Award-winning Speyside distillery, The Glenrothes introduces a new tasting platform, The Vintage Vinyl Sessions. The first session took place last night in a legendary setting – it was a seductive evening, of Vintage whisky and music on vintage vinyl.
The Vintage Vinyl Sessions incorporate two great pleasures of taste and sound – The Glenrothes Vintage Single Malt and Vinyl Records. As a follow up to the occasion, The Glenrothes are soon to release a very rare, celebratory whisky, Extraordinary Cask #11483, from 1969 – a second-fill hogshead cask, filled on 31st July 1969. The cask yielded only 69 bottles at natural strength.
To complement the 1969 Vintage and to demonstrate a link back to the year the whisky was created, the Beatles album, Abbey Road was chosen by The Glenrothes Brands Heritage Director, Ronnie Cox, and specialist vinyl curator – Colleen Murphy*.
The very same year, 1969, that the whisky was distilled and laid to mature in the warehouse, The Beatles recorded their last studio album, Abbey Road. The iconic album cover, of probably the most famous road crossing in the world, brought Abbey Road to popular attention. The studios where the album was recorded have become a celebrated setting, steeped in musical history.
For this one-and-only time, last night’s session was held in the world-famous Abbey Road studios, a fitting venue with iconic links to music heritage. The inaugural Vintage Vinyl Session began with an introduction to the Glenrothes Extraordinary Cask 1969 given by host, Ronnie Cox. It was then the turn of music specialist Colleen Murphy to introduce The Beatles album before guests settled in to listen to music and taste fine whisky.
The idea behind these sessions is to offer a unique experience, to listen to a specially chosen album made in the same year as the Glenrothes Vintage in its entirety, one that compliments a particular Glenrothes expression and illustrates the connection between Vintage whisky and Vintage music. The evening also included tastings of The Glenrothes Vintages 1995 and 2001 as well as Vintage Reserve. Each accompanied by music on Vinyl from the same year; Single Vintage 1995 with High and Dry by Radiohead, Vintage Reserve with the Abbey Road album by The Beatles, Single Vintage 2001 with Sunrise by Pulp and finally XO1969 paired with He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother by The Hollies.
As Ronnie explains: “There is nothing like the influence of music to enhance this liquid, music is after all an incredibly powerful emotional trigger; Singles, on 45RPM, are like our Single Vintages: good enough to be released on their own. Albums on 33RPM are like our Reserves: A selection of Single Vintages that, when married together, deliver a truly rounded and complete savouring experience: greater even than the sum of their parts.” He goes on, “the 1969, extraordinary cask? Now that’s like a platinum album: that good, that rare”.
The Glenrothes Single Cask 1969 #11483
The fourth release in the Glenrothes Extraordinary Cask Series, it is additional to the release of The Glenrothes Single Cask 1969 #11485, released back in February 2014. The Glenrothes Extraordinary Single Cask 1969 has been bottled from the contents of Cask #11483. It is bottled at a natural strength of 43.8% ABV, is unchillfiltered and, like all Glenrothes’ bottlings, of completely natural colour.
The hallmarks of The Glenrothes are quality and purity, evident in the beautifully-balanced, elegant and well-mannered single malt with peerless texture, perfectly expressed by this single cask bottling.
Appearance: Bright and clear and coppery.
Nose: Powerful aroma of complexity including vanilla, coconut, toasted walnuts, herbal notes.
Palate: Lots of good older wood notes, lingers lovingly with toffee, popcorn, nougat.
Finish: Long melt in the mouth, honeycomb, superbly balanced for one so old.
The Glenrothes 1969 Extraordinary Cask #11483 will initially be available from Berry Bros. & Rudd in February 2016 and its representatives in key markets. Prices will start at £4,000 (€5,000 or $7,000) and upwards per bottle.