The Glenrothes is renowned for the quality, structure and flavor, the result of over 140 years of whisky making tradition. Since its opening, the whisky from the distillery has been one of the most sought after on Speyside. In 2018, The Glenrothes 25 Year Old was awarded the Ultimate Spirits Challenge top honour, the Chairman's Trophy for Best Speyside Single Malt.
The distillery was built in 1878 by James Stuart & Co, who then also worked the nearby Macallan distillery. The first whisky ran off the stills on the 28 December 1879, the same day as the Tay Bridge disaster.
The distillery itself had a shaky start and turbulent history. Over-proof whisky is notoriously highly flammable and the distillery has paid the price. Extension work began in 1896 on a second malt kiln, and an increase in stills from two to four but, before the work was finished, a fire in December 1897 caused serious damage. The distillery saw further damage with a serious explosion in 1903.
Then, in 1922, a fire in Warehouse Number One caused the loss of 200,000 imperial gallons (910,000 L) of whisky. Another fire in 1962 afforded the opportunity for expansion and a further re-build in 1982 extended the still hall to five wash stills and five spirit stills
Under the ownership of Berry Bros. & Rudd, vintage bottlings of The Glenrothes were produced from 1993 onwards. The Vintage 2004 is considered the last known vintage to be bottled by the distillery. In 2018, The Glenrothes replaced its vintage range with a series of age statement single malts that included a 10, 12, 18 and 25 Year Old.
The Glenrothes is mainly matured in Sherry-seasoned European and American oak casks, built to specification in Jerez, Spain.Ex-Bourbon cask are also used but to a much lesser extent. The result is a multidimensional single malt range with a spectrum of flavours ranging from the delicate and fresh 10 Year Old to the rich and sophisticated 25 Year Old.
Special bottlings include "Single Cask" bottles, which are taken from one single cask of whisky from a particular year.