The Glenrothes – Sherry Cask Reserve

Latest Release from Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits

The Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve
The Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve

On 15th July Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits (@berrybrosrudd) announced the release of the latest expression from award-winning Speyside distillery, The Glenrothes (@TheGlenrothes).

The sherry casks used to mature The Glenrothes are made to specification in Jerez, southern Spain, and, despite costing approximately five times more than ex-bourbon casks (which account for over 95% of the casks used in the Scotch whisky industry), the depth of flavour derived from these casks makes the additional investment worthwhile.

Until now, however, The Glenrothes has never released an all-first-fill sherry cask expression. Sherry Cask Reserve is matured predominantly in European oak which delivers a greater array of flavours than the American equivalent and, in particular, the resinous and dried fruit character underpinning the sherry top notes.

Malt Master Gordon Motion’s flavour notes appear on the front label: “Spicy ginger, orange peel, and sherry oak.”

Ronnie Cox, Brands Heritage Director, describes The Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve as; “The texture is deliciously creamy, a hallmark of The Glenrothes, which develops into a kaleidoscopic rainbow of soft spicy and fruity flavours on the palate, balanced in perfect harmony with lingering overtones of sherry and Spanish oak.”

This has been bottled at 40% ABV and is available from Berry Bros. & Rudd and its representatives, RRP £55.

The Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve tasting notes 


Burnished gold


Orange peel, fruitcake, vanilla, gingerbread, black cherries, pear drops


Spicy, ginger, oaky notes, crème brûlée


Lingering spiciness with orange peel notes

So now we’ve heard what they have to say, it’s my turn.



Not surprisingly the first hit is a big fruity, rubbery, sherry assault on the nose.  It’s more astringent than I expected with definite resin and freshly shaved pine notes in there.  Given a little time in the glass the sweeter notes comes through, soft buttery shortbread, damson, blackberries and overripe plums, all baked with raisins and molasses.  Marmalade with oranges and just a hint of candied lemon peel.


Cereal notes were the first to make themselves known, completely at odds with the nose, think hob nobs dipped in tea, then there’s all the baking spices you would expect.  Ginger is the first and brings a little tingle, before being replaced with the far sweeter cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg.  This dram has a real custard tart taste to it, there’s rich eggy, creamy custard with vanilla aplenty and it actually takes a bit of time before any of the fruit from the sherry and the palate make themselves known.  There is the tiniest hint of stewed plums and rich, plump raisins and the tiniest nod to the cask.


Medium, there’s a creamy sweetness and just a touch of ginger that linger on a short while, but the tannins carry this one on longer than it otherwise would.

Overall thoughts:

An easy drinking whisky, certainly gentle, it would pair well with most courses as it certainly isn’t in danger of overpowering anything.  I would have expected more of the sherry flavours to carry through on to the palate, especially for a first fill, all sherry cask, however there is a touch of fruit and the creamy spiciness make it perfectly pleasant.  In my opinion this would have really benefited from a higher ABV, at least 43% to bring it up to my taste.  It’s not a bad price and would be perfect for somebody who is looking for a first, gentle introduction into sherried whisky, certainly worth a try.

With thanks for the official sample.

Kirsty Clarke (@Kirstyclarke29)

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