New York, June 2012 – In between the rolling Mannoch Hills, the Rothes river, and barrels upon barrels of vintage whisky, four ordinary Americans made a little bit of dram history this month by sniffing, slurping, swirling, blending, extracting, and finally laying to rest The Glenrothes 2012 vintage. Jason Miller and Heather Wuelpern from Arizona, Bill Kiel from Wisconsin, and David Bocchino from Maryland, ousted 10,000 other Americans with their winning interpretations of a vintage moment. The winning quartet was chosen as part of The Glenrothes’ second annual Vintage Maker contest. What did they have to do? They were simply asked to share their thoughts or anecdotes on what makes for a vintage moment.

For the four lucky Americans, first on the list of things to do as part of their pilgrimage to Speyside was making the 2012 The Glenrothes vintage. The final cask was only filled with whisky from 2012, as the Glenrothes vintage system implies. A balance of first-fill American and Spanish (Sherry-prepared) wood was used, as well as refill casks from The Glenrothes’ ‘gene pool’. Bill Kiel, one of the Vintage Makers, commented, “the group decided that the 2012 vintage should have a ‘conversational’ style about it. However, until the casks are deemed mature, we cannot be totally certain of the flavor profile or the quantity that will be selected. What we can be sure of is that the maturity will be there, no matter what the age. Each of the 2012 Vintage Maker casks will develop in a slightly different way, but within the forecast parameters”.

With the distilling completed, the makers put their signatures on what is only the second ever cask to be signed at the distillery. Heather Wuelpern remarked “I’d pay my own way back from Arizona to revisit that cask! In the meantime, we all came home with a full bottle of Single Cask 2012 vintage Glenrothes, which we filled and labeled ourselves. A valuable treasure!”

It wasn’t all work and no play. When not tasting their way through the vintage back catalogue, the budding whisky makers went fly-fishing in the rivers flowing out of the Cairngorm mountains, toured the historic Ballindalloch Castle, and sampled local Scottish foods, including Achiltubuie smoked kippers, dill cured salmon, Stornoway’s black and white puddings, steak pies and brie-ish Muckle Wummel cheese from the Isle of Mull.
The Glenrothes Single Malt Scotch Whisky is the preeminent vintage distilled single malt whisky. At The Glenrothes, whisky making is about the perfect combination of time, place, people and occasion, or when everything comes together to create a vintage moment that will stay in the memory forever. The Glenrothes only releases vintages when they are deemed to be at the optimal level of maturity – not in response to a pre-determined 12 or 15 year-old age statement. “It is far more important what happens to the whisky in the cask than the length of time spent in it”, notes Ronnie Cox, Brand Heritage Director for The Glenrothes.

And what were the quartert’s winning vintage moments? Scroll down to see the winning entries in full.

Jason’s Vintage Moment
Jason went on a trip to Scotland for his 30th birthday in 2010, where he worked his way through a session of drams in a small back-street Glasgow bar. The moment he left the bar was the beginning of a love affair with whisky that he hasn’t been able to shake since.

Heather’s Vintage Moment
Heather had been taking care of a terminally ill man in 2008. After the patient passed away, a stunning looking dragonfly landed in Heather’s courtyard. She saw it as a sign that the patient’s spirit and love of whisky would live on.

Bill’s Vintage Moment
Bill took a road-trip with four life-long friends from the frozen tundra of Wisconsin to South Padre Island, Texas in 1987. The memories created on their trip have shaped them into a life-long brotherhood, which now – 25 years later – they still reminisce about while enjoying wee nips of The Glenrothes.

David’s Vintage Moment
David and his brother had both been deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Storm in 1990. Just before Christmas, his brother surprised him with a visit to his base and hand-delivered mail, goodies from home and a bottle of The Glenrothes – the best Christmas present ever.


1. The Glenrothes Select Reserve, the House Style, was voted Best in Class at the World Whiskies Awards 2008 and won two Double Golds at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2007
2. The Glenrothes 1972 was awarded a Trophy at the 2005 International Spirits Challenge
3. The Glenrothes 1978 was voted Best Speyside Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards 2008
4. The Glenrothes 1975 won a Double Gold award at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2008
5. The Glenrothes 1991 won a Gold Medal at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2010
6. The Glenrothes 1994 won a Gold Medal at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2010
7. The Glenrothes Alba Reserve won a Double Gold at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2010
8. “I have always felt that Glenrothes deserved to be more widely appreciated. Beautifully rounded…sophisticated after-dinner malt.” Michael Jackson’s Malt Whisky Companion
9. Jim Murray, in his Whisky Bible, refers to The Glenrothes Select Reserve; “One of the softest deliveries on Speyside, the silky barley and citrus caress the taste buds with rare tenderness” and scores it 24 out of 25

About The Glenrothes

The Glenrothes is an award-winning Speyside Single Malt Whisky of exceptional quality, from the town of Rothes in Speyside – Scotland’s whisky distilling heartland. Established in 1879, the distillery was known only to Master Blenders until the early 1990s, and revered as, a Class-A quality enhancer for their premium blends. Today, only 2% of annual production, becomes The Glenrothes single malt scotch whisky. Each vintage is, by definition, rare, and finite. Currently available expressions in the U.S. include: The Glenrothes Select, Reserve – The House Style, Alba Reserve, Vintages 1998, 1994, 1985, 1975 and the limited edition John Ramsay.

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About Anchor Distilling Company

Anchor Distilling Company aims to provide the bridge between discerning buyers and world’s finest spirits. A privately owned distiller and importer, Anchor boasts an artisanal portfolio with over 300 specialty products from nearly 20 countries. All products are from multigenerational family-owned companies, and are sought by connoisseurs for their superior handcrafted artisanal qualities. From a distilling perspective, Anchor Distilling is dedicated to creating very small batches of traditionally distilled spirits.

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