10 years ago I was living life as your typical twenty-something urban dweller with a growing interest in Scotch whisky. Up until that point I was well versed with likes of Johnnie Walker Red Label (or Black Label on special occasions) and had just begun dabbling into the single malt category by way of the three Glens (Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, Glenlivet 12 Year Old and Glenmorangie 10 Year Old).

But it took a growing appreciation and a celebratory occasion for me to decide it was time to up the game a bit. I payed a visit to my local whisky shop where the staff was kind enough to offer me a tasting of a dozen single malts, each offering unique flavors I had never experienced before. I was looking for something special and was fully ready to spend up to $50 USD, which at that time was more than I could ever imagine spending on a single bottle of whisky.

After loading my virgin palate with a dozen single malts and getting somewhat smashed in the process, the whisky that I chose as my first “real whisky” was The Glenrothes Select Reserve. I loved everything about that whisky. From the complex flavor profile to the approachability to the unique bottle design, this was the whisky that spoke to me.

Fast forward to the present and for one reason or another, Glenrothes has been out of the picture for the better part of the last 10 years. My interest in single malt whisky has certainly evolved (to say the least) but for the first time in over a decade I have developed a genuine renewed interest in Glenrothes.

Pictured above is their latest release, The Glenrothes 2004 Vintage. Matured exclusively in Oloroso sherry casks, I can honestly say this is one of the most enjoyable single malts I’ve had in quite some time. In some ways it’s similar to The Macallan 12 Years Old but with flavor profile that is a bit less concentrated and arguably smoother around the edges. As someone whose world is now centered around single cask, cask strength whisky, rarely do I find this level of enjoyment in a commercial product such as this. Be it nostalgia, the tremendous value, or just the fact that it’s a well-crafted whisky, I love it. It’s good to be home.

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