I’ve reviewed a few of York based independent bottlers Claxtons releases before and always found them to be decent value and some damn fine whisky. In fact their Rioja wine cask Bruichladdich was my favourite indie bottling of 2016.
I’ve had this sample sat around for a while so its probably a good time to dive in…
Glenrothes 19yo, IB, Claxtons, 53.7%abv, press sample, (available here)
The nose is heavy, heavy sherry to start. It is almost leathery in nature and is made up of deep and dark spiced fruits laced with mahogany and some cinnamon infused stewed apples.
The palate is viscous and thick with a fantastic mouthfeel. The fruit is more noticeable in the palate and now start to reveal themselves. There are dates, figs and cherries, all warmed in cinder toffee. Cedar wood replaces the mahogany and there is a beautiful waft of cigar humidor here too.
The finish is tannic and drying in nature. Sultanas steeped in cold black tea dry the mouth and just covers a slight sulphurous hint at the end.
I’ve tried several Glenrothes expressions and vintages in the past and whilst spending some time with this dram I tried to separate out some of the elegant and fruity character that its known for. I think this is why the sultanas notes rather than the typical sherry bomb strong raisin elements are present and why there is a fruity feeling to this. There is the tiniest bit of distillery character here in there but the reality is that along with all the sherry bomb style expressions there isn’t always much distillery DNA shining through.
As a sherry bomb its deep and dark, rather well balanced and not wildly spiced or overly sulphuric. It is however wonderfully tannic (not too much like in the case of others that I have tried) and the addition of a few drops of water really opens it up.
If you are after a sherry bomb that is not your usual Glendronach or Kavalan then this is well worth adding to your collection.