There are many factors that can make or break a whisky, and while fingers usually point to its cask or age, water plays as big a part during the process.

Which explains why the best distilleries are often built near — or are supplied with — their very own trusted water source, many of which come naturally to impart its ‘terroir’ to your dram. At The Glenrothes, water is so revered as the lifeblood of the distillery that an entire collection has been dedicated to it.

Its unique location in the town of Rothes, in the heart of the Speyside region of Scotland, has enabled it access to not one or two, but five natural water sources, all of which have been integrated into its whisky-making process for over a century.

Besides soft water from Brauchhill and the Fairies Well, waters from Ardcanny Springs, Burnside and Dounie Wells from the North are also used during production, as well as from The Rothes Burn, which runs through the distillery site for the cooling process. 

From this online-exclusive range comes five expressions (only the 16 Years Old and above are available here), each distinct in their own ways but all a fitting tribute to the keystone of the distillery. Like the rest, the 16 Years Old has been matured in specially selected sherry-seasoned oak casks, most of them first-fill for a full, refined, and well-rounded character.

On the nose, aromas of bright citrus and oak with gentle spice set the tone for the rich sensorial experience that Glenrothes promises. A sip reveals sweet, delicious notes of vanilla, plums, and cherries, before culminating with the warmth of spice and cinnamon in a long, lingering finish, making it the perfect dram for any time of the day, whether you’re having a relaxing afternoon or seeking a nightcap.

Like the 16 Years Old, the 21 Years Old opens with the delectable scent of vanilla, but accompanied by floral aromas of geranium and rose. On the palette, expect to be greeted with flavours of cloves, vanilla and cedar wood, before they round up elegantly with hints of woody spices. 

The 30 Years Old, on the other hand, perfectly marries the influence of the European oak-sherry seasoned wood with fragrant notes of lychee and jasmine. Expect rich flavours of zesty fruitcake and nutmeg on the palette, with a long-lasting finish of dried fruits and spices. 

The Glenrothes Aqua Collection comes packaged in the distillery’s iconic bottle, only this time with blue labels in a tribute to the very waters that have made its whiskies the resounding success that they’ve come to be known for over the past century. 

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Shatricia Nair
Deputy Editor
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.