa and that sweet vanilla and a few drops of bitter coffee. It feels slightly dry, but that’s good. It just delivers your mouth with such a rich fullness that you just need to sit quietly with it and enjoy…

It finishes warm and long, I had a “huh” moment here as how to describe the way it made me feel, the non edited version remains in my phone.

So, back to how it finishes, it’s good, it really is. That touch of oak and dark bitter sugar, a slight pepperiness, and a lick of liquorice…this is why I wanted to try it again, and I am happy that I did. I just needed to see if it was as good as I remembered it…and it is!

Thank you for giving me a sample.

And a brief note to say it was lovely meeting Adrian too, and being able to thank him in person for the bottle they sent me back in November last year.

Slàinte!

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