Rosebank 30yo, 1990 Vintage, Release One

ABV: 48.6%
Region: Lowlands
Price per bottle: °°°°°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Refill Sherry Butts (62%) and Refill Bourbon Hogsheads (38%) (4,350 btl.)


Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Surprisingly lively, fresh and fruity on the nose with yellow fruits, ripe pears, light grapes and some mango. Later ripe apples and banana are added, accompanied by vanilla ice cream, honey and a subtle caramel sweetness. In the background a spice mix of nutmeg, ginger and white pepper is noticeable. Only a little oak wood for the 30 years of maturation.
Palate: Unexpectedly powerful on the palate with a spicy warmth of nutmeg and white pepper. This is accompanied by sweet toffee, creamy vanilla and a lot of tropical fruits. Very well balanced with spicy oak and ginger aromas. In addition, a little bitter orange peel in the background. Silky smooth, creamy and spicy with a touch of nut towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long lasting and pleasantly warming with a floral note, some chamomile and mint. This is accompanied by slightly bitter orange notes and dry oak towards the end.
With water: After adding a few drops of water very fruity and beguiling of tropical fruits, citrus fruits - limes and oranges. With creamy vanilla and oak in the background. Sweet and fruity on the palate with lively notes of orange lemonade. Accompanied by spicy aromas of oak, nutmeg, ginger and a touch of pepper. Creamy and slightly dry. The finish is still very long, slightly warming with notes of caramel, nutmeg, a hint of mint and drying oak.
Comments: A beguiling, enticing, full-bodied single malt appealing to all senses in perfect balance. After three decades of maturation in oak casks, the intoxicating fruit aromas dominate here, which present themselves in harmonious unity with the spicy notes from the wood. The oak remains discreetly in the background. A perfectly matured single malt that has lost none of its freshness, tangyness and liveliness after so many years of aging. Only one question remains: Why was this distillery closed in 1993 at all? Thank God it is currently being brought back to life!


I thank Ian Macleod Distillers for the complimentary sample and the photograph!

Rosebank 20yo, 1991-2011, SMWS 25.60 "In a secret garden"

ABV: 51.1%
Region: Lowlands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS)
Cask type: Ex-bourbon refill barrel (#25.60, 216 btl.)


Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Oh, what a deliciously fragrant nose! A fresh potpourri of yellow fruit, pear, melon, peach, lemon and orange. This is all complemented by sweet and lingering Bourbon vanilla, followed by gentle polished oak, floral notes (maybe roses) and subtle herbs, cinnamon and dark honey. Very complex and extremely delicate.
Palate: Sweet, soft and round on the palate. Pears, peaches, custard and brambles emerge with a slightly touch of malted barley, dark blossom honey, and lingering vanilla. Very fruity and smooth with gentle herbs, floral notes and spicy oak. Superb.
Finish: The medium length finish is sweet and fruity, with lingering vanilla, brambles, spicy pear and slowly fading notes of herbs and nuts.
With water: Water adds some liquorice flavours to the fruity and floral aroma on the nose and palate. Full-bodied and round with more spice and ripe yellow fruit in the background. The finish is a bit shortend.
Comments: A superb whisky, best to enjoy neat. It's like walking around in a secret garden with lots of tropical fruit and flowers. The delicate aroma spectrum from sweet to fruit to spice in this whisky makes it a pure delight. A classic and elegant Rosebank - a really beautiful example of what a lowland is capable of.


I thank Bernd Herrmann for the photograph!