Spirits–Both Ghostly & Drinkable

English: Graveyard watchtower, New Calton Bury...

There’s a story about Glenrothes that I can’t help but think about every time I reach for the barrel-shaped bottle up in my pantry.

It makes me shiver, but after a sip or two of the heavenly malt, the heebie-jeebies slowly fade away and I’m left wanting more of the details. Sadly, with no one from the distillery at my elbow to fill them in, I sometimes make them up to suit my mood.

The story goes that back in the 18th century, in the town of Rothes, the villagers had a taste for body snatching–as one was want to have in that era. (Folks had to make a living now, didn’t they?) Thankfully, the snatching took place after the body had expired, but still, relatives were growing miffed.

The solution was to build a grave watcher’s house: a place where family members of the recently deceased could station themselves until they were sure their mum or dad, granny or gramps were thoroughly and completely ruined by the fun of decomposition, and no one could benefit from their stinky old corpses any longer.

Of course, one couldn’t be expected to do their shift without something to shore up jangling nerves. Watching the dead, and hoping they’d stay that way, was a business that required a hefty dose of courage—real or liquid.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that a distillery was shortly founded nearby. Perhaps the much-needed spirit was determined to be close to its likenesses in name, or at least those who required its company. Smart marketing? Well … it was the 18th century, but let’s classify it as forward thinking, nonetheless.

It’s time to review a lovely whisky with a shady background. And if you need more proof (there are just way too many puns to play with than I have time for), either visit the distillery to hear the stories firsthand,

Glenrothes Distillery, Rothes, Speyside

Glenrothes Distillery, Rothes, Speyside (Photo credit: yvescosentino)

Google the distillery for pictures of the cemetery it’s built beside, or go to their web site and read firsthand about the latest ghost and how he was laid to rest.

Now, before you get too far ahead of me and can no longer tell the difference between the spirit in your hand and the feeling like one is attached to your bottle, either take out your wee notebook for a quick refresher course in Nosing & Tasting, or click on the links below to remind yourself of our easy four-part lesson series.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

For a giggle, watch Ronnie Cox instruct you how to taste this week’s review. His accent is much more appealing than mine, although I’m working on a carbon copy should I find myself in need of coming across as totally twee and not like the Midwestern tractor lover I currently sound like.

Ronnie Cox at rest

Ronnie Cox at rest (Photo credit: Dubber)

The Glenrothes Select Reserve


Don’t forget to check out what’s cookin’ in the Scullery (here) and what I’ve been blethering on about this week in the main post (here).


3 thoughts on “Spirits–Both Ghostly & Drinkable

  1. another. in the series of. weeeurd. mysterious. interesting story. thanx for invokin’ the re-review of the 4 phases/steps. which, reminded? me of something. unrelated. mebbe laytur. i was talkin’ to a guy about fourier transforms last night. that I YOOSTA know, a bit, a little. many many things i KNOW that I KNEW.
    and the grave-watcher’s house. now WHY would anyone snatch bodies?

    • You could make a killing (groan) (double groan) selling bodies to physics who wanted to do research on the human form.
      Or maybe to use in order to qualify for the HOV lanes during rush hour?

      • well, no doubt you (p)roffurd that ’cause of the business (really) of sellin’ half-dummeez which are to be placed in the passenger seat. some even have controls which make the head turn and/or arms move from time to time. someone gets busted (and $fined$) a couple. three, times a week in the Denver area.

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