Archive for the ‘Rosebank’ Category

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Rosebank 1990 (21 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2086/ Dist: Feb 1990 Btl: Oct 2011/ Tasted: Oct 2011

A clean, citrus nose. However it is pretty high toned and gin like with a serious degree of botanicals. Yes, there is some late creamy oak and a slight floral note, and maybe a soupcon of honey, but it seems disjointed and it has definitely lost its fruit, leaving just the botanical spirit character. 

Quite dry on the palate opening with plenty of sweet barley, along with minerals and herbal notes. Again there is a distinct lack of fruit and thus it’s pretty much neutral-ish spirit all the way. Short and tartly citrus with a prominent degree of alcohol, and not much in the way of wood character apart from some bitter liquorice like notes at the death. In conclusion it’s gone over the hill to be honest and should have been bottled some time ago. In saying that I get the impression that this wasn’t an exceptional cask to start of with.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Rosebank 1990 (21 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2164/ Dist: Jan 1990 Btl: Apr 2012/ Tasted: Apr 2012

A lovely, mature lowland nose of straw-like citrus, husky barley dusted with castor sugar and gently spiced. Light but exceptionally complex – floral, white fruit, pepper, lime, lemon grass with the oak adding a touch of cream custard. With time some fragrant herbs emerge as does a slightly savoury, soy sauce like note. Seriously appealing. 

The palate opens with the straw-like fruit but the barley adds a pleasant degree of sweetness. Lightly spiced, a bit floral with hints of berry fruit. It becomes quite herbal towards the middle with a touch of lemon grass and camphor. The oak does bite slightly on the finish but the barley sweetness does it’s best to balance and just like on the nose there is a savoury, soy sauce element. A wonderful old lowland, bottle just at the right time.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Rosebank 1990 (21 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2165/ Dist: June 1990 Btl: July 2012/ Tasted: July 2012

A gorgeously fruity Rosebank. Clean, fresh and redolent of pineapple, apricot and banana, lightly coated with some gorgeous honey. Slightly earthy with the citrus giving it a lovely fresh feel. With time some fragrant rose petal and Turkish delight notes appear as does some mature American oak. 

Soft and gentle on the palate. The oak is slightly milky but the fresh citrus notes that were evident on the nose are definitely here too! Softly spiced with hints of white flowers and just a touch of apricot and banana. The spices ramp up pleasantly on the middle and the length is amazingly good. There is just a touch of bitterness at the end but those spices that come with it are just heavenly. A superb old Lowland malt!


Speciality Drinks Rosebank 1991 (16 year old) 55.2%

Bourbon Cask 402/ Dist: 1991 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: Sept 2008

Lovely mature aromas of earthy, manury-farmyard fruit and creamy buttery oak. Quiet a weighty nose, could be mistaken for a Spey. Water brings out its perfume character but doesn’t tame the oak.

The palate is sweet and oaky with butter and Bourbon notes. There’s some mature fruit but it’s a bit swamped. Water makes it a whole lot sweeter, almost candied. Good length. Again dominated by the mature bourbon, yet there a touch of violets and some nutty nuances. In conclusion it has probably matured in a first fill Bourbon cask as the oak dominates. Pleasant enough, just lacks the ‘classic character’ for me.


Signatory Rosebank 1991 (12 year old) 43%

Bourbon Cask 564/ Dist Feb 1991 Btl: Aug 2003/ Tasted: Mar2004

Very pale in colour. The aromasare heavy on the bourbon oak side with some citrus fruit in amongst the buttery oak along with a suggestion of salt. A reasonably intense palate of creamy oak but lacking in fruit to balance the rather intrusive alcohol.

Murray McDavid Rosebank 1992 (10 year old) 46%

Bourbon Cask MM1413/ Dst: 1992 Btl 2002/ Tasted Sept 2003

The nose displays soft doughy, sweet malt along with buiscuity bourbon oak, dunnage floors and a elegant smoky edge. The palate is smooth and spicy with soft apricot fruit along with an oak imparted sweetness. Becomes quite tropical on the middle with some delightful honey. Intensity and delicacy. Lovely. 

Murray McDavid Mission Series Rosebank 1989 (16 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Dist: 1989 Btl: 2005/ Tasted: Nov 2005

Clean and very aromatic. It opens with wildaromas of heathery moorlands, slightly grassy with lots of complex floweraromas, like walking through a cottage garden, followed by apricot, barley and sweet earthy vanilla oak. Dry, light-medium bodied, quite robust for a Lowland. Sweet vanilla apricot and garden scented sweet fruit begin the proceedings, along with waves of delightful oak soaked, almost tropical fruit, pineapple, melon and peach. Very long with a fresh tanginess and a touch of salt. Seamless and complex. I would rate it as the best expression from the distillery that I have tasted. 

Murray McDavid Mission Series Rosebank 1989 (17 year old) 55.3%

Bourbon – Guigal Hermitage Blanc Marsanne/ Dist: 1989 Btl: 2006/ Tasted: May 2007

A stunning, crisp, clean, textbook rosebank nose of sweet garden fruit, lime, lemon, mango and a touch of lavender(?) nicely supported by some delicate winey notes. The balance is sublime with oak coming through and adding a lovely butterscotch note. My how it keeps building in complexity, with a late toffee-popcorn note. 

The palate is rich and fruity with the tangy citrus winey fruit battling against the butterscotch, shortbread and toffee-popcorn flavours. And it goes on with the citrus fruit, a touch of flowers, salt, guava and melon rolling over the tongue. Very long with some wood tannins noticeable in the finish. A drop of water emphasizes the bourbon oak on the nose and allows the tropical fruit notes to linger luxuriously on the palate. There can’t be many casks of this sublime quality left, so grab a bottle whilst you can. It has been said many, many times before, but it is a real shame this distillery has gone.

Ian Macleod Dun Bheagan Rosebank 1980 (18 year old) 48%

Sherry Cask 611/ Dist: 1980 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: July 2009

The nose opens with a slight sulphur note which blows off quickly. Some rich Oloroso fruit and spices along with hints of vanilla. There’s no distillery character and the alcohol prickles. Why 48%? Late floral note develops. A drop of water brings out a slight candied note along with some earthy-coffee.

Slightly oily, soft and juicy on the palate with a pleasant depth of earthy sherry fruit. The balance is better than the nose suggests, but there is a lot of wood tannins. Water softens and homogenises. Ok length. Quiet juicy with a touch of spice, but the alcohol masks. Water makes very little change. Nothing special. Barley above average. Lack of character.

Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Rosebank 1988 (18 year old) 40%

Bourbon/ Dist: 1988 Btl: 1996/ Tasted: Mar 2004

Light, softy and grassy on the nose with hints of sweet orange. Good depth,aromatic and rounded with a touch of creamy oak. Soft on the palate, opening with the creamy oak followed by citrus fruit and a touch of spice. Good length and a delicate finish. 

Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Rosebank 1989 (14 year old) 40%

Bourbon/ Dist: 1989 Btl: 2003/ Tasted: July 2004

A fresh nose with aromas of smoke, citrus, honey and grassy notes. The palate is soft and smooth with a good concentration of citrus fruit and a slightly smoky finish. Delightful.

Duncan Taylor Whisky Galore Rosebank 1990 (13 year old) 46%

Re-fill Sherry Cask 3418/ Dist: 1990 Btl: 2004/ Tasted: Mar 2006

A lovely summer-gold colour in the glass. Soft citrus/ grassy fruit aromas spring from the glass delightfully set against a delicate sherry fruit background, which develops a beguiling candied fruit sweetness. Dry and fairly light in body with initially quite a salty note which is followed by waves of lavishly spiced citrus fruit and a burst of cinnamon coated apples on the middle. This descends into a delicious fruit cocktail with a touch of light syrup and a dusting of icing sugar. Very long and very good. 

Duncan Taylor Whisky Galore Rosebank 1993 (15 year old) 46%

Bourbon Cask/ Dist: 1993 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: Sept 2008

Exceedingly perfumed nose, dominated by the vanilla oak – It’s very good oak though! Good intensity with hints of flowers and earth. The palate opens with a wave of quiet sweet apricot and a hint of marc-like rose petals but tails off a bit. Quiet delicate, crisp and quiet salty finish.

Blackadder Raw Cask Rosebank 1990 (15 year old) 59.5%

Bourbon Hogshead 1522/ Dist: July 1990 Btl: Feb 2006/ Tasted: Feb 2006

Crisp and clean with earthy citrus fruits, slightly Sauvignon Blanc-esque and a vanilla note. Lovely and smooth on the palate with clean, crisp citrus and vanilla honied fruits. Lots of sweet spices on the middle. Great intensity of flavour, grassy finish and the Sauvignon-esque character on the after taste. 

Water softens and sweetens the nose, bringing out an orange blossom note. On the palate it really sweetens it, softens the honied fruits, increases the length and brings out a white chocolate note.

Berry Bros Rosebank 1990 (18 year old) 46%

Bourbon cask 605/ Dist: 1990 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: Sept 2008

 Rich and fruity nose. Overloaded with lush orange, tangerine and citrus fruit. Exceedingly deep and intense, topped off by a lovely grassy note. The palate is lighter than the nose would have you believe at first and a lot grassier than the nose. Still there’s a delightful level of juicy citrus fruit which broadens out nicely. Good length, with a delightful liquid honey note along with some late grass and leafy notes.

Rare Malts Selection Rosebank 1981 (20 year old) 62.3%

Dist:1981 Btl: 2002/ Tasted: Mar 2006

Clean, typical grassy aromas. rather honeyed with soft, sweet fruit and dusty spices. Quite full for a Rosebank and pleasantly rich. Superb complexity with a touch of peppery spice. Dry with a lovely enveloping sweetness along with honeyed cereal and crisp, balancing citrus fruit. lovely middle, just sprinkled with dusting of spice. Very long with the rich honeyed lingering. A truly awesome dram.