Rosebank 21, 1992-2014, 55.3%

Rosebank… One of the first closed distilleries I tried, and one I didn’t buy enough of in the past. It’s become such a rarity now, even more so because the quality is quite patchy.

Official bottlings and most things released by Old Malt Cask and SMWS are pretty good, but there’s a whole slew of 10 year olds by Signatory that were almost like alcoholic water.

This official release from 2014’s Special Releases by Diageo currently sets you back some € 1500, and for that price you’d have to travel. Luckily I was able to get a sample and try it.

On a side note: Currently reconstruction of Rosebank distillery is happening, although I’m a tad skeptical to what they are going to release in a few decades time. The entire distillery is newly built and apart from the brand name and some approximation of the distilling process, it’s going to be a different process.

Image from Whiskybase

I’m curious to find out, and I expect that they’re going to try and be as close as possible, but 100% similar is not going to happen. Although, I’d be quite glad with an 80% overlap, I guess.

Sniff:
Strangely, it starts off with a hint of glue, before getting a bit more typically grassy. Hints of wildflowers and strawberries, hay and grass. It needs a bit of time to open up. After a few minutes of rest it does go more in the direction of hay and dried flowers, but the note of vanilla pops up, which I didn’t get before.

Sip:
The palate starts with some vanilla, before the slightly more astringent floral notes kick in. It has some honey sweetness, quite a lot of white pepper for heat, and oaky dryness after that. Straw more than hay, dried flowers.

Swallow:
The finish starts with vanilla again, but that quickly gets taken over by some apply and straw. Strawberries, pepper and oak.

Not the most typical Rosebank, I think. It’s a bit more fruity and less floral than I remember them. Of course, it’s been quite a while since Rosebank releases are few and far between, and when they show up, they’re way out of my league.

90/100

Available randomly.

Thanks to Fred B. for the sample!

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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