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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks to Fred B. for the sample!