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Rosebank 12 Year Old (Flora and Fauna)

Average score from 6 reviews and 15 ratings 89

Rosebank 12 Year Old (Flora and Fauna)

Product details

  • Brand: Rosebank
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • Series: Flora & Fauna
  • ABV: 43.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

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Rosebank 12 Year Old (Flora and Fauna)

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?

Hell yah!

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.

Holy snot!

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.


Nose: Strong malt, sweet bread like Hawaiian bread, vanilla, sweet lemons, flowers, sea salt, freshly cut grass, hay, coriander, rosemary.

Taste: Soft sweetness that turns dry, lemon zest, cream puffs, oak. Very fresh.

Finish: Dry, floral, a touch of bitter citrus.

I think of this as being a fall whisky, but not for reasons that Islay whiskies are good for this time of year. There's is obviously no smoke or peat, but there is a great sense of hay and dead grass. It's like when you rake up leaves and you stir up all those smells of dying plants. It doesn't sound great, but I think it smells just like autumn. Very enjoyable, but I would probably like it more if it were a little older.


Nose: An immediately nimble nose, with wet straw and lavender like two ballerinas leaping across the stage. The rest of the company is not far behind, lime and cucumber pirouetting around some light yoghurt and hummus, with cauliflower, apple and melon wafting in on a bed of light butter and honey. The stage is elegantly decorated with flowers and fresh herbs. Sumptuously subtle.

Taste: The next act of the ballet comes in with a very light and delicate dance, with seemingly weightless movement from the fresh apple and citrus, once again swooning on a honey-coated stage, with violet and toffee accompanying the compellingly minimal choreography.

Finish: Act 3 is once again played out on the ever-present honey-coated surface, from which springs sweet mint and herbs, a brief leap of liquorice, before the flapjacks and malted straw close the show.

Balance: The beauty of this dram is in its elegant simplicity. Its name is in fact rather apt, as it is more like a bunch of roses rather than a bouquet of assorted flowers. Its flavour profile is very precise and almost minimalist, but effortlessly luxurious, just like the rose itself. The triple distillation has certainly refined the character of this spirit, and created a beautifully light and sophisticated dram.

This is a genuinely fine dram. It's also nice to be drinking a but of history!

Indeed @jdcook, certainly adds a nostalgic quality to each sip. Sadly also makes you want to not drink it, just so it can be preserved! My self-discipline is unfortunately a little too weak though...


This is the well known - and much praised - official Rosebank from the Flora & Fauna series (a term, by the way, that was coined by whisky guru Michael Jackson).

The first thing that hits you on this utterly soft, but oh so sweet, nose is the typical floral a fruity characteristics: camomile, pears, sap of unmatured graps and a touch of cream.

This elegant lady ('cause I always think of this beautiful dram as a 'she') rolls smoothly over the palate, slightly creamy and delicate. Some nuts, grass and flowers and wonderfully clean. Winter herbs, potpourri, tangerines and a touch of tannins. It reminds me a bit of Cointreau, the orange licqeuer, but with a lot more schwung, if you know what I mean. Marvellous.

The finish is not particularly long, but fruity and feisty, with a hint of mint at the death.

This is an excellent Lowland in general and a fantastic Rosebank in particular, that invites you to lounge in your favourite sofa for an hour. Heart rending if you realise that the distillery will never be revived. Despite the price tag of about 65 quid, you should not let this pass you by.


This whisky is very soft tasting lik all lowland whiskies. It has a nice citrus flavour. The distillery is no longer producing so huryy up for that bottle. Bladnoch is also very nice but for me this is the best lowland whisky.

I agree. Even if this weren't one of the last bottlings from a now defunct distillery it is an awesome single malt, but add in that it is a piece of soon to be gone history, this is one of those malts that all whisky lovers should be looking at.

Yes and you better buy it now because no new bottles are comming and it is becoming rare and expensive


The first sniff is all sweet honeycomb with subsequent samplings revealing a hint of fresh herbs. Almost tastes like a cask strength bottling - very robust. Sweet honey, freshly cut herbs, just a hint of spice. The finish is long, sweet and dry.

Very refreshing, with loads of character.

In my opinion, some malts keep you interested by being complex - each time they reveal some slightly different element. Other malts are simple one-trick ponies. This is the latter, but when you master the simple this well, who needs complexity.

Cracked this open again tonight. It's mellowed a fraction in the bottle, but that sweet cut herbs is still strong and refreshing - this is a genuinely cracking dram. Very sad that there won't be any more like it... :(

Just thought I would mention that it was the flora and fauna bottling, not the bottling shown.

Simply awesome, and a little sad. I feel like I am drinking a little piece of history.

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