GSN Review: The Glenrothes Soleo Collection

The Glenrothes recently unveiled a new range of whiskies. The Soleo Collection signals a departure from Vintages and Reserves to age statements and features five entirely new whiskies: 10 Years Old, 12 Years Old, Whisky Maker’s Cut, 18 Years Old and 25 Years Old. (note: the 25-year-old was not available as of press time)

The creation of a single-malt whisky goes through many stages. From the selection of the raw materials to the time taken to mature the spirit in oak casks, each step plays its part. Inspired by the most defining part of the journey, sherry seasoning, this collection follows the grape as it makes its way to becoming sherry and then onward to the seasoning of The Glenrothes’ oak casks.

The traditional soleo process has inspired and given its name to this collection, as it brings together time, nature and tradition. While the product range will change over the coming months, with these new expressions replacing the previous Vintage and Reserve portfolio, sherry-seasoned oak casks will continue to define The Glenrothes. Close to 90 percent of the casks currently maturing at the distillery have previously held sherry, with 70 percent of these being first-fill sherry casks.

Gordon Motion, master whisky maker, says, “The Glenrothes is a true craft single-malt. Taking things back to a vital yet simple natural process, this new collection allows us to tell a vital part of the story that hasn’t before been highlighted in this way. We believe in sharing the inspiring detail in how and why we create the whiskies we do. The Soleo Collection does exactly that; making these fantastic new whiskies is testament to our commitment to craftsmanship and quality.”

The Glenrothes 10 Year Old (80 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: Slight peat and smoke with a floral overtone.
Taste: Mild honey, biscuit, along with a touch of peat. There is a touch of grape and apricot as well.
Finish: Medium long and easy.
Overall: A bit rough, but pleasant enough.
GSN Rating: A-

The Glenrothes 12 Year Old (80 proof)
Visual: Medium-dark gold.
Nose: Biscuit, along with caramel and slight oakiness.
Taste: Somewhat reminiscent of apple butter on toast with a slight tanginess. Very little smoke, and less sweetness than the 10 year old.
Finish: Medium long.
Overall: More character and with a touch more complexity.
GSN Rating: A-

The Glenrothes Whisky Maker’s Cut (97.6 proof)
Visual: Medium dark gold.
Nose: Heavy vanilla, caramel, toasted nuts and toast.
Taste: Laden with caramel and honey, this is a sweeter and more baking spice patinaed whiskey. The barrel is more apparent here as well, although leaning more toward the oak and char than the sherry.
Finish: Long and delicious.
Overall: The best of the bunch.
GSN Rating: A

The Glenrothes 18 Year Old (86 proof)
Visual: Medium dark gold.
Nose: More floral notes and  a stronger honeyed presence come through. The oak here is also more pronounced.
Taste: Again a fruitiness which is intriguing, but the extra years in the barrel have made this a drier experience similar to a fruit brandy.
Finish: Long, with some grass-like notes at the fade out.
Overall: Very nice and elegant.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: The Glenrothes

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