The first hit on the nose is a funk bomb that dissipates quickly–but what a funk bomb it is! Someone crafted it out of mushroom-flavored gunpowder and cork shrapnel from a pin board left in an Ivy League professor’s office after he retired abruptly at 92. While we maintain that the signature note in Glenrothes smells like a beef stew flavored with rosemary and thyme, as it’s expressed here, that note is more Beef Stroganoff in the early stages of cooking–right after one has added a sliced batch of fresh criminis. Or it’s like a savory beef stew funk and a solid sherry funk were wrestling, while a bowl of overripe cherries looks on, probably furtively. It’s really nice without being so beautiful that all the guys are too intimidated to approach it.
The mouth is yellow sultana essence swirled into a mulled grapefruit and carrot wine. Or perhaps it’s tangelo oil mixed with a black tea liqueur served in a cone made out of a palm frond at a large oasis in a tiny desert. Either way, it’s a cocktail a bartender has yet to dream up, with fruitiness, a solid rather than oily mouthfeel, and a drying and tannic vector just to keep it all interesting.
The finish continues the tannins and dryness of the end of the mouth, but leaves you with a hint of deep, dark wine from a beatification ceremony. It’s lovely and rarefied on the finish, but it’s more of a fine silk muslin on your tongue than a holy wafer. And that recommends it, believe me.
On the scale of sweet wines that could be used for communion–
The Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve is Barrel-Aged Port–That’s right, I’m mixing my fortified wine metaphors, but imagine using a really good, well-aged port for a Catholic communion. In a phrase, you could even skip the wafers.
–Our thanks to Anchor Distilling Co. for the sample!