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Glenrothes Whisky

The Glenrothes story begins in 1878 when a distillery was founded by James Stuart and Co in the town of Rothes on the banks of the river Spey. Production commenced in 1879. The group also owned the nearby Macallan distillery. James Stuart, a principle of the group, left to focus his efforts on Macallan and three remaining members of the syndicate; William Grant, Robert Dick and John Cruickshank, formed William Grant and Co.

In 1887, William Grant and Co. merged with Islay Distillery Co to form Highland Distillers Company (a forerunner of the present day Edrington Group). This included the Glenrothes distillery, as well as Bunnahabhain on Islay. The capacity was increased with the addition of further stills in 1898. 1922 disaster struck when the No 1 bonded warehouse caught fire and hundreds of casks of whisky exploded. Over 2500 barrels of whisky were lost. It is said that the locals had a field day scooping up all the whisky that had poured into a nearby burn.

Despite such set-backs, Glenrothes was much in-demand by blenders and plays an important role in Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Cutty Sark blend which was launched in 1922 and went on to be one of the best-selling whiskies in the world. In 1987, the famous St. James’s wine merchant became the agent for Glenrothes and eventually in 2010 bought the distillery from Highland Distillers though they sold it on to Edrington, Macallan’s parent company, in 2017.

Capacity at the distillery was expanded in the 1960s from four stills to six, and again in 1980 and 1989. Today it has the capacity to produce over 5.6 million litres annually. The set-up consists of a stainless steel full-lauter mash tun with 12 Oregon pine and eight stainless steel washbacks. There are ten stills, five wash and five spirit stills with boil balls in the necks. Ageing takes place in a mixture of Spanish and American oak casks, mainly ex-sherry though some ex-bourbon casks are used, stored in 16 on-site warehouses.

During the Berry Bros years the single malts had vintage dates but with the return to the Edrington group, whiskies were released with more conventional age statements. Glenrothes is a fruity, rich whisky, the 12 Year Old is a much-loved single malt while rare older releases and independent bottling show how well Glenrothes can age.

Explore and browse the finest selection of Glenrothes branded whisky from our huge range, below.


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