The Glenrothes 18 Year 1996 from The Exclusive Malts is a test of suggestiveness. Were I not to know that it were Glenrothes, would I still find a rich burgundy-drenched beef stew clotting my nostrils? It’s impossible to say, given that we don’t fly blind, but I imagine that it surely would be there, as we all know that Glenrothes eschews ex-Bourbon casks in lieu of Maillard-reaction deglazed fond-encrusted iron soup kettles. Don’t they? Back me up here, guys! Guys? Fine. Anyways, on the nose is beef stew mixed with narcissus flowers, deck wood, beef stew, sourballs, caramelized grapefruit slices, and beef stew: The scene of an ill-fated Arkansas trailer-park wedding during tornado season. Oh, the humanity! But it doesn’t stop there; we also got a hipster’s heirloom quinoa food truck that runs on canola oil and irony that ran off the road into an embankment during an argument over the ethics of larding with black vs. white conflict truffles.
The assertive nose is translated down to the mouth via ad hoc translations of the Rosetta Stone’s hieroglyphics, and no fruit was found: Only savories such as tea leaves, molasses, pepper oil, and Alfred Hitchcock movies. There’s a gamey richness—not unlike beef stew—of a campfire meal made of a mélange of perhaps mythical animals trapped at the gloaming of the 7th day, spiced with rosemary hips, asparagus tips, and kitty nips. There’s also prosciutto wrapped by figs, in a surprising twist, followed by a tingle of the static electricity produced by running a comb made of spiderweb silk through a thick mane of auburn hair.
The finish is turning pirouettes in a spice shop in Assam, India. More flavor to savor, more nice spice; an elegant (Asian) elephant tap dancing at a cabaret. It’s mace, like a knight’s mace rather than a self-defensive mace.
The Glenrothes 18 Year 1996 from the Exclusive Malts is eating beef stew while sending and receiving email–Sure, beef stew has been around for a lot longer than 1996, and email was available to scientists and military personnel since the 1980s, but the first webmail site, Hotmail, for Pete’s sake, launched in July 1996. I claim 1996 marked the year of the first perfect blend of email + beef stew for the first time. Game, set, match, Glenrothes. (And beef stew.)
–Our thanks to Sam Filmus and ImpEx for the sample!