Monday, November 24, 2008
Rosebank 25yo (1981)
Lowland Single Malt Whisky
First, I would ask you to draw your attention to is the abv of this puppy. Yowza.
Second thing is that I appreciate the emails of encouragement in spite of the fact that my posting rate has been irregular at best. THANK YOU. And thanks to those who continue to send samples. Dr. Whisky has no intention of stopping this mission, and goodness knows he hasn't; he just struggles to find time to write about it.
Third, YES, I will be doing a Christmas Picks post again where I list Dr. Whisky's choices of the best whisky to give (or receive) this Christmas, including whisky books and other stuff for the malt lover in your life.
Fourth, let's taste this gem from the closed Rosebank distillery. Hey! This is the first Rosebank had on the mission... Amazing. Well, sorry it has taken so long. It is a wide wide world of whisky out there.
Originally converted from the maltings at Camelon Distillery in Falkirk, Rosebank distillery was situatied on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal and, many believe, was "murdered" when in the late 1980s, DIAGEO decided to include Glenkinchie as one of its classic malts for the lowland region. Too little too late, but the world has since learned what fine spirit was being produced at this distillery, one of the last to practice triple distillation. It is said that there might still be some Rosebank contributing to Johnnie Walker Swing. Who knows?
This is one of 4,170 bottles produced. Today, notes are by TF, with a few additions by yours truly.
Waxy, sweet; plenty of forward oak, sweet orange, some butterscotch, fudge, spices, cloves. Big, powerful alcoholic prickle. It is over 120 proof! Rye bread, and some wine-like characteristics. Floral notes eventually fight their way through, along with ginger and melon. With water, becomes more biscuity and develops honey notes.
Big oak surge, then the alcohol, zoink! Oily with immense hot pepper and spice, clove and chilli seeds. Very full and oily. As the initial alcohol burn dies away, amazing polished malt comes through to spar with the spices. Delicious. Through the finish, lovely unctuous malt continues to envelop the tastebuds. The length is phenomenal. The clove and cracked black peppercorns have the last word.
Oof! This is a monster (in a good way). The official literature refers to this as 'ripe and mellow'. You're having a laugh, mate - ripe, perhaps; mellow? er, I think not. Clearly aged Rosebank has a different profile to the old 8yo people raved about. Hats off to whoever selected the casks for this - it emphatically gives the lie to the received wisdom that Rosebank had to be bottled young.
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