First Official Rosebank Scotch Whiskies In Many Years Debut - The Whiskey Wash

First Official Rosebank Scotch Whiskies In Many Years Debut

By Nino Marchetti / February 20, 2020

The long shuttered Rosebank Scotch whisky distillery in Scotland was once known as the “King of the Lowlands” and considered one of the prominent distilleries in its region. After its closure in 1993 only occasionally did one see dwindling liquid stocks from here appear at retail, almost always being bottled by independent Scotch whisky bottlers. The Rosebank site was acquired by Ian Macleod Distillers in 2017, and in 2019 a revival plan was approved by local government that has resulted in a very ambitious undertaking to restore it to whisky making greatness.

Now, in a further sign of its reemergence, two single casks from what was distilled in that last year as operations closed down are being released as very limited edition, official offerings. Rosebank Cask Number 433 and Rosebank Cask Number 625, according to those behind them, come in only 280 and 259 bottles, respectively. Both were matured in refill Bourbon Hogshead casks, but each vary somewhat in cask strength and tasting notes, of which you’ll find more on that at the end of this article.

“We’re extremely excited and proud to be releasing our first official bottlings of Rosebank for the reason that distillery’s closure in 1993 – a pivotal milestone for us in bringing again to life this quintessential Lowland malt,” said Robbie Hughes, group distillation manager for Ian Macleod Distillers, in a prepared statement. “These expressions, although distinct in character, are each shining examples of Rosebank’s peerlessly easy, fruity character. We all know each are extremely anticipated by whisky fanatics and collectors alike, so we count on nice demand from our ballots.

Rosebank 1993

Rosebank 1993 bottlings (image via Ian Macleod Distillers)

“With the distillery’s redevelopment properly underway, it’s a terrifically thrilling chapter for Ian Macleod Distillers and Rosebank. We look ahead to preserving followers up to date with the distillery’s progress and releasing extra distinctive and uncommon whiskies for followers the world over to savour within the coming years.”

In reference to the mentioned ballots, it is planned that the initial 100 bottles from each cask release will be released online through the distillery’s website in a ballot style situation. Open for two weeks from February 14th, those who are chosen after registering will be given the chance to buy a bottle at a price point of £2500 (around $3,220 USD) for both casks. It should be noted shipping only happens to “addresses within the UK and certain European countries,” though a pick up option at a private event in London in March will be made available as well.

In regards to the specific casks,

  • Cask 433, bottled at 53.3%, is “delicate and refined on the nostril – with hints of vanilla, mango, raspberry, barley sugar and lavender. Silky and lightweight on the tongue, it offers option to advanced flavours of cranachan and lemon, with mild floral notes, marzipan and faint spice finishing the profile. It has a delicate, satisfying citrus end with hints of ripe fruit and oak.”
  • Cask 625, bottled at 50.4%, has “a heat banana loaf aroma with hints of white chocolate, spearmint, Victoria sponge and dried pineapple. It has notes of shortbread, chamomile tea, dried herb and citrus for a rich-bodied, balanced style and a splendidly delicate, tropical fruit, lime and mild spice end.”