Recently my wife and I finally got a chance to go out to eat at a nice restaurant after over a month of working 15 hr days, 7 days a week. We'd decided upon the Rockpool Bar and Grill due to the reviews we'd heard and the fact of their whisky selection.
They had two Rosebanks up for tasting on top of quite a few other whiskies.
The Rosebanks are what made me giggle.
In fact I'm still giggling a wee bit.
Now why is that you may ask yourself?
The reason why is that the Rosebank distillery has been closed for close to twenty years and in it's time it was considered the jewel of the Lowland distilleries.
Some of the top whisky critics in the world at one time considered it to be one of the top five distilleries in Scotland.
Since the distillery has been closed for close to twenty years barrels of Rosebank whisky are becoming more and more scarce and more and more pricey. I have a bottle of a 21 yr old bottled at cask strength which was given to me for my recent birthday, but I'm saving it for a special occasion.
This was the time for me and my wife to be able to try this awesome distillery!
We'd tried the 25 yr old cask strength first, not realizing it was cask strength and all I can say is HOLY CRAP! That is one CRACKING whisky!
Next on the menu was the 12 yr old. This bad boy was going to cost $43 AUS for a 30ml shot.
But first we had a problem.
Our glencairns were still dirty from the Rosebank 25 yr old.
I take my glass of water and pour a little bit into my glencairn to try and wash it out, but this isn't looking good for our hero.
Until our awesome waiter comes to our rescue. Would we like our tasting glasses washed?
So he takes both my wife's and my glencairn away and no longer then three minutes later he's back with the glencairns crystal clear, sparkling and dry.
Talk about service.
He then brings out our tumblers of the Rosebank 12 yr old Flora and Fauna.
I'm even more excited because I've always wanted to try a Flora and Fauna bottling, having heard nothing but brilliant things about this series of whiskies.
Pale pale color, beautiful with some sexy dregs running down the glasses.
God I can't wait to nose this whisky!
Floral and fruity as the best of the lowlands are supposed to be. The first hint I get is rose water, my wife gets fruits and grass first, then gets the rose water.
lemons and freshly cut grass, vanilla, honey, and pears make this a lovely and interesting nose, very delicate and through it all rose water.
My wife and I agree that we preferred the Rosebank 25 yr old's nose over the 12 yr old, but we're not done with this whisky yet. Time to taste!
Floral grass wrapped in lemon zest covered with honey fill my mouth as the whisky goes from sweet to dry. Interesting Lowland whisky, not as good as the 25 yr old again, but better then the Auchentoshan's that I've had.
The finish is short and drying with lemon zest and just a hint of mint.
Not a bad whisky by any means, but no where in the same league as the 25 yr old. Mind you there is also a fairly drastic age, strength and price difference.
12 yr old vs a 25 yr old, 43% vs cask strength abv and roughly $150 AUS vs $350 or so.
Mind you this is still a rare bottle, and if I saw it for $150 I'd definitely buy it, again this is a closed distillery, a lost distillery. But if I have a choice between the 12 yr old and the 25 yr old I'd pick the 25 yr old every single time.
Sorry SquidgyAsh, no offense, but I have to say this; you are not doing this dram justice by drinking Rosebanks in the mentioned order. Of course it cannot beat a cask strength dram twice the age - your tastebud will simply be adjusted towards the more powerful 25 year old, that has just been carrying you to the moon. Would you mind booking a table once again, and this time start with the youngest dram, please?
I like your long stories, you drink well.