This year seems to be the year of rebranding in the whisky world. Many brands have received a complete revamp, Benromach, Benriach and Glenturret come to mind. But a few things have also changed at Cadenhead, where the Small Batch range has had to make way for the Original Collection. The biggest difference between the two ranges: no cask strength releases, but everything bottled at a strength of 46%.

This Glenrothes 23 year old was a release in the September outturn and the second oldest in this batch (there was also a 31 year old Strathclyde). Both are quite a step up in age compared to the others in this batch which were significantly younger, with the oldest being 13 years old. So it feels a bit of a gap there, but all in all, it’s a nice mix of different brands just like we are used to from Cadenheads.

Time will tell whether we will miss the cask strength releases of the Small Batch range, but let’s not forget that the Authentic Collection is still there. Although that range is a bit more difficult to get hold since these are only available in the Cadenhead shops, unlike the Original Collection which is also available in the regular liquor stores.

This Glenrothes has matured in 60% Bourbon + 40% Sherry casks. Bottled at 46% ABV.

Glenrothes 23 year old tasting notes:

Nose: caramel and milk chocolate at first. Some dried fruits in the back, leaning towards dried apricots and sultana. Orange peels. A hint of honey. Later also banana candies.

Taste: red apples and some vanilla. Honey and milk chocolate. A faint mocha note too. Oranges. Some spices, such as cinnamon, a pinch of crushed black pepper and ginger.

Finish: mid-long, with milk chocolate, oranges and a hint of cappucino.

It’s a nice whisky, nothing wrong with it, but it’s also not very spectacular. A bit of a ‘middle-of-the-road’ dram. And although it’s very reasonably priced for a whisky of that age (around €125,-), I expected somewhat more of it. Especially since it’s one of the oldest in the range.

Photo credit: Cadenhead