GLENROTHES-logoThe Glenrothes

  • Location: BB&R Spirits Ltd, 3 St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1EG
  • Expressions: Vintage Reserve ($49.99), Sherry Cask Reserve ($54.99), Bourbon Cask Reserve ($54.99), Peated Cask Reserve ($54.99), Vintage 2001 ($69.99), Vintage 1998 ($89.99)
  • Visiting:

Their Story

A Secret Among Blenders

On December 28, 1879, the first spirit flowed from the stills at the Glenrothes distillery. The flavor, structure and body of The Glenrothes whisky created a “top dressing” of choice for master blenders across the length and breadth of Scotland, which is why it is at the heart of some of the world’s finest blends such as Cutty Sark, The Famous Grouse, and other great names. The malts used in a blend, if not exactly a secret, are not common knowledge. So, for over a hundred years and for a good twenty years after the renaissance of single malt whiskies, The Glenrothes remained essentially unknown. The name didn’t register with any but discerning whisky drinkers and the fraternity of master blenders.

Berry Bros. & Rudd

The whisky was well known, however, to London’s oldest established wine merchants Berry Bros. & Rudd Ltd., who had been providing their discerning customers with the finest wines and spirits from their premises at No.3 St. James’s Street since 1698. In the early 1990s, Berry Bros. & Rudd decided to create a premium quality niche in the developing single malt whisky market. They certainly had The Glenrothes firmly in mind just as they had previously when, in 1923, they developed the revolutionary lighter styled Cutty Sark blended whisky.

A Vintage Approach To Whisky

The concept was to find whiskies from Glenrothes which would represent the “best of the best.” The idea of declaring vintages came naturally to Berry Bros. & Rudd, given their extensive experience with wine. After all, the similarities with the finest wines are many-most significantly that each vintage offers a different personality while sharing the same character. And, with whisky as with wine, vintages are both finite and rare. Berry Bros. & Rudd recognized that the distillers’ advanced understanding of the maturation process had promising implications for future vintages, as they would not be locked into the consistency associated with products of fixed ages, whose personality remains the same in each bottling and whose recipe is frozen in time. For an industry wedded to the notion of producing the exact same product year in year out, this was an unusual idea. And The Glenrothes, with its exceptional quality, seemed the natural choice to test it. In addition to the core of vintage bottling, several reserve whiskies were created to offer non-vintage expressions that typify the distillery’s house style, most notably The Glenrothes Select Reserve.