Origin: Lowlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrel: Ex-Bourbon Hogshead
Additional Coloring: No
Owner: J& A Mitchell & Co Ltd.
Average price: € 100.00
Official website: www.cadenhead.scot/
Rosebank is one of those distilleries that are almost mythical to Scotch aficionados, as is often the case with anything that has the flavour of the “good old days”.
Officially established in 1817 (although it seems to have been operational since 1798) by James Robertson, it closed down just two years later, only to be resurrected (in a different place) in 1840 by James Rankine, who took over a structure founded by John Stark (a member of the family cited as a possible founder of Rosebank at the end of the 18th century) in 1827.
This turbulent start (but when did that ever not happen in Scotland?), the distillery enjoyed some success leading to expansion a few years later, until the founding of Rosebank Distillers Ltd at the end of the century, which would be one of the companies that came together to create the future Diageo.
Being one of the most important distilleries in the Lowlands didn’t save it from being dismantled: it closed in 1993 due to excessive modernisation costs, being demolished a decade later. Since then, the casks left in the warehouses have been wandering between brokers and bottlers to create rare and fine limited releases, keeping high the distillery’s aura of quality.
The brand was purchased in 2017 by Ian MacLeod, in preparation for a return to production at a new distillery, bottling single casks in the meantime.
This version made by Cadenhead’s comes from a 1989 cask, bottled in April 2004 in 270 pieces and now hard to find, part of the Authentic Collection at cask strength.
Straw yellow in the glass.
Delicate nose despite the high alcohol content, with green apple, pineapple, vanilla, lemon grafted onto a soft grassy and floral carpet. Persuasive waxy background.
Initially on the palate is released the warmth of the barrel, which doesn’t burn, giving a push to the fruity scents (tropical and citrus) and sweeter caramel, vanilla, dried fruit and a hint of ginger. Dryness of the wood. On the length, the alcohol tends to overpower, crushing the gentleness of the aromas that lose support and end up in the background.
The finish is quite long, citrusy and dry, with apples, nuts and ginger.
For me, the alcohol content is not quite right, a cask strength that doesn’t do justice to a profile that deserved more caution and ends up getting a little lost in the alcoholic waves, although it does have moments of interest.
More from Cadenhead’s in the blog:
Cadenhead’s Arran 22yo
Cadenhead’s Balblair 8yo Small Batch
Cadenhead’s Ben Nevis 21yo
Cadenhead’s Bowmore 17yo
Cadenhead’s Bruichladdich 22yo
Cadenhead’s Clynelish 17yo
Cadenhead’s Dalmore 18yo
Cadenhead’s Glen Grant-Glenlivet 20yo
Cadenhead’s Glen Scotia 27yo
Cadenhead’s Glenrothes 1997 20yo Small Batch
Cadenhead’s Ledaig 22yo