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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Glenrothes  Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Speyside Distillery Information

Glenrothes Distillery History

In 1868, James Davidson sold his Macallan distillery to James Stuart. In 1875, James Stuart formed a partnership with Robert Dick, William Grant, both agents of the Caledonian Bank in Rothes, and John Cruickshank, a solicitor from Elgin, Moray. The four men established the firm of James Stuart & Co to improve the Macallan distillery. In 1878, they decided to build a new distillery in Rothes, Moray, however the development was threatened by the collapse of the City of Glasgow Bank.


The result was the suspension of business at the Caledonian Bank and consequently the partnership was dissolved in 1878. James Stuart retained the Macallan distillery. Whilst William Grant, John Cruickshank and Robert Dick formed William Grant & Co, and continued with the construction of the new Glenrothes distillery and in May 1879, the Glenrothes Distillery went into production..


The company faced several years of financial difficulty and debt, however during 1883, the trading performance of Glenrothes Distillery improved and in 1884, marketing was assisted when the firm was permitted to use the ‘Glenlivet’ name as a suffix and so the distillery became known as the Glenrothes-Glenlivet Distillery.


However, this up turn was shot lived and in 1885, a reduction in the distillery’s profits once more reflected the depression of the market. In July 1887 William Grant & Co merged with the Islay Distillery Co owners of the Bunnahabhain Distillery, to create the Highland Distilleries Co Ltd.


In 1896, extension work at the Glenrothes distillery commenced with an increase of the number of stills from two to four and a second malt kiln was added. However before the work was finished a fire in December 1897 caused serious damage.


The distillery suffered a serious explosion in 1903, and another fire again in 1922  in warehouse Number 1.


Glenrothes was closed in 1942, when the Ministry of Food requisitioned it for drying oats.


In 1963 the number of stills were increased from four to six. Then during the late 1970s, the distillery was completely refurbished with a new still house for ten stills completed in 1982


In 1972, Highland Distilleries Co Ltd set up the subsidiary Glenrothes-Glenlivet Ltd to manage the distillery. In 1988, this company became Glenrothes Distillery Co Ltd and in 2003 was still operating the distillery at Glenrothes as part of Highland Distillers Group Ltd


Glenrothes malt whisky contributes to Cutty Sark and Famous Grouse blends


Glenrothes Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery Bottlings

Glenrothes is bottled by year. The best casks are selected for that year when they reach the Master blenders high criteria.


Glenrothes Single Malt Scotch Whisky Vintages

Glenrothes is bottled by year. The best casks are selected for that year when they reach the Master blenders high criteria.

Glenrothes Vintages

1966, 1967, 1975,  1978, 1985, 1987, 1988,  1991, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2001

Glenrothes Alba Reserve

Glenrothes Elders Reserve

Glenrothes Manse Reserve

Glenrothes Ministers Reserve

Glenrothes Oldest Reserve

Glenrothes Robur Reserve

Glenrothes Select Reserve

Glenrothes Sherry Reserve

Glenrothes John Ramsey

Glenrothes Single cask  1966(2), 1967(2), 1969, 1970, 1977(4), 1979, 1980, 1996,


Glenrothes Single Malt Scotch Whisky Travel Retail

Glenrothes 25 year old

Glenrothes Robur Reserve

Glenrothes Three Decades


Glenrothes Single Malt Scotch Whisky Discontinued Vintages

1966, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975,  1979,  1980, 1982,  1984, 1985, 1989, 1992


Glenrothes Single Malt Scotch Whisky  Independent Bottlings 


Berrys Own Selection,



Chieftain’s (Ian Macleod),

Coopers Choice,

D & M (Angus Dundee USA)

Dun Bheagan (Ian McLeod),

Duncan Taylor "Cask Strength"

Duncan Taylor Collection

Gordon & MacPhail,

Lonach (Duncan Taylor),

Mackillop's Choice

MacPhail’s Collection,

Mission (Murray McDavid),

Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing),

Old Masters (James McArthur USA only)

Peerless (Duncan Taylor),

Platinum (Douglas Laing),

Private Cellars (Speyside Distillers)

Provenance (Douglas Laing),

Scotts Selection (Speyside Distillers)


Un-Chill Filtered  (Signatory).

Whisky Galore (Duncan Taylor).

Glenrothes Distillery, Rothes,


AB38 7AA

Tel: +44 (0)1340 872300


No Visitor Centre

Glenrothes Scotch  Whisky

Distillery StyleTasting Notes


Nose: Big and bold. Fruity, spicy, raisins and sultanas, sherry.


Palate: Rich and silky. Very fruity, spicy, nutty, toffee, vanilla, honey.


Finish: Long and complex. Toffee, honey, fudge.

Glenrothes Single Malt Scotch Whisky

8 Year Old 40% MacPhail’s Collection,

Colour: Golden.



Nose: Fruity with hints of green apples and gooseberries. Some malty, cereal notes - traces of fresh coconut.


Palate: Sweet with floral and fruit flavours. Some dark chocolate and nutty notes also present.


With Water

Nose: Dried tobacco with subtle fruitiness - boiled sweets. Sweet malty notes.


Palate: A little smokiness with dry grass and floral notes. Drying.


Body: Delicate.

Finish: Short and clean.

Cask Type: Refill sherry Casks.

Whisky Style: A pleasant everyday dramming whisky.

Glenrothes Recent Awards

Select Reserve



Quality Drink Awards: Platinum Q


Quality Drink Awards: Winner


The Scotch Whisky Master: Master


The San Francisco World Spirits Competiton: Double Gold


The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2006: Gold


Robur Reserve


International Spirits Challenge: Gold


International Wine & Spirit Competition: Silver 'Best in Class'


Travel Retail Spirit Masters : Gold - Packaging


Alba Reserve


San Francisco World Spirits Competition: Double Gold


International Spirits Challenge: Silver


Vintage 1998


San Francisco World Spirits Competition: Silver


International Spirits Challenge: Silver


Vintage 1994


Internationaler Spirituosen Wettbewerb : Silver


International Wine & Spirit Competition: Silver 'Best in Class'


San Francisco World Spirits Competition: Gold


Spirits Award Bronze: Bronze


Vintage 1988


International Spirits Challenge: Bronze Medal

Founded in 1878 by John Cruickshank, and partners.

Location Speyside region rothes district. Rothes town

Water source Ardcanny spring


Glenrothes  Whisky Distilling Equipment

Stainless steel mash tun

12 Oregon pine washbacks.25,560 Litre Capacity Each

8 Stainless Steel washbacks

5 Wash stills

5 Spirit stills

Matured in a combination of  Spanish sherry and

American bourbon casks in traditional dunnage warehouses

On site cooperage.