All about making whisky
Up until the 1990s, only a 12 year old bottling was available on the market. But in 1994 a new bottle was introduced with a round and full shape, proudly harbouring within a 1979 vintage. This vintage expression pays testament to the vision of Berry Bros & Rudd, a company known for the quality of its cask selection, a process over which it takes particular care. This bold action brought into question the very concept of age, behind which the majority of single malts hide, and questioned consumers’ perception of the link between a whisky’s age and its aromatic maturity. However, although the year of distillation is important, it is the choice of casks (mostly Spanish wood) that has the biggest influence on the aromatic profile of its “vintage” years, each one with a different balance of spice, citrus and oak.
Why a vintage rather than an age? It is important to be clear that the date indicated on The Glenrothes bottlings is the date of distillation. By specifying the date of distillation rather than the age of the whisky, The Glenrothes puts the emphasis on the identity of a single malt, created in exactly the same conditions (from the cereal to the final distillate). This philosophy of course requires numerous tastings of the malts in the barrels as they age, in order to capture each nectar at the peak of its maturity. Basically, each vintage has its own personality.