There's so much to discover about The Glenrothes, and so many stories to enjoy. Browse the short films below to learn more about this remarkable Speyside Single Malt and the unique way it is created.


The Glenrothes is an award winning Speyside Single Malt of exceptional quality. Hidden from the main street in the town of Rothes, the distillery lies at the foot of the Mannoch Hills beside the Rothes burn. The water that we use in the process of making Glenrothes comes from two natural springs, the Ardcanny and the Brauchhill, just a couple of miles upstream.


Right from the start it's all about flavour. Take some plump, ripe Scottish barley: steep it in fresh water, then lay it out, turn it, let it germinate before drying it in a kiln: you then have your malted barley. This is done just 12 miles over the hills at the Tamdhu Maltings. Here in the Mill House at Glenrothes, the malted barley is ground in a mill hopper to just the right consistency so the grist is not too coarse or too powdery, to enable the greatest possible extraction of the soluble sugars.


Once the barley has been milled it needs to go through the mash tun to extract the soluble sugars. In the case of Glenrothes, it is a large, copper-topped, circular vessel with a capacity of 5 tonnes which is first filled with hot water from the previous mashing. After three further mashes, using progressively hotter water, the syrupy liquid known as the 'wort' is then cooled before being pumped into the wash-backs.


At Glenrothes there are twenty wash-backs, or fermentation vessels each with a capacity of 25,560 litres of wash. Eight are made of stainless steel and twelve of Oregon pine. In these the 'wort' is injected with distiller's yeast and left to ferment at first slowly and then more vigorously as the liquid begins to bubble up inside, sometimes causing the wash backs to rock gently on their moorings. Fermentation at Glenrothes lasts up to 55 hours, which is relatively long compared to other distilleries. The resulting beer like liquid is ready at around 8% alcohol strength.


Moving from the beery fug of the wash room, you are hit by the sweet, clean scents of the Glenrothes' stillroom. Up to this point, the process has been primarily concerned with yield. Now it begins to slow down slightly in order to produce the best possible new-make spirit. The ten stills work in pairs to convert the wash into low wines in the 1st distillation at around 25% alcohol and then into spirit in the spirit still at a strength of 68-72%. As the vapours boil up and condense back down inside the still, the copper strips out any heavy sulphur notes. At Glenrothes we have very tall stills and large boiling balls. We distil unusually slowly with the result that the heavier spirit cannot reach the swan neck, leaving a clean, elegant and fruity spirit.


We fill into cask at an average strength of 68.9% alcohol by volume. This is the average strength of the spirit as it comes off the second distillation. The volume of spirit filled into our largest casks, the ex sherry Butts, is 500 litres. When a cask is filled to the top we refer to it as "Bung Fu'". A Bung is then hammered into the filling hole to seal the cask tight shut for the time it will spend maturing.


At Glenrothes we are unusual in that we have a cooperage on site. The greatest influence on the flavour of Malt Whisky is the interaction of the spirit with the wood of the cask it matures in. The trick is to make great spirit into outstanding whisky and for this you need a first class wood policy. It's now estimated that upwards of 60% of a Malt Whisky's flavour comes from this interaction of spirit and wood. The combination of cask type and size (Butt, Puncheon, Barrel, Hogshead), wood type (American or European Oak), seasoning (Sherry first-fill, Sherry or Bourbon refill) and time all contribute to each Vintage's unique personality.


The Glenrothes is only bottled when ready, by which we mean mature and at its peak of perfection. We know that this does not happen at any pre-determined age. You see, Malt Whisky is like fine wine and indeed people: It matures at its own pace. To ensure that The Glenrothes is only selected for bottling when it has reached its zenith of maturity, each individual cask of the whisky is carefully checked, nosed and tasted many times. What happens to the whisky in the cask is far more important than the number of years spent in it.


Welcome to the Inner Sanctum. So named as this is the sanctuary located at the heart of the distillery - under the fermentation room; opposite the still house - where we can, finally, sit down and relax to nose, taste, discuss and fully appreciate the whisky that we have just witnessed in all its stages of creation. Either stay with Ronnie here to learn more about some of The Glenrothes expressions, or you can go to the specific product pages and join Ronnie there as he tastes each in turn.