This month’s black bottle comes courtesy of Glenrothes with an expression that has spent 21 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead before being re-racked into a Spanish oak PX hogshead for an addition three years of maturation. The ABV is notably still rather high here.
Nose: Burnt parchment paper, dunnage floors and just extinguished church tapers all offer a sense of elegant, well-considered maturity. Reduced plums and greengages join sultanas and raisins in a stewed combination that includes more than a hint of cellar rancio along for the ride. Roasted nuts and polished sherry oak sit with a sack cloth full of potatoes and spent espresso beans. Dilution adds a cake-y quality alongside stepped fruit teas and yet more old school diversions – this time, dusty attics.
Taste: Seems even more mature than its 24 years. Polish wood panelling in a library full of dusty books. Metholated oak runs throughout with black coffee, balsamic and rancio sherry sharpness and a selection of cherries and berries livened with 70s orange liqueur. The addition of water reveals an exquisite fruity quality with tinned stone and berry fruits alongside tobacco tins, walnut oil and old, brittle wood beams.
Finish: Quite long with slightly medicinal oakiness that sours as it lingers.
This Society Glenrothes possess an old world profile which virtually always floats my boat. There’s stylishness and charm throughout and whilst the oak is prominent, it has reclined and sprawled into its fireside leather armchair to offer considerable maturity without ever outstaying its welcome. Reasonably priced compared to some similarly aged OBs – most of which don’t come with the associated antique-y profile. Pick of the month.