Headbangers Whisky Review: Glenrothes 1998 10yo (Bottled 2014) vs Glenrothes Alba Reserve

Fllowing yesterday ‘fight’ between two Glenlivet whiskies, today will bring you a fight between two expressions from another speyside distillery – Glenrothes 1998 Vintage (10 years old but was bottled in 2014) against Glenrothes Alba Reserve.

It was one of the pairs I tasted recently at Dramming.com age vs NAS bling tasting. This time it’s not a whisky vs its’ replacement but one of the regular Glenrothes vintages releases, although this 1998 vintage is the first bottling made with Gordon Motion as the Glenrothes Malt Master and we pit it against their all ex-bourbon (American oak) NAS release. 

Glenrothes 1998 (43%, £59.95/€56,99)

Glenrothes Alba Reserve (43%, £39.95/€46.99)

glenrothes-1998-bottled-2014-whisky The_Glenrothes_Alba_Reserve
Feels like a low ABV whisky, there’s some caramel and some toned down nose (is it chill filtered?). There’s damp oak, whiffs of citrus, cream and vanilla. It’s gentle and nutty and must be some speyside distillery. after a few minutes in the glass there are also some hints of fragrance. Nose This one feel fresher and not so caramel sweet with more honey sweetness, meadow notes, lemon curd and hints of fragrance. Light oak and hints of spice.
Sweet caramel, damp oak, honey, cereals and overall quite a thin palate. Palate Sweet but feels more natural, honey, white pepper, oak bitterness, nuts.
Short finish with lingering artificial sweetness, oak spice with some additional bitterness. Finish Short, finish with lingering sweetness, lemon, white pepper and oak wood.

Conclusions: At the blind tasting I had to pick a winner and out of those two I picked the Alba Reserve which I correctly guessed as a NAS whisky. The rest of the tasters were divided and overall it was a draw between them.


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