Three decades of silence shrouding the once famous Rosebank Distillery in the Lowlands of Scotland, have been lifted by new owners Ian Macleod Distillers (IMD)
Situated in the Falkirk region, the distillery, originally established in 1840, saw rapid success and strong growth, earning Rosebank a famed reputation within the blending society. Their light, floral and fruity blends became much sought after and resulted in the moniker ‘King of the Lowlands.’
Sadly, like many Scottish distilleries, the maintenance costs for industry compliance purposes proved too great compared to the income from falling whisky sales, and the plant was eventually mothballed in 1993 by United Distillers & Vintners, who later became part of the Diageo Group. Whilst the premises were purchased in 2002 by British Waterways, it wasn’t until Ian Macleod purchased both the buildings from them and the Rosebank trademark from Diageo in 2017 that life could once more be breathed back into the distillery.
Regeneration of the plant commenced in 2019 and from the exterior, the landmark chimney remains, having undergone careful repair, continuing to provide a well-known landmark.
Macleod has located the original blueprints of the plant and with new equipment, has sympathetically mimicked the original format and character. They have even installed worm tub condensers, a more traditional form of condensing spirits, resulting in less copper contact which has been acknowledged as a component of additional flavour complexities.
However, despite the addition of the worm tub condensers, IMD are continuing with the original flavour profile and recipe of triple distillation, which made Rosebank’s whisky so revered.
Rosebank’s story and the new chapter in its life is being cleverly captured with the aptly named inaugural expression called ‘The Revival Series,’ with the first batch being ‘Release One.’ This initial release will be limited to 4,350 bottles worldwide. The series will incorporate a further five limited expressions over the coming years.
Rosebank’s distillery manager, Malcolm Rennie stated: “We’ve known all along the magic and majesty that Rosebank retains, and you can really feel this come to life as we start up production once again and fill the first cask with the new Rosebank Spirit, Cask No 001.”
Release One, bottled at 48.6% ABV from 62% refill sherry butts and 38% refill bourbon hogsheads.
Nose: Soft and creamy, with elements of caramel and vanilla, hints of nutmeg
Palate: Delicate and crisp, but with a well balanced syrupy pear and oak spice
Finish: Soft but long with flavours of candied violets and orange and a gentle whisper of mint.