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Glenrothes releases next single cask bottling

Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits has released the second in its series of single cask bottlings of The Glenrothes Speyside single malt whisky from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Brands heritage director Ronnie Cox allows no more than one single cask release from The Glenrothes per year. He says: “We released the extraordinary cask from 1970 in September 2012, when it was at its peak; there were a mere 179 bottles which have all sold out. The time is right to release the latest of these; a delightfully characterful Glenrothes distilled in the summer of ‘69 which, I am delighted to proclaim, is now ready to be committed to glass.”

Distilled on July 10, 1969, This Glenrothes whisky from cask #11485, a refill hogshead, yielded just 133 bottles at a natural strength of 42.9%abv.

Award-winning packaging

The shape of the instantly recognisable Glenrothes bottle has been enhanced further, using hand-blown lead crystal, for the single cask decanter but in a manner that is in keeping with the elegance of the whisky and the heritage of The Glenrothes. The essential shape has been retained but is now multi-faceted – heavy crystal at the base elevates the bottle and frames the whisky within.

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.

The team at creative agency Brandhouse, designed the decanter, retaining the look of the iconic Glenrothes bottle shape. The bottle takes extra inspiration from the world of perfume.

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 #11485 in which the whisky has matured. (World Whiskies Design Awards 2013)

The Glenrothes is also recognisable 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 thus ensuring 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.

As with the making of single malt Scotch whisky, the materials used in the packaging of The Glenrothes Single Cask are kept to a minimum – only crystal glass, brass, leather and oak have been used. Every element of the design exudes understated elegance; where ostentation and over-elaboration is commonplace, The Glenrothes displays proud and quiet confidence.

The Glenrothes 1969 Extraordinary Cask #11485 will initially be available from Berry Bros. & Rudd and its representatives in key markets.

Prices will start at £4,000 (€5,000 or $7,000) and upwards per bottle.

17 February 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor