Extraordinary. It’s not just better than average. Or a bit different. In our book, extraordinary is amazing. It’s something that makes you stop and take notice. So when a brand uses the word ‘extraordinary’ in the naming of a product, it had better be ready to live up to our expectations. Thankfully, The Glenrothes takes this to heart with their latest: the Extraordinary Cask Collection: The Glenrothes Single Cask 1968 #13507.
This is the third single-cask bottling of The Glenrothes Single Malt Scotch Whisky from the Extraordinary Cask Collection. The Glenrothes Extraordinary Single Cask 1968 is a bottling from Cask #13507, and is priced at a staggering $9,250. It is bottled in a hand-blown lead crystal decanter and housed in a leather-bound carrying case.
The Glenrothes Extraordinary Single Cask 1968 is a second-fill hogshead cask filled on November 19, 1968, that yielded just 145 bottles, 28 of which are available in the US. 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. This expression is unchill-filtered and, like all Glenrothes’ bottlings, completely natural in color.
Each of the Extraordinary Cask releases is presented in a hand-blown lead crystal decanter to mirror the iconic shape of the instantly recognizable Glenrothes bottle – a design that received a World Whisky Award in 2013. In keeping with the elegance of the whisky and the heritage of The Glenrothes, each decanter has been individually created by a master craftsman at Atlantis Crystal in Alcobaca, Portugal, using the purest form of crystal, distinguished by its great resonance, transparency, luminosity and weight.
A plaque made of polished brass is applied to just one front facet: engraved with the year of distillation and the bottle number to ensure the uniqueness and authenticity of each individual decanter. Brass has also been used for the hand-engraved collar on the neck of the decanter, supplied by Charles Stott, of the Edinburgh-based Scottish Silversmiths. In addition, the head of the stopper is fashioned from the wood of the very cask #13507 in which the whisky has matured.
The Glenrothes is also recognizable by its tasting notes label – in this instance it has been positioned around the neck of the decanter to leave the body perfectly unadulterated. The label is hand-signed by the Malt Master, Gordon Motion, and numbered and dated to ensure that each bottle is identifiable and unique.
The outer case is fine, hand-crafted leather, reminiscent of luxury travel luggage. Each bottle comes with its own oak plinth, made from solid Scottish oak, for display purposes and a book co-written by seven leading whisky writers each contributing a chapter about The Glenrothes, its history and the whisky.
Appearance: Bright gold with scarlet notes of burnished copper
Nose: Rose petals and face cream, tinned peaches, apricots in syrup, mirabelles in honey, beeswax polish and candles
Palate: Text-book Glenrothes creamy texture with exemplary integration; mascarpone with orange blossom, very lively with white pepper and Turkish delight
Finish:Leathery and spicy dryness with a reprise of the Turkish delight; a single cask of extreme complexity and elegance.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.