Saturday, 20 February 2010

Rosebank Distillery

Rosebank Distillery
Camelon Road
Stirlingshire (Falkirk) FK1 5BW

Lowlands, Scotland - Closed

Flavour profile

Rosebank whisky is sweetness and light. There seem to be 2 kinds of Rosebank - that which tastes like lemon sweets, tart and fragrant, and that which tastes like old-style rhubarb-and-custard sweets, tangy and fresh. Occasionally I seem to find one which has mixtures of these flavours. Underneath that, there's a whole host of sweet flavour elements - orange peel, honey, chocolate etc.

In addition there are a couple of chemical flavour elements that are usually present. First, there's brass polish, a sort of acrid, solvent-like smell. Then, there's usually some grass present, along with citrus fruits.

All the Rosebanks I've tasted so far are here.

Rosebank 17 yo 1990/2007 - very good
Rosebank 1992 Cooper's Choice - good
Rosebank 12 yo Flora & Fauna - very good
SMWS 25.46 - good
SMWS 25.47 - good
SMWS 25.48 - very good
Rosebank 16 yo 1991/2007 - very good

Distillery history

The distillery was founded by James Rankine in 1840. The distillery was demolished in 1864, but rebuilt again in 1865, giving it a second lease of life. It was one of the distilleries that was originally part of the Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd, which eventually became part of United Distillers, which in turn became part of Diageo. Like many Lowland distilleries, Rosebank practiced triple distillation.

The distillery was silent in the periods 1862-1864 and 1917-1919. It was closed in 1993, and though there are a lot of Rosebank fans who would love to see it come back, the distillery was has been dismantled. The site is now owned by the British Waterways Board, and is likely to be redeveloped.

Potted distillery facts

Water source: Carron Valley Reservoir.
Wash stills: One, normal neck.
Spirit stills: Two, constricted neck.

- The Scottish Whisky Distilleries, Misako Udo

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