Glenrothes Distillery

  • Scotland
  • Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2018, World Spirits Competition 2021 & 2018, Scotch Whisky Masters 2015
Phone Number
  • The Glenrothes Distillery, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7AA, United Kingdom

Historic Glenrothes distillery stone building with red doors.

History of Glenrothes Distillery

Founding and Location

Established in 1879 by James Stuart & Co., who also operated the nearby Macallan distillery, The Glenrothes Distillery is situated in the town of Rothes. It’s uniquely positioned beside the Burn of Rothes, in a glen on the town’s edge.

Production and Distinction

The distillery is renowned for its high-quality whisky, characterized by structure and flavor honed over 140 years. It gained significant acclaim when The Glenrothes 25 Year Old won the Ultimate Spirits Challenge Chairman’s Trophy for Best Speyside Single Malt in 2018.

Range of Whiskies

The Glenrothes offers a variety of whiskies, including age statements like 10, 12, 18, and 25 Year Old, as well as the Whisky Maker’s Cut and Bourbon Cask Reserve. They also have other vintages and reserves, providing a spectrum of flavors from delicate and fresh to rich and sophisticated.

Maturation Process

The whisky is primarily matured in Sherry-seasoned European and American oak casks, custom-built in Jerez, Spain. The use of ex-Bourbon casks, though less frequent, adds to the complexity of the flavors.

Special Bottlings and On-site Cooperage

The distillery produces “Single Cask” bottles, each from a specific cask and year, adding to the exclusivity of its offerings. It’s also one of the few distilleries with an on-site cooperage, ensuring the highest quality of barrel maintenance and repair.

Turbulent History of Glenrothes Distillery

The distillery’s journey hasn’t been without challenges. It has endured fires and explosions, including a significant fire in 1922 that resulted in the loss of 200,000 imperial gallons of whisky. These incidents have led to multiple reconstructions and expansions, shaping the distillery’s current form.

Awards Won by Glenrothes Distillery

  • Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2018: The Glenrothes 25 Year Old was awarded the prestigious Chairman’s Trophy for Best Speyside Single Malt, signifying its exceptional quality in this highly competitive category​​.
  • World Spirits Competition 2021 & 2018: The Glenrothes 25 Year Old achieved double gold in 2021, while also securing the Chairman’s Trophy at the 2018 Ultimate Spirits Challenge. The 18 Year Old expression also claimed a gold medal, demonstrating the distillery’s consistent excellence across different aged spirits​​.
  • World Whisky Design Awards: Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits, the owners of The Glenrothes, won two awards at this prestigious event. The Glenrothes Single Cask 1970 #10573 from the Extraordinary Cask Collection was honored as the World’s Best Single Malt Limited Edition and also received the overall title of World’s Best Design​​​​.
  • Scotch Whisky Masters 2015: The distillery was awarded a quartet of gold medals, with two Gold Medals each for The Glenrothes Select Reserve and The Glenrothes Vintage Reserve. These awards underscore the exceptional character, maturity, and balance of their Reserve range​​.
  • China Wine and Spirits Awards ‘Best Value’ 2015: The Glenrothes Vintage Reserve won a Double Gold Medal at this event, further solidifying its reputation for producing whiskies of outstanding value​​.

Glenrothes Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Arrival in Speyside

Visitors are typically greeted and introduced to the Glenrothes team. The journey to the distillery, located in the Scottish Highlands, offers picturesque views.

Accommodation at Rothes House

Guests are welcomed and shown to their rooms, followed by discussions about Scottish and distillery history over lunch.

Distillery Tour

The tour includes walking through the distillery, learning about its history and operations. Interesting anecdotes, such as the distillery manager’s house being smaller than the house for the excise man, are shared.

Whisky Tasting

Visitors have the opportunity to draw whisky directly from various casks and sample different vintages.

Special Features

The distillery has 20 washbacks, a 60-hour fermentation cycle, and an on-site storage capacity for 55,000 casks. Their spirit is lightly peated, and they have a ‘1 million dollar store’ with valuable vintage bottles​​.

Flask & Barrel Review of Glenrothes Distillery

As a seasoned whiskey collector who’s been around the block (or barrel) with distillery tours, I have to say, the Glenrothes Distillery in Speyside is a real standout.

Nestled in the lush Scottish Highlands, this place isn’t just about the dram; it’s an experience.

First off, the welcome at Rothes House was something else. Felt like royalty stepping into those spacious rooms, a nice touch after the scenic drive through Speyside’s rolling hills.

It’s one thing to taste a good whiskey, but it’s another to sip it where it’s born, in a place that feels like home.

Now, onto the distillery tour. I’ve seen my fair share of stills and washbacks, but Glenrothes has a charm that’s hard to beat.

Learning about the quirky history, like how the distillery manager’s house was intentionally kept smaller than the excise man’s, added a personal touch that many tours miss. And the fact that they have 20 washbacks and store 55,000 casks on site? Impressive!

The tasting, oh boy! Drawing whisky straight from the casks was a treat. Sampling spirits from 2014, 2010, and even way back from 1987 was a journey through time.

Each drop had its story, its character. It’s this kind of hands-on experience that sets Glenrothes apart.

A tiny note, though: I wish we could’ve tasted from the ‘1 million dollar store’. But hey, you can’t have it all, and what we did taste was top-notch.

In summary, Glenrothes Distillery isn’t just about the whisky; it’s about the stories, the history, and the warm Scottish hospitality.

It’s an almost perfect 4.7 out of 5 for me. Whether you’re a whisky newbie or a connoisseur like myself, this place is a must-visit. Slàinte mhath!

What To Do Nearby Glenrothes Distillery

  • Balbirnie Park: Enjoy scenic walks in this lush park, perfect for nature enthusiasts​​.
  • Bubble Soccer Scotland: Engage in an energetic and fun-filled experience at this sports complex​​.
  • Markinch and Thornton Parish Church: Explore the historic and religious significance of this site​​.
  • Riverside Park: A serene park offering a tranquil escape​​.
  • Upper Carriston Trout Fishery: Ideal for fishing enthusiasts, this location offers scenic walking areas​​.
  • The River Leven Suspension Bridge: A notable bridge worth visiting for its architectural charm​​.
  • Glenrothes & Area Heritage Centre: A history museum providing insights into the local heritage​​.
  • Balbirnie Stone Circle: A historic site that captivates with its ancient landmarks​​.
  • Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre: A sports complex for those seeking active recreation​​.
  • St Pauls and St Mary’s Mother of God: A point of interest for those interested in religious architecture​​.
  • St Drostans Cemetery: A cemetery with significant monuments and statues​​.
  • Ibrox Disaster Memorial: A solemn site commemorating a historic event, featuring monuments and statues​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Glenrothes Distillery?

  • Toots: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 51 New St, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7BJ, United Kingdom.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441340832200. 
  • Martin’s Kitchen: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 19 High St, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7AU, United Kingdom.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441340831899. 
  • The Station Hotel: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 51 New St, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7BJ, United Kingdom.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441340832200.

What hotels are near Glenrothes Distillery?

  • The Craigellachie Hotel: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. Their address is Victoria St, Speyside Way, Craigellachie, Aberlour AB38 9SR, United Kingdom.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441340881204. 
  • Dowans Hotel & Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps. Their address is Dowans Rd, Aberlour AB38 9LS, United Kingdom.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441340871488.  
  • OYO Eastbank Hotel, Speyside Scotland: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. Their address is Eastbank Hotel, 11-17 High St, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7AU, United Kingdom.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441918210006.