Thursday, December 8, 2016

Day 8... Glenrothes 8 year old - the Monty Python dram...

I think I may have jinxed myself yesterday as I proudly proclaimed these drams were getting better with every day?! Today, Day 8... I woke up and was thankful my work week is almost done!  It's been a very busy couple of weeks and there's no stopping the schedule!  Slippers snug on my feet and I began the daily ritual of running, well carefully walking to the whisky room since the "elbow incident".  Lights flicker and the majesty of the large box is there to greet me and start my day. Poking through the little door that has the number 8 on it, I reach in and pull out: Glenrothes 8 year old from the Malt Whisky Company. I look at the small print, 64.2% ABV...  I literally did a double take?! This is the true meaning of cask strength... 

Back up the stairs I bound, my lovely partner is in the kitchen making our coffee. I say: "Guess what whisky I have this morning!?". He looks over at me, not as exuberant as me apparently, and shrugs. "I", I say with much grandeur, "have a Glenrothes at 64.2% today!". Graham holds out his hand as though to say Hand it over lady... This is another of his go to whiskies, especially the independent bottlings. He opens the little bottle and takes a whiff. "Interesting", he says as he then takes a quick sip, "this is very familiar but I can't put my finger on it". I also nose and give the whisky a quick taste. I, unfortunately, find the high strength overwhelming. So, I grab my neat glass and add a dollop of water and a bit more whisky. I give a few minutes and nose/taste it again. Still not "there" for me, but I can't really describe what it is about this dram I'm not liking.

And just like that... it's time to get to work. I spend my day working away like a crazy woman as we are in our very busy time right now. By the 5:00pm whistle, I am gutted. Mentally, my brain feels a bit like a bowl of cold oatmeal. We arrive home and I instantly remember how bizarre this little dram was. I didn't even take my coat off (hehe) and walked right over to the table where I had left it earlier in the day. My lovely arm chair beckons and I instinctively plop myself down with glass in hand.

Try as I might, the strength is simply too much for my nose, so I add water. I decide to let it sit for a minute and I go take my coat and shoes off, etc. When I get back and put my nose in my glass again, it hits me like a brick in the forehead: Marmite!?
Now... if you've never experienced Marmite, it's truly a love/hate relationship. You either love it or hate it. I, am of the "strongly dislikes" and avoids at all cost side of the yellow cap!!! So now, as I sit there with a glass full of Marmite, I've intellectually doomed the whisky. I've "thought" it out and I will NOT LIKE this, no matter what... It's almost painful as my gag reflex starts kicking in even before I have lifted the glass to my mouth. But hey, I'm a trooper and I begin to justify that I have a job to do here and MUST, for the sake of the #whiskyfabric, drink and make notes about this whisky! (Oh, the sacrifices one must subject herself to!?, hehehe)

Graham pokes his head into the living room and sees my facial expression as I stare through the glass. "What's wrong?", he asks. "Marmite", I state emphatically. He walks over to me and takes the glass from my hand. "Remarkable", he replies as he noses it from all angles. "Not really" I say as I scrunch up my face. He takes another sip. It's stellar on the palate Jo he says with a sly smile. Great... now I really have to try it, as I can't pass up a stellar palate can I??

So here goes:

Malt Whisky Company, Glenrothes 8 year old, 64.2% ABV Refill Hogshead

Colour: The sherry influence is quite apparent as the whisky almost looks like a red amber beer. Surprising for an 8 year old really, and even more so because it's a refill.

Nose: Ack... Marmite, marmite, marmite. How to describe this to someone who has never experienced it!? Yeasty, spicy, salty, burnt coffee and sweetness all rolled into one. It is so bold and immense, it's simply overwhelming for me.

Palate: Well, now we are talking. I expected the yeast or burnt to be on the palate as well but it is not (thankfully). This is thick and has a very slippery mouthfeel. There is a bit of sweet bitterness to it, sort of like a slightly unripe mouthful of cherries. It's also somewhat drying in nature.

Finish: Candy cinnamon hearts. It warms you from the inside out and the "slightly tannic" after taste reminds me of a strong cup of tea.

Overall, I would say this is a dram I somewhat enjoyed. It was hard to get past the nose, but knowing I liked the flavours made it an interesting dram. It's fun to try different things, stretch your boundaries a bit and experience the breadth of styles that are available on the market.  For the whiskyphiles that love Marmite, boy do I have a dram for you!? For others, I will quote Monty Python: "And now for something completely different". Happy to have tried it, but not necessarily a dram I would reach for.

Graham on the other hand, has already tucked what was remaining of the sample away for safe keeping.   ;)

As always, I don't read Jonathan's reviews before I post my own so if you want to check out his take on this one or see if this bottle is still available please read up on:

Until day 9... I remain,

The curious and always willing


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