...where distraction is the main attraction.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Secret Speyside 31 year old 1989 Asta Morris, cask AM153

Sometimes unnamed "Speysides" are not Glenfarclases. I think this one is Glenrothes, as per Mark Dermul. He was fond of the whisky, as was Ruben and Serge. It looks like this cask's content (40.8%abv) was months away from becoming Spirit Drink, but I trust Asta Morris, a bottler who is batting 1.000 in my scorebook. I've been looking for some excuse to try this pick of theirs, and here's the excuse: It's the weekend!

Distillery: Glenrothes?
Region: Speyside (Rothes!)
Independent Bottler: Asta Morris
Series: Heritage
Age: 31 years old (1989 - 2021)
Maturation: former bourbon vessel
Cask #: AM153
Alcohol by Volume: 40.8%
(from a bottle split)


Oooh, a fun nose! A layer of fruits and flowers (peaches, citrons, kiwis, lemon blossoms, and jasmine blossoms) rests atop crème brûlée, nougat, toasted oak, and black walnuts. Later on, orange & white gummy worms join in.

The palate has more fight than one expects from 40.8%abv. Manuka honey, mangoes, limes, guava, and sea salt fill the fore- and midground, with hints of tartness and bitterness moderating the sweetness in the background.

A dessert-like combo of vanilla, orange, and toasted almonds fills the finish until a bit of bitter oak sneaks in.


The nose is WOW, the palate is great, and the finish is......good, an almost inevitable scenario with many older low ABV casks, as the oak's personality tilts from ally to aggressor. That being said, this is a groovy whisky I'd be happy to possess, and certainly the best Glenrothes I've ever had. And the price wasn't too bad when the bottle was available.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - €230, imagine that price on a 31yo today!
Rating - 88