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89 points

Rosebank 21 year old 1990 (Diageo Special Releases 2011), 53.8%

2011 saw the first expression of Rosebank appear in Diageo’s annual Special Releases series, and just 5,604 bottles are available worldwide. The bottling is comprised of whisky matured in refill American oak and refill European oak casks. Floral and mildly herbal on the nose, with cereal and tropical fruit notes, along with a hint of damp soil. The palate is somewhat tart, with oranges and pepper, while the finish dries to coffee and spicy oak. A lovely example of a much-mourned malt.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2012)

88 points

Douglas Laing Directors’ Cut (distilled at Rosebank) 21 year old cask #10146, 53.8%

This example of Rosebank was distilled in March 1992, a year before the distillery’s closure, and bottled in December 2013. The cask yielded 141 bottles. The nose is light and mildly floral, with ripe pears, honey, and vanilla. Firm and fruity on the surprisingly full palate, with a sprinkling of white pepper, plus summer berries and caramel. Tropical fruit, soft spices, and benign oak in the finish, with a final flourish of licorice. £400

Reviewed by: (Summer 2014)

88 points

Rosebank 1992 21 year old (Diageo Special Release 2014), 55.3%

Distilled in 1992, a year before Rosebank fell silent, this 21 year old expression was matured in refill American oak casks. 4,530 bottles have been released. The fragrant nose yields milk chocolate, peaches, apricots, nutmeg, and toffee bonbons. Spicy and mildly herbal on the palate, with icing sugar and a suggestion of dark chocolate. The finish is medium in length, fruity, with gentle spice, coffee, and developing oaky dryness.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

88 points

Chieftain’s Choice (distilled at Rosebank) 20 year old, 54%

This refill sherry butt-matured, cask strength variant of the Lowland classic Rosebank was distilled in December 1990. Floral and fruity on the nose. Sweet, with malt and black cherries, plus a hint of new leather. Quite viscous in the mouth; nutmeg, dark chocolate, and toffee on the palate. Walnuts and background dry sherry. The finish offers gentle oak and lots of spice.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

87 points

Signatory (distilled at Rosebank), 14 year old, 1991 vintage, cask #4755, 43%

Delicately floral (lavender, rose) and perfumed, with notes of chamomile, hay, soft vanilla and gentle malt. Creamy and soothing, with a gently dry finish. Lots of depth for a lighter weight whisky. A lovely aperitif. I feel Rosebank is freshest and best when it is young. With the distillery closing in 1993, now’s the time to act, and this is one of the better bottlings I’ve tasted.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2007)

86 points

Cadenhead's, (distilled at Rosebank), 11 year old, 57.5%

Gold color. Soft, delicate aroma of fruit gum drops, vanilla, and a touch of honey. Light in body, with a soft texture. Its flavors are like its aroma, nicely balanced, with a gentle finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2002)

85 points

Signatory (distilled at Rosebank), 12 year old, 1991 Vintage, 43%

A gentle, pleasant dram. Quite floral, too. Soft, creamy vanilla foundation with a hint of marshmallow. Underlying notes of cut grass and linseed oil add texture and intrigue. Rosebank is a classic Lowlander and, given that the distillery closed in 1993, younger expressions will become more difficult to find (not to mention more expensive). Here’s a good whisky at a fair price.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2005)

85 points

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask (distilled at Rosebank) 21 year old, 50%

The Glasgow-based independent bottler Douglas Laing & Co. Ltd. has been responsible for quite a number of releases from the ‘lost’ Lowland distillery of Rosebank, and this one was distilled during January 1990 and bottled in April 2012. The nose is pleasingly floral and fragrant, light and gently honeyed, with a suggestion of barley in the background. The palate features spicy, sweet orange, herbs, and a slightly contrasting note of citrus fruit. Spices persist into the warming, lightly-oaked finish. £135

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

84 points

Gordon & MacPhail (distilled at Rosebank) 1989 Vintage, 10 year old, 40%

Straw gold color. A very aromatic whisky, with dry, delicate herbal, floral notes. Light and soft in body. Gentle on the palate-delicately sweet and fruity up front, then becoming dry with herbal, spice notes.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2003)

84 points

Murray McDavid (distilled at Rosebank) 1992, 10 year old, 46%

Pale gold color. Aromatic, floral, herbal aromas (a veritable potpourri), with soft background vanilla malt notes and a hint of lemon. Light and soft in body. Soft, malty vanilla notes on the palate with interwoven notes of herbs, subtle dried fruit, and delicate wood resins. Gently dry finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2003)

82 points

Signatory (distilled at Rosebank), 15 year old, 1990 vintage, Cask # 1509, 56.6%

The distillery closed in 1993. Very fragrant, with a potpourri of dried spice, herbs, and (to a lesser degree) flowers on the nose and palate. The spices are accentuated by mint tea, fennel, clove, and faint vegetal notes. Dry, spicy finish. Not an elegant Rosebank, but rather, this is Rosebank with an attitude.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2007)

80 points

Gordon & MacPhail Single Cask #1535 (distilled at Rosebank) 1991 Vintage, 59.2% ABV

A very traditional Rosebank-aged in a refill hogshead and bottled fairly young (12 years old). Rosebank is one of the better, yet lesser known Lowland single malts. Since the distillery was closed down in 1993, it will continue being unfamiliar to most, and finding young Rosebanks like this one will become increasingly more difficult. Here’s one at cask strength. The whisky turns very cloudy with the addition of water due to lack of chill filtering, but the additional water brings out the whisky’s subtle aromas and flavors-fresh cut grass, hay, delicate fruit, and a gentle malty sweetness. Ironically, I actually enjoyed some of the recent young G&M Rosebanks bottled at 40% ABV better than this one-their flavors were cleaner, brighter, and more refined. Still, this is a fair representation of the Lowland style.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2004)

79 points

Gordon & MacPhail (distilled at Rosebank), cask #1536, 1991 vintage, 13 year old, 59.3%

Matured in a refill sherry cask. (A first-fill sherry cask would have completely dominated Rosebank’s delicate flavor profile.) With the addition of water (which is necessary), the whisky becomes quite cloudy. Rosebank’s traditional honeyed vanilla, grass/hay, and soft fruit are accentuated by lightly sherried, soft toffee flavors. An interesting whisky, but the flavors are not clean and well-defined enough to warrant a higher rating.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2008)


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